Quiz about History of the Detective Novel
Quiz about History of the Detective Novel

History of the Detective Novel Quiz


One of the few genres in Literature that doesn't date back to 'Olden Times' is definitely the detective story. Yet it has by now developed its own traditions, its own who is who, and its own milestone events. That's what this quiz tries to deal with.

A multiple-choice quiz by flem-ish. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
flem-ish
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
49,649
Updated
Nov 12 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
4669
Awards
Editor's Choice
Last 3 plays: Guest 98 (9/10), Guest 12 (8/10), ClarkyB (10/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Everybody seems to agree that Edgar Allan Poe is the first to have published a detective story in the English language. Which story exactly was that? Hint

The Cask of Amontillado
The Purloined Letter
The Murders in the Rue Morgue
The Mystery of Marie Roget

2. European historians of literature, however, point out that in the Old World some stories had already been written in which the hero solves problems of detection with a combination of observation and logic. To which story in particular do they point? Hint

Victor Hugo's 'Les Miserables'
Diderot's 'Rameau's Nephew'
Voltaire's 'Zadig'
Dr Johnson's 'Rasselas'

3. Who was the French author who created a story in which the hero is a police-officer who stubbornly pursues 'his' criminal. However, when he ultimately has managed to lay hands on him, he lets him go and ... jumps into the Seine. Who is that author? Hint

Maurice Leblanc
Gaston Leroux
Arsene Lupin
Victor Hugo

4. What was, in British English literature, the first 'detective story'? Hint

'The Moonstone' by Wilkie Collins
'Martin Hewitt, Investigator' by Arthur Morrison
'A Study in Scarlet' by A.C. Doyle
'The Brotherhood of the Seven Kings ', by L.T. Meade and Robert Eustace

5. Some of Dostoyevsky's novels can be viewed as (among other things) good detective stories, especially 'Crime and Punishment' in which one of the characters acts as an amateur psychologist in trying to force Raskolnikov to admit his crime. Who is that character with a special interest in the murderer's motivations? Hint

Zametow, a clerk at the police station
Razumikhin, R.'s fellow student
Porfiry Petrovich, the chief of police
Ilya Petrovich, assistant to the police-chief

6. One of the great promoters of the detective-story was undoubtedly Arthur Conan Doyle. He even got tired of his own success and wanted to kill off his hero, Sherlock Holmes. Later, however, Holmes made his re-appearance. Who was Holmes' secretive arch enemy who is mentioned in the story of 'The Final Problem' as apparently having eliminated Holmes (though not without getting killed himself in the act)? Hint

Dr Watson
Col. Sebastian Moran
Holmes's brother Mycroft
Professor Moriarty

7. G.K. Chesterton also tried his hand at creating a good sleuth. What was the unusual choice he made for that role? Hint

a bishop
a young nun
an old-age-pensioner
a simple priest

8. The detective story got popular in unexpected circles. Even an English Monsignor (Ronald Knox) started to write detective stories and also compiled an excellent anthology of the 'Best Detective Stories of 1928-9'. It was especially the participation of women authors such as Agatha Christie that was remarkable. Which of these 'sleuths' appeared in her first detective novel, 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles', in 1920? Hint

Miss Marple
Superintendent Alleyn of the Yard
Lord Peter Wimsey
Hercule Poirot

9. There were more successful women detective story-writers than just A. Christie. Which of the next four is the only one who did not belong to the so-called 'Big Four'? Hint

Ellery Queen
Ngaio Marsh
Dorothy L.Sayers
Margery Allingham

10. Some detective stories were made into very successful films; e.g. Dashiell Hammett's 'Maltese Falcon' (of course, with Humphrey Bogart). A very big television success was 'Inspector Morse'. Who was his creator? Hint

Raymond Chandler
Colin Dexter
Michael Innes
Nicholas Blake


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Everybody seems to agree that Edgar Allan Poe is the first to have published a detective story in the English language. Which story exactly was that?

Answer: The Murders in the Rue Morgue

Published in 1841, this story introduced the Parisian detective C. August Dupin.
2. European historians of literature, however, point out that in the Old World some stories had already been written in which the hero solves problems of detection with a combination of observation and logic. To which story in particular do they point?

Answer: Voltaire's 'Zadig'

The novella 'Zadig; or, The Book of Fate' was published in Amsterdam in 1747, under the title 'Memnon', before appearing with its revised title in 1748.
3. Who was the French author who created a story in which the hero is a police-officer who stubbornly pursues 'his' criminal. However, when he ultimately has managed to lay hands on him, he lets him go and ... jumps into the Seine. Who is that author?

Answer: Victor Hugo

Arsene Lupin (1907) is the sleuth created by Maurice Leblanc. Gaston Leroux (1868 - 1927) is well-known for the 'Mystery of the Yellow Room'. Hugo published 'Les Miserables', in which Inspector Javert is the principal antagonist, in 1862.
4. What was, in British English literature, the first 'detective story'?

Answer: 'The Moonstone' by Wilkie Collins

'The Moonstone' was published in 1868. Robert Eustace's real name was Eustace Robert Barton. He was a doctor who later collaborated with Dorothy Sayers (in 1930). Morrison lived from 1863 till 1945. 'A Study in Scarlet' was A.C. Doyle's introduction of Sherlock Holmes (1887).
5. Some of Dostoyevsky's novels can be viewed as (among other things) good detective stories, especially 'Crime and Punishment' in which one of the characters acts as an amateur psychologist in trying to force Raskolnikov to admit his crime. Who is that character with a special interest in the murderer's motivations?

Answer: Porfiry Petrovich, the chief of police

R. first admits his crime to Zametow, but then withdraws his confession, and even ridicules Zametow for believing it. Ilya notices R.'s confusion when the crime is mentioned at the police station where R. has been summoned for a completely different matter.

He gets no opportunity, however, to complete his interrogation of R. Porfiry is the one who ultimately gets interested in R.'s 'psychology', and even develops some sympathy for his 'prey'. He will manage to drive R. into a position where he feels forced to give up himself.
6. One of the great promoters of the detective-story was undoubtedly Arthur Conan Doyle. He even got tired of his own success and wanted to kill off his hero, Sherlock Holmes. Later, however, Holmes made his re-appearance. Who was Holmes' secretive arch enemy who is mentioned in the story of 'The Final Problem' as apparently having eliminated Holmes (though not without getting killed himself in the act)?

Answer: Professor Moriarty

In "The Final Problem", the only story in which Moriarty appears, he is dubbed 'the Napoleon of Crime'. It is suggested that he was the man behind many of the crimes Holmes dealt with. From a letter "left behind" by Holmes, the reader is made to believe that at the Falls of Reichenbach, Holmes and Moriarty had a duel. Both seem to have fallen to their deaths.

Col. Sebastian Moran is one of Moriarty's "agents", and his main henchman. In 'The Adventure of the Empty House', Holmes calls him "the second most dangerous man in London".
7. G.K. Chesterton also tried his hand at creating a good sleuth. What was the unusual choice he made for that role?

Answer: a simple priest

'The Innocence of Father Brown' appeared in 1911. Later stories include 'The Incredulity of Father Brown' and 'The Secret of Father Brown'.
8. The detective story got popular in unexpected circles. Even an English Monsignor (Ronald Knox) started to write detective stories and also compiled an excellent anthology of the 'Best Detective Stories of 1928-9'. It was especially the participation of women authors such as Agatha Christie that was remarkable. Which of these 'sleuths' appeared in her first detective novel, 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles', in 1920?

Answer: Hercule Poirot

Lord Peter Wimsey is a creation of Dorothy Sayers. Dame Ngaio Marsh created Alleyn. Miss Marple appeared for the first time in 1930 in 'Murder at the Vicarage'.
9. There were more successful women detective story-writers than just A. Christie. Which of the next four is the only one who did not belong to the so-called 'Big Four'?

Answer: Ellery Queen

Sayers(1893-1957), Marsh (1899-1982) and Allingham (1904-1966) were women detective story writers indeed, and formed with Agatha Christie those 'Big Four'. Ellery Queen, however, was not even a woman. Frederic Dannay (1905-1982) and Manfred B. Lee (1905-71) were the two guys hiding behind that pen name.
10. Some detective stories were made into very successful films; e.g. Dashiell Hammett's 'Maltese Falcon' (of course, with Humphrey Bogart). A very big television success was 'Inspector Morse'. Who was his creator?

Answer: Colin Dexter

Chandler (1888-1959) created Philip Marlowe. Nicholas Blake (C. Day Lewis) created Nigel Strangeways (inspired by W.H. Auden). Michael Innes (aka J.I.M. Stewart, born 1906) created Inspector Appleby.
Source: Author flem-ish

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
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