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 seems emotionally immune to the process of an autopsy?

2. What is lying open on the table?

3. How does Inspector Blakelock behave while being questioned by Dalgliesh?

4. Who stays with Mr. Lorrimer immediately after the news of his son's death is given him?

5. Where is Eleanor Kerrison sitting?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. About what does Adam Dalgliesh speak to his boss?

3. What does Paul Middlemass tell Dalgliesh and about what does Middlemass lie?

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

5. What upsets Director Howarth about Dr. Lorrimer?

6. Describe the conversation between Brenda Pridmore and Adam Dalgliesh.

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

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

9. What does Howarth do after Dalgliesh arrives and what does Dalgliesh learn about the case?

10. Describe the conversation between Inspector Blakelock and Adam Dalgliesh and what Dalgliesh seems to be quite concerned about during the questioning.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Probably one of the most important literary techniques in a detective novel is foreshadowing. However, much of the foreshadowing is only obvious by the end of the book. P.D. James gives plenty of clues as to the outcome of the main plot and so the reader should not be totally in the dark by the end of the book. Discuss the following:

1. Find ten instances of foreshadowing in earlier parts of the book and discuss how they are fulfilled later in the book.

2. Besides foreshadowing, many mysteries contain many devices sometimes called "red herrings." Define red herring and then discuss five examples of that in the book.

3. Why do you think foreshadowing is inherent in a murder mystery? What would be the effect on the story if there were no foreshadowing? What if there were no red herrings?

Essay Topic 2

Most of the action of the story is based upon the main plot--that of finding Dr. Lorrimer's murderer. However, there are a couple minor sub-plots in the novel. Discuss the following:

1. What is a sub-plot? Do you think most works of fiction have at least one sub-plot? Why or why not?

2. Identify 2 subplots in Death of an Expert Witness. Identify the parts of the sub-plots you examine such as exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution and whether the sub-plot contains all these elements.

3. What do you think is the purpose of the 2 sub-plots you identify? Discuss with examples from the text.

Essay Topic 3

It is essential that details in a murder mystery be accurate and adequate to fulfill the plot. Discuss the following:

1. Trace and analyze the plot of Death of an Expert Witness. Explain what constitutes the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement or resolution. What details add to each aspect of the plot?

2. Analyze James's use of details. Where are there too much or too little details? What would be the consequence of too many details in a murder mystery? Of too little? Explain your ideas fully using examples from the text.

3. Do the details throughout the text support the resolution? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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