Doyle begins with an interesting title for the story. ‘The Speckled Band’ is a strange name for a story but still manages to attract attention to the Sherlock Holmes brand of stories. The title is a convention of the story as it pops up from time to time in the story. Doyle keeps this convention throughout the story, especially during the investigation of Miss Stoner’s room. The prologue of this story is told through a fictional narrator played by Watson in the 1st paragraph. This intrigues the reader because of the realism of narration and the excitement that is shown by the narrator at the events.
The prologue introduces the a case that contains unconventional features, such as the gothic description of the house including the hallways and the snake. All of these conventions are what is expected from a gothic style horror movie or book. The main feature of the story is the Characterisation. He describes Sherlock Holmes as an amateur detective and has a cool, calm and polite personality. His speciality is astounding mainly through the minute observational skills he possesses. In an instant, he is able to quickly determine the outcome of situations which is unconventional in this story.
However, the detail that is shown by Holmes and his sharp thinking draws the reader into the story by way of wanting to know the secret to Holmes’ ‘power’. This increases tension for the reader as the story progresses therefore sucking the reader deeper into the plot. Watson is the typical sidekick. He is described as having a passion for his work. However, the subtle changes in personality between Watson and Holmes help to define Holmes more as a detective in which Watson is descried to be slower in comparison to Holmes, helping define his geniality.
Another character mentioned in the storyline is Helen Stoner. The innocent, damsel-in-distress of the story, who is to be killed before her marriage for a sum of money. The typical convention of a murder story. She is shown to be kind, courteous and confident though a little dismissive. Dr. Roylott is the next character mentioned aside from Julia Stoner, the Doctors previous victim. Doyle describes him as violent, aggressive, threatening and an obnoxious man. This is shown when the character is first introduced during a chat with Holmes in which he quickly turns violent.
Doyle conveys an evil character and shows his true demeanour. He makes a good murderer as Holmes can be found to say, ‘He has the nerve and he has knowledge… This man strikes deeper… ‘. The ironic thing is, the man is killed by his own murder weapon, a snake. ‘The Speckled Band’ shows the Murder Mystery up to it usual standards and holds par with that of Agatha Christie and the much appreciated Edgar Alan Po. All in all Doyle manipulates the Murder mystery to great effect. The final effect is a great murder mystery which affects the subconscious.