06/13/2024

Some Crim

Track the Untold Stories

Quiz: Can You Identify These Classic Detectives from their Descriptions?

Quiz: Can You Identify These Classic Detectives from their Descriptions?

All right, people. It’s the middle of the week, so I think we can all use something fun. Like a quiz! I like quizzes. If you’ve clicked on this, perhaps you do too.

This is part quiz, part trivia. Under “questions” I have included a description of a famous detective or sleuth from literature. Not film, not TV, not theater. Books! And YOU have to guess which detective it is.

The answer key is way down at the bottom. As you take the quiz, I’d write down your answers next to the corresponding questions’ numbers (on a sheet of paper or in your notes app) and then grade yourself in one swoop when you’re done, so that you’re not constantly scrolling down and up again as you go, thereby risking seeing some of the other answers.

All right, tally ho!

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Questions:

1. “He looked rather pleasantly like a blonde Satan.”

2. “He was very stout, and walked, as a rule, with two canes. Against the light from the front windows his big mop of dark hair, streaked with a white plume, waved like a war-banner. Immense and aggressive, it went blowing before him through life. His face was large and round and ruddy, and had a twitching smile somewhere above several chins. But what you noticed there was the twinkle in his eye. He wore eyeglasses on a broad black ribbon, and the small eyes twinkled over them as he bent his big head forward; he could be fiercely combative or slyly chuckling, and somehow he contrived to be both at the same time.”

3. “His very person and appearance were such as to strike the attention of the most casual observer. In height he was rather over six feet, and so excessively lean that he seemed to be considerably taller. His eyes were sharp and piercing, save during those intervals of torpor to which I have alluded; and his thin, hawk-like nose gave his whole expression an air of alertness and decision. His chin, too, had the prominence and squareness which mark the man of determination. His hands were invariably blotted with ink and stained with chemicals, yet he was possessed of extraordinary delicacy of touch, as I frequently had occasion to observe when I watched him manipulating his fragile philosophical instruments.”

4. “A surprisingly neat man, tie carefully knotted, hair shorter than was the fashion; even his ears lay close to his head, as if reluctant to call attention to themselves. His clothing marked him as Italian. The cadence of his speech announced he was Venetian. His eyes were all policeman.”

5. “A white-haired old lady with a gentle, appealing manner.”

6. “He weighs between 310 and 390, and he limits his physical movements to what he regards as the irreducible essentials.”

7. “He was unusually good-looking, although his mouth was ascetic and cruel…there was a slightly derisive hauteur in the lift of his eyebrows…His forehead was full and sloping—it was the artist’s, rather than the scholar’s, brow. His cold grey eyes were widely spaced. His nose was straight and slender, and his chin narrow but prominent, with an unusually deep cleft.”

8. “He stood a few inches short of six feet and was built lean. The newspapers, when they described him, called him wiry. Beneath the jumpsuit his muscles were like nylon cords, strength concealed by economy of size. The gray that flecked his hair was more partial to the left side. His eyes were brown-black and seldom betrayed emotion or intention.”

9. “‘An extraordinary-looking little man. He was hardly more than five feet four inches, but carried himself with great dignity. His head was exactly the shape of an egg, and he always perched it a little on one side. His moustache was very stiff and military. The neatness of his attire was almost incredible; I believe a speck of dust would have caused him more pain than a bullet wound.”

10. He “looked fine—drawn, across between a monk and a grandee. The planes of [his] face and head were emphatically defined, the bony structure showed clearly. There was a certain austerity in the chilly blue of his eyes and in the sharp blackness of his hair. Albrecht Durer would have made a magnificent drawing of him.”

11.” The woman was short and fierce-looking, a coal-eyed brunette with a gaze direct as lasers. She was dressed in a severe blue suit that made her look almost military.”

12. “The little priest was so much the essence of those Eastern flats; he had a face as round and dull as a Norfolk dumpling; he had eyes as empty as the North Sea.”

 

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Answers down below.

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Keep scrolling!

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Answer Key:

1. Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

2. Gideon Fell, Hag’s Nook by John Dickson Carr

3. Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

4. Guido Brunetti, Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon

5. Miss Marple, A Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

6. Nero Wolfe, “Before I Die” by Rex Stout

7. Philo Vance, The Benson Murder Case by S.S. Van Dine

8. Harry Bosch, The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

9. Hercule Poirot, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, by Agatha Christie

10. Roderick Alleyn, Death in a White Tie, by Ngaio Marsh

11. Jane Rizzoli, The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

12. Father Brown, The Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton