Death of an Expert Witness Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who interrupts the meeting between Howarth and Dr. Lorrimer?

2. What protocol does Blakelock describe to Dalgliesh?

3. What does Middlemass do to Dr. Lorrimer?

4. Who is teaching Brenda?

5. How does Director Howarth respond to Dalgliesh's question about what Dr. Lorrimer is like outside of work?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Brenda Pridmore.

2. What does Susan Bradley ask of Paul Middlemass and what does he do about the request?

3. How does the interview between Dalgliesh and Easterbrook go and what does Dalgliesh learn?

4. Why is Dr. Kerrison leaving his home in the middle of the night and what is his biggest concern?

5. What is the situation with Mawson and Foley's need for money and how is Dr. Lorrimer mentioned in regards to money?

6. What does Brenda Pridmore talk about with her parents at breakfast and what is their reaction?

7. What upsets Director Howarth about Dr. Lorrimer?

8. Why is Dr. Lorrimer's father calling and what does Brenda offer to do?

9. What does Howarth talk to Dr. Lorrimer about and what is the outcome?

10. What is Howarth doing the night of Dr. Lorrimer's murder and how does he back up his story?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Death of an Expert Witness belongs to the literary genre of mystery/detective fiction. Discuss the following:

1. Thoroughly define the term genre and offer examples of it from your own reading experience. Why do you think it is useful to categorize fiction into genres? What could be a disadvantage of doing so?

2. What do you think is the main motivation for a person to read a mystery and detective novel? Is entertainment a good enough reason? Are there any other reasons to read this genre? What? Explain fully.

3. In "academe," mystery/murder novels are often thought of as less literary than some other genres and for that reason are sometimes "snubbed" in the study of literature. Why do you think this is so? Do you agree with this "snobbery"?

Essay Topic 2

For most people, murder is an unthinkable act, though many might say "I'm going to murder you if you don't" Discuss the following:

1. Analyze and discuss which of the characters seem to have a motive to murder Dr. Lorrimer. What is each character's motive? Do any of the motives seem strong enough to warrant murder?

2. Discuss and analyze the difference between the first murder of Dr. Lorrimer that Dr. Kerrison commits versus the second one of Stella Mawson. Consider the following questions. Which murder seems most justified? What is the motive for each murder? Each murder involves blackmail. Does this change your view of Dr. Kerrison as a murderer?

3. What are possible ways Dr. Kerrison could have handled the situations with the persons he murdered short of murder? Would taking alternate courses solve his problems?

Essay Topic 3

One of the themes of the novel, as alluded to over and over, is the idea that the investigation into a crime disregards all claims to privacy. Discuss the following:

1. Trace and analyze the ways in which Dr. Lorrimer's privacy is violated after his death. Is this right and necessary? Is there any way to conduct an investigation to discover his murderer without violating his privacy?

2. Not only is Dr. Lorrimer's privacy violated, but so, too, is the privacy of several other characters. Discuss two other characters (besides Dr. Larrimer) whose privacy is violated in the course of the murder investigation. Is this invasion of privacy right? Necessary? Is there any way to conduct an investigation to discover the murderer without violating these people's privacy?

3. In the "real" world, many times the privacy of the victim's and perpetrator's families are also violated. Do you believe the police and press have the right to invade innocent people's privacy? What can be done to minimize the effects of this on the families of those involved in a crime? Do you think the criminal's family deserves as much respect to privacy as the victim's family? Why or why not? Do Nell and William deserve privacy?

(see the answer keys)

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