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. About what does Howarth have a conference with Dr. Lorrimer?

2. What does Blakelock tell Howarth when he comes back downstairs?

3. What does Dalgliesh think of the people in the library?

4. What does Middlemass do to Dr. Lorrimer?

5. Whose son is Massingham?

Short Essay Questions

1. What upsets Director Howarth about Dr. Lorrimer?

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

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

4. What does Mrs. Bidwell show Dalgliesh?

5. How helpful is the interview with Cliff Bradley for Dalgliesh?

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

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

8. What does Nell do after her father has left the house?

9. Describe Stella Mawson.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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"?

(see the answer keys)

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