Unlike the previous two books, which sought to give exposition to the Nameless World, Study in Slaughter served to focus on Emily Sanderson as a person, and her desire to overcome her personal demons and develop as a person.
Much of the book was inspired by Virginia Ironside's Burlap Hall series, which features an assortment of monsters attending a school.
Up until now, Nuttall had been actively seeking to avoid any resemblance to other published works, in particular JK Rowling's Harry Potter series (which also features someone from the non-magical world entering into a magical world and attending a school for magic). However, after the work was finished, someone pointed out to him that the plot of Study in Slaughter is very similar to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Nuttall admitted to being irritated by this, but by that time it was too late to change the story.
Plot Summary (Spoilers) Edit