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Literary Devices in The Adventure of the Speckled Band

Locked Room Mystery: “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” is considered the first notable example of a locked room mystery, a genre of crime fiction in which the crime takes placed in a sealed room. The central mystery of the case comes down to how Helen’s sister was murdered in a closed, locked room.

The Reveal: One of the central narrative threads in any Sherlock Holmes story is the manner in which the facts, evidence, and solution of the case develop. In the Holmes stories, we encounter the pieces of the case from Watson’s perspective. The story develops tension by suggesting that Holmes is approaching a solution while we, along with Watson, are scratching our heads. When Holmes finally reveals the solution there is a payoff for both the other characters in the story and for the readers.

Literary Devices Examples in The Adventure of the Speckled Band:

The Adventure of the Speckled Band

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"but her hair was shot with premature grey..."   (The Adventure of the Speckled Band)

Doyle’s use of figurative language gives the description of Helen Stoner a connotative undercurrent of violence and victimhood. The notion of her hair as being “shot” primes the reader for the grim nature of the case.

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