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 prints are found on the mallet?

2. Why does Director Howarth know Dr. Lorrimer looked at a book on Howarth's desk?

3. What does Middlemass fail to tell Dalgliesh?

4. What does Cliff Bradley ask Middlemass?

5. What is missing that belonged to Middlemass's deceased father?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the scene between Cliff and Susan Bradley as she is breastfeeding their new baby.

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

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

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

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

6. Describe Mrs. Bidwell.

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

8. What upsets Director Howarth about Dr. Lorrimer?

9. How is the staff at Hoggatt's Lab sorted for who needs to stay and who may go home?

10. Describe Dr. Kerrison.

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

There are several instances of irony in Death of an Expert Witness. Discuss the following:

1. Thoroughly define and offer several examples of irony.

2. Find three cases of irony in Death of an Expert Witness. Describe the situation and why you think it is ironic.

3. There is another type of irony called "dramatic irony." Thoroughly define the term "dramatic irony," and find at least one example of it in Death of an Expert Witness and explain why you think it is dramatic irony.

Essay Topic 3

Nell Kerrison is introduced in the first few chapters. Though she may not be considered a major character, her emotional problems are what ultimately inadvertently condemn her father as a murderer. Additionally, her father chooses to confess his crimes in order that Nell does not have to testify against him. Discuss the following:

1. Briefly analyze Nell's character. What are her strengths and weaknesses. How do her weaknesses cause problems for Dr. Kerrison?

2. Do you believe Dr. Kerrison loves William more than Nell? Why or why not? Use specific examples.

3. What sort of impact do you think it will have on Nell when she realizes she exposes her father as a murderer?

(see the answer keys)

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