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. What does Mrs. Bidwell explain to Dalgliesh?

2. What is Dalgliesh trying to accurately understand?

3. What is Dr. Kerrison's biggest concern as he is leaving?

4. What does Mrs. Bidwell tell Dalgliesh about the lab coat?

5. Whose son is Massingham?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Mrs. Bidwell.

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

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

4. What does Mrs. Bidwell show Dalgliesh?

5. About what situation does Dalgliesh try to understand?

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

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

8. How do Angela Foley and Stella Mawson come to be living together?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

It seems that Dr. Kerrison should know a lot about crime and how a detective investigates a crime scene to be able to avoid some of the mistakes he makes that leads to his exposure as the murderer. Discuss the following:

1. Trace and analyze throughout the book all the mistakes Dr. Kerrison makes. Are they stupid mistakes or is Dalgliesh so good that Dalgliesh is able to pick up on very tiny clues?

2. Sometimes it almost seems that a criminal wants to get caught. Do you think this is partially why Dr. Kerrison makes the mistakes he does? Why or why not?

3. Dalgliesh states that Kerrison almost seems relieved when the detectives drive up to arrest him. Why do you think this is?

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

There are a number of interesting questions raised by this book. Discuss the following:

1. Name two ideas/concepts you think may have been a part of the author's agenda. Analyze those ideas throughout the book and discuss whether you think P.D. James has an agenda concerning those ideas.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

(see the answer keys)

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