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    Your Elvenar Team

What do you think of Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl (SPOILER ALERT)

Moho

Well-Known Member
Lamb to the Slaugher by Roald Dahl is a classic.

The implication (or conclusion) is Mary Maloney gets away with murder but frankly I doubt she really can.

I don't know what's gotten into me, and probably it's not the best place to bring this up, but I'm curious to see whether other people share my skepticism.

lamb.jpg
 

Iyapo1

Well-Known Member
You doubt that she can get away with it? Is it because she started giggling at the end?
 

Moho

Well-Known Member
Is it because she started giggling at the end?
I think that despite her plan to "act natural" Mary Maloney's behavior had been suspicious all along. Apparently she was devastated by her husband's death, but she insisted to remain at the murder scene for hours. Any experienced detective would have noticed that Mary Maloney was watching the detectives' and the auxiliary personnel's activity quite attentively.

Mary Maloney is the only and most likely suspect the police officers have, and yet they cross her out from their list so quickly. And the way they treat her like one of their own makes the detectives look so gullible. Only someone who has never had to go through a detective's interrogatory may believe policemen can be manipulated like this.

Patrick Maloney unlocked the door when he arrived home. So the family most likely kept the house doors locked. There was a dead body in the house and no signs of a break-in. What do you make of it?

And most importantly, a police investigation would never consist of merely looking for the murder weapon, especially when a member of the police force has been murdered. Detectives would immediately dig into Patrick Maloney's recent activity and find out the man's plans to dump his wife as well as the reasons that have led to this decision (which must be quite sordid considering Patrick's insensitive attitude toward his wife). A phone call history can reveal many secrets.
 

Iyapo1

Well-Known Member
Mary Maloney is the only and most likely suspect the police officers have, and yet they cross her out from their list so quickly. And the way they treat her like one of their own makes the detectives look so gullible. Only someone who has never had to go through a detective's interrogatory may believe policemen can be manipulated like this.
She is one of their own. Many of them know her and as a result they have trouble mentally putting a weapon in her hands, familiarity breeds contempt even in cops.

Patrick Maloney unlocked the door when he arrived home. So the family most likely kept the house doors locked. There was a dead body in the house and no signs of a break-in. What do you make of it?
I would say that when she was home alone, she locked the door. But when she just nipped out to the store, she did not lock the door, why would she? Her husband was home.
Detectives would immediately dig into Patrick Maloney's recent activity and find out the man's plans to dump his wife
They know him too. They probably already know about his side piece, it is not something they would discuss with his pregnant widow, people(even cop people) hesitate to tarnish the memory of their own dead.

Apparently she was devastated by her husband's death, but she insisted to remain at the murder scene for hours. Any experienced detective would have noticed that Mary Maloney was watching the detectives' and the auxiliary personnel's activity quite attentively.
You find this suspicious? If she had left, you would find that less suspicious?
 

ajqtrz

Well-Known Member
Well, it's read. Interesting. Obviously a crime of passion and thus, she was incredibly lucky to have done it without a lot of expressions of that passion beforehand. If she had expressed her anger...and had waited for him to actually say what he had done or was doing...the neighbors would have heard and that would have made the police more suspicious. In fact, that she did it before he said what it was he had done/was doing, makes the whole story suspicious. Reactions to bad news usually take the form of shock...led by denial. Thus, when he begins to tell her, she is shocked, but the first thing she does is act, not deny. In other words, her reaction is out of sync.

The same goes for her reaction to the whole thing. No where do we find her asking why? Why did somebody do this? doesn't seem to be on her mind. That too, would be noticed. But of course, she already knew why, didn't she? And that sets her reactions more out of sync.

That the cops knew her but didn't suspect would be, at first, reasonable. But certainly they would have noticed she wasn't reacting to her husband's violent death the way a woman usually would.

Overall the evidence would convict her eventually. That they ate the evidence wouldn't make much difference because they could easily reconstruct the weight and size of the leg of lamb from the bones and amount of time it took to cook from being frozen. If they knew, as suggested, their was some hanky-panky going on, that would give them a reason to suspect her. And finally, since the murder victim was probably involved in some kind of relationship, the woman (I assume) would be questioned even if the man's wife was not a suspect, and she would have revealed, in all probability, that the man was about to tell his wife, "it's over." Means, motive, opportunity, in this case, are easily ferreted out and the culprit would have been found out, giggles or not.

AJ
 

Iyapo1

Well-Known Member
Rofl....

Right, because when the mistress says..."He said he was going to tell his wife he is leaving her"...the first reaction is...belief in his honesty?

Also...he did tell his wife what he had done/was doing, the story just left what was said by him to the readers imagination.
 

ajqtrz

Well-Known Member
@Iyapo1

That the mistress believed or didn't believe the man was going to tell his wife, is not relevant. What's important is that he said to her he was going to tell his wife and, presumably, leave her for the "other woman." It's not even important if the police believe that he was going to do so, based upon the words to his mistress.

I missed "And he told her ...." What got me thinking though, was her delayed response. You'd think that in the five or six minutes he spoke she would either deny it to herself (through direct refusal to believe or a process of rationalization -- "it's just a temporary thing, I can win him back" sort of thing.) or she would get angry. That she does neither for all that time is strange, and I would think the police would notice her rather calm demeanor.

In any case, once they figured out the motive, the means would or could become pretty obvious. And then her unusual behavior would become understandable. She didn't question why he was killed because she already knew. And in that her actual responses were exactly how a killer would respond.

AJ
 

Alram

Well-Known Member
lol
What mistress? Maybe he was leaving her because he just hates kids?

Detectives have many enemies.
 
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Iyapo1

Well-Known Member
@Alram

Exactly. We dont know what was said, we just know it was awful. For whatever reason he is setting aside his pregnant wife...in the 1950s. I cant even imagine the terror of that moment in her head.

Reactions to bad news usually take the form of shock
I agree with this.

I think the main character is in shock.

All of her behavior can be attributed to shock.
 
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sambria

Active Member
Lamb to the Slaugher by Roald Dahl is a classic.

The implication (or conclusion) is Mary Maloney gets away with murder but frankly I doubt she really can.

I don't know what's gotten into me, and probably it's not the best place to bring this up, but I'm curious to see whether other people share my skepticism.

lamb.jpg


Ahha, this brings back some memories of when i had my very first job as a young teenager. ohh, the amount of times i cut my hand with the knife, all because the butcher gave me a damn lamb leg instead of a chuck steak.
 
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