What inspired Roald Dahl to write "Lamb to the Slaughter?"

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Roald Dahl's short story "Lamb to the Slaughter" was first published in 1953.  Freezer technology had been around for decades, but it wasn't until the 1940's that home freezers became commonplace in most homes.  Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming (the author of the James Bond books) were friends during the 1950's.  Jennet Conant's book, The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington, tells that the Dahl's inspiration for the short story was suggested to him by Ian Fleming over dinner one night.  The freezer, being a new invention, spiked Fleming's and Dahl's interest.  Dahl supposedly asked Fleming what would be the best weapon on hand that someone might have in their freezer.  Fleming responded by suggesting that Dahl write a story in which the lead character commits a murder with a mutton leg.