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Lamb to the Slaughter and The Speckled Band are both murder mysteries Like most murder mysteries each of the stories have a murderer a victim and characters acting in a suspicious or unusual way Lamb to the Slaughter is a 20th century story about a woman called Mary who kills her husband Patrick Maloney using a leg of lamb This seems quite surprising at first as she seems quite loving and devoted to him- she loved to luxuriate in the presence of this man However a lot of Mary Maloneys behaviour in the first scene does seem quite worrying and peculiar It seems that she is almost obsessed with her husband and this is shown by the way she is constantly trying to please him Although the murder is a crime of passion Mrs Maloney manages to deal with it quite well She is very calculating when realising quite what she has done and providing herself with a convincing alibi When the detectives arrive to investigate the murder they seem to be taking it very seriously however they dont really seem to consider Mrs Maloney as a real suspect There is one point in the story where one of the detectives says acted quite normalvery cheerfulimpossible that she but this is an idea which is soon discarded After a while the attitude of the detectives becomes more relaxed and not so professional Mrs Maloney takes advantage of this by asking the detectives to stay for dinner She then goes on to feed them the leg of lamb thus destroying the evidence There is a moment of irony towards the end because when talking about the murder weapon one of the detectives says Probably right under our very nose just as they are eating the leg of lamb The story finishes with the line And in the other room Mrs Maloney began to giggle I think the author left the story with an open ending
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