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Quiz about Motive for Murder
Quiz about Motive for Murder

Motive for Murder Trivia Quiz


One of my first quizzes concerned bizarre Christie M.O.s. This one examines some of the equally strange reasons that drove some of her characters to kill. Enjoy! (But beware; spoilers galore!)

A multiple-choice quiz by jouen58. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
jouen58
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
329,801
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
1228
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 109 (8/10), Guest 86 (6/10), Guest 220 (10/10).
Question 1 of 10
1. In which Christie novel, featuring Hercule Poirot, does a demure live-in companion take a hatchet to her elderly employer so that she can obtain enough money to open a tea shop? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Oscar Wilde, in "The Ballad of Reading Gaol", wrote "We are all guilty of killing the thing we love." That proves tragically true in this somber 1971 novel featuring Miss Marple, in which a middle-aged woman kills the young ward she loves altogether too well in order to prevent her marrying an unsuitable young man. Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. A man plotting to kill the ex-wife who left him for another man is nothing unusual. But the killer in this 1944 novel is so consumed with resentment for his ex-wife that he is willing to kill his dear old aunt in such a way that his ex will be suspected, arrested, and hanged for her murder. Strange, you say? Strange indeed, in this 1944 mystery featuring Superintendent Battle. Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. In this 1969 Christie novel, featuring Hercule Poirot, a talented but narcissistic and unstable gardener and his older female paramour commit a series of murders to realize his dream of creating a garden paradise on a Greek island. Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Christie said that this 1949 work was one of her two favorites. The murderer is a twelve year-old girl, who poisons her grandfather because he wouldn't pay for her ballet lessons. She later poisons her nanny, who had called her "silly". Which of these novels features this precociously evil child? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. In this 1962 novel featuring Miss Marple, a famous movie actress kills one of her fans after discovering that the woman had infected her with German measles years before. Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. As the title indicates, there is a touch of the theatrical to this 1934 mystery featuring Hercule Poirot. The culprit is, in fact, an actor, whose mind has begun to unravel. He fears that his old friend, a specialist in mental disorders, is planning to institutionalize him, and resolves to do away with him before he can do so. However this murder is preceded by the senseless- and random- poisoning of an elderly clergyman. The motive for his murder? It was nothing more than a "dress rehearsal" for the murder of the doctor. Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Murder committed out of unrequited love is not unusual. But in which of these Miss Marple mysteries is the love in question that of a man for his half-sister? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. In this 1939 Christie novel, a seemingly respectable elderly woman commits a series of murders which she hopes to pin on the man who had jilted her many years earlier. Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The last novel featuring Hercule Poirot also features a murderer who is, in fact, not a murderer. That is, he does not commit the murders himself, rather he subtly goads desperate people to the breaking point, and stands innocently by as they commit the murders he has driven them to. His motive? The sheer pleasure of watching the mayhem he has caused. Which of these features Poirot's final bow? Hint



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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In which Christie novel, featuring Hercule Poirot, does a demure live-in companion take a hatchet to her elderly employer so that she can obtain enough money to open a tea shop?

Answer: After the Funeral (U.S. title "Funerals are Fatal")

The culprit here is the genteel Miss Gilchrist, an amateur painter, and very knowledgeable about art. For years she suffered in silence as her elderly employer, the foolish, garrulous Cora Lansquenet (herself the widow of an artist, whom she married against her wealthy family's wishes) prattled on about art and bought perfectly worthless daubs at local shows. Then, one day, Cora purchased a rare Vermeer, not realizing its value. Miss Gilchrist, who never ceased mourning the loss of her tea shop during the war saw an opportunity to finance another such venture by selling the painting; but she had to get rid of Cora first. When Cora's brother, Richard Abernathy, dies suddenly, Miss Gilchrist drugs Cora, dons her clothes, jewelry, and hairpiece, and impersonates her at the funeral supper, where most of the family haven't seen the real Cora in ages, if at all. There she drops a typically Cora-like bombshell about Richard having been murdered. She then returns home and bashes Cora's face in with a hatchet.

As a result of the bombshell at the funeral supper, it's assumed that Richard's murderer also did away with Cora, fearing exposure. Poirot, however, is not deceived; a few small details, such as a recently made oil painting, a bouquet of wax flowers, and a nun, (seen only by Miss Gilchrist) pique his interest. When an autopsy on Richard Abernathy reveals nothing untoward, Poirot fits the pieces together and exposes Miss Gilchrist. She is taken to prison, where she goes mercifully potty and makes demented plans for a tea shop franchise.
2. Oscar Wilde, in "The Ballad of Reading Gaol", wrote "We are all guilty of killing the thing we love." That proves tragically true in this somber 1971 novel featuring Miss Marple, in which a middle-aged woman kills the young ward she loves altogether too well in order to prevent her marrying an unsuitable young man.

Answer: Nemesis

The murderer in "Nemesis" is the formidable Clotilde Bradbury-Scott, whose obsessive love for her young ward, Verity Hunt, drove her to murder. Verity loved Clotilde as a mother figure, but as an adult she attempted to escape from Clotilde's suffocating affection by eloping with the young scapegrace Michael Rafiel. Unable to bear losing her "shining girl", and having her sullied by the unsavory Rafiel, Clotilde poisoned her beloved ward and laid her to rest in the ruins of the family greenhouse. As a tribute to her, she planted Polygonum, a beautiful but rampant and invasive vine, covered with white flowers, over the collapsed greenhouse. She also murdered a girl friend of Verity's, and bashed in her face, after dressing her in Verity's clothes and planting Verity's locket on her body. Michael Rafiel was arrested and convicted of Verity's murder, as Clotilde had planned.

Years later, Miss Marple receives a posthumous challenge from Michael's father Jason Rafiel, with whom she had solved "A Caribbean Mystery" years before. Given no information about the murder she is to solve, she is sent on a tour of famous houses and gardens, where she is invited to stay at the home of Clotilde and her sisters. Quietly but cunningly, she unravels the threads of the long-dormant mystery and confronts Clotilde with the truth. Clotilde attempts to silence her, but is thwarted by two policewomen whom Jason Rafiel had provided, whereupon she commits suicide. Miss Marple collects her 20,000 pound reward for solving the mystery and Michael Rafiel is set free.
3. A man plotting to kill the ex-wife who left him for another man is nothing unusual. But the killer in this 1944 novel is so consumed with resentment for his ex-wife that he is willing to kill his dear old aunt in such a way that his ex will be suspected, arrested, and hanged for her murder. Strange, you say? Strange indeed, in this 1944 mystery featuring Superintendent Battle.

Answer: Towards Zero

The culprit in "Towards Zero" is the aptly-named Neville Strange, whose colossal ego is stung when his wife Audrey runs off with an old flame of hers. When her plans are thwarted by his death in a car accident (which Neville may have caused), he "gallantly" offers not only to give Audrey her freedom, but to make it seem as if it was he who had left her for another woman, thus saving her from public disgrace. Secretly, however, Strange plots a fiendish revenge; during a gathering at the seaside estate of his elderly aunt, Lady Camilla Tressillian, he invites both Audrey and his new wife, Kay.

When his aunt objects to this arrangement and insists that Audrey leave, Strange stages a pitched argument with her and storms off. Later, he secretly returns and murders her, leaving clues which seem to implicate himself, but upon closer examination, appear to have been planted by Audrey. Strange hopes that the detectives will conclude that a jealous Audrey murdered Camilla and tried to frame him. She will be arrested, tried, and hanged, thus completing his twisted revenge.

However the detective is the stolid but shrewd Superintendent Battle, who is not deceived by the double bluff. Battle, quite literally, smells something fishy: Neville's clothes, which he had left under a rock by the seashore before swimming across to commit the murder. Moreover, Audrey reminds him of his daughter, who had recently been falsely accused of theft at her school, having been framed by another student. In the end, Battle gets Neville to crack by pricking his ego; he subsequently compares him to Bluebeard, the notorious wife-killer.
4. In this 1969 Christie novel, featuring Hercule Poirot, a talented but narcissistic and unstable gardener and his older female paramour commit a series of murders to realize his dream of creating a garden paradise on a Greek island.

Answer: Hallowe'en Party

Poirot first meets the brilliant but demented Michael Garfield in a magnificent sunken garden which Michael had created in an abandoned quarry. He is investigating the murder of young Joyce Reynolds, who had been drowned in a tub of apples during a Hallowe'en party at the home of Michael's paramour, Rowena Drake. Joyce had earlier told Poirot's friend, Ariadne Oliver, that she had witnessed a murder. Michael had created the garden for the wealthy Mrs. Llewellen-Smythe. Mrs. Drake was the beneficiary of Mrs. Llewellen-Smythe's will, but the older woman angrily added a codicil after learning of Rowena and Michael's affair. The codicil left her fortune to her au-pair girl, Olga Seminoff. Michael and Rowena hired young Leslie Ferrier to create an obvious forgery of the codicil, which was upset, reverting to the original will. Both Olga and Leslie were later murdered and their bodies secretly disposed of.

Mrs. Drake killed Joyce, not realizing that she had been lying to get attention; she later killed her blackmailing younger brother Leopold. Joyce had heard the story from her friend Miranda Butler who had witnessed Olga's burial. Miranda herself is almost murdered by Michael, but he is thwarted by Poirot. It turns out that she is Michael's illegitimate daughter; her mother Judith Butler had loved Michael, but was always afraid of him. Michael had wanted the money in order to create a garden paradise on a Greek island. Poirot believed that he hadn't really loved Rowena, and would probably have murdered her once he had her money.
5. Christie said that this 1949 work was one of her two favorites. The murderer is a twelve year-old girl, who poisons her grandfather because he wouldn't pay for her ballet lessons. She later poisons her nanny, who had called her "silly". Which of these novels features this precociously evil child?

Answer: Crooked House

Josephine Leonides is the awkward, unattractive granddaughter of wealthy old Aristide Leonides. She receives little attention from her parents, Philip Leonides, who buries himself in a world of books, and his wife Magda, a glamorous, but vain and vapid stage actress. Like her father, Josephine takes refuge in books, particularly mysteries, and is fond of spying on the others and noting her observations in a secret diary. When Aristides dies after being poisoned with his own eye medication, there is no dearth of suspects, including his young wife, Brenda, and her lover Laurence Brown. Josephine revels in the attention that the murder brings, and says that she knows who the murderer is. She is later found in the yard, having apparently been struck (non-fatally) with a marble door-stop. After Brenda and Laurence have been arrested following the discovery of their love letters, Josephine's nanny dies after drinking a glass of milk seemingly meant for her. However the girl's great-aunt Edith discovers Josephine's diary and its terrible secrets. She takes Josephine for a drive, ostensibly to get an ice cream soda, and deliberately crashes the car, killing them both.

Along with "Ordeal by Innocence" (1958), Christie had described this as her favorite among her novels. It is an unusual one; apart from the child-murderess, it features a family of Greek extraction, and there is no featured detective. The story is narrated by a man named Charles Hayward, who is in love with Aristide's granddaughter Sophia, Josephine's older sister.
6. In this 1962 novel featuring Miss Marple, a famous movie actress kills one of her fans after discovering that the woman had infected her with German measles years before.

Answer: The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side

There's more to it, of course; the actress- Marina Gregg- had been pregnant at the time, and subsequently gave birth to a severely retarded child. The event triggered an emotional collapse from which she never fully recovered. Marina and her husband, movie producer Jason Rudd, have moved into Gossington Hall, formerly the home of Dolly and Col. Bantry. At a party thrown at the Hall, Marina is listening to an effusive fan, Heather Badcock, who relates a story of having visited her backstage years before, despite being "slightly ill". A terrible expression appears on Marina's face, reminding Dolly of a line from Tennyson: "The mirror crack'd from side to side, 'The curse is come upon me', cried the Lady of Shallott." Later, Heather suddenly dies after consuming a drink supposedly meant for Marina. Miss Marple eventually discovers that Heather's "slight illness" was German measles, which caused the retardation of Marina's child. She deduces that Marina had poisoned her own drink, and offered it to Heather.

The incident of the actress being infected with German measles by a fan and giving birth to a retarded child was based on a very similar incident which happened to actress Gene Tierney, and was mentioned in her autobiography. Fortunately for the fan, Miss Tierney didn't turn homicidal.
7. As the title indicates, there is a touch of the theatrical to this 1934 mystery featuring Hercule Poirot. The culprit is, in fact, an actor, whose mind has begun to unravel. He fears that his old friend, a specialist in mental disorders, is planning to institutionalize him, and resolves to do away with him before he can do so. However this murder is preceded by the senseless- and random- poisoning of an elderly clergyman. The motive for his murder? It was nothing more than a "dress rehearsal" for the murder of the doctor.

Answer: Three Act Tragedy (U.S. title "Murder in Three Acts")

The murderer in "Three Act Tragedy" (a.k.a. "Murder in Three Acts") is Sir Charles Cartwright, a celebrated actor. Sir Charles had suffered a nervous collapse (the inevitable result, we are told, of having played Napoleon, a master dictator, and God himself within a two-year period), and was sent by his old friend, Sir Bartholomew Strange, to a rest home. Strange, a doctor specializing in nervous disorders, was unhappy with his friend's progress. Sir Charles came to believe that Strange wanted to have him institutionalized.

He resolved to murder him before he could do so, and planned the crime meticulously, even to the point of staging a "dress rehearsal". At a cocktail party held at Sir Charles' home, an elderly clergyman, Rev. Stephen Babbington has a sudden fit and dies. Sir Charles himself advances the theory that he was poisoned, an idea that Poirot himself rejects; there was no way to tell which of the guests would get the fatal glass.

But when Sir Bartholomew dies during a dinner party at his home, Poirot is forced to concede that he was wrong.

When Sir Bartholomew's butler absconds without a trace, the consensus is that "the butler did it". Poirot, however, does a bit of research regarding the missing butler, and concludes that he was none other than Sir Charles himself. Sir Charles later murders a perfect stranger, one Mrs. De Rushbridger, a patient of Sir Bartholomew's, purely to deflect suspicion from himself. Poirot calls the motive for Babbington's murder "...such a motive as I have never come across before."
8. Murder committed out of unrequited love is not unusual. But in which of these Miss Marple mysteries is the love in question that of a man for his half-sister?

Answer: Sleeping Murder

"Sleeping Murder" takes place in Dillmouth, where young Gwenda Reed and her husband Giles have just moved into a new house. To her growing consternation, Gwenda finds that her plans to renovate and redecorate the house seem to reveal an uncanny knowledge of the house's past. To clear her mind, she joins Miss Marple and her nephew, Raymond West, for a night at the theatre- a performance of Webster's "The Duchess of Malfi". However the lines "Cover her face. Mine eyes dazzle. She died young" send her screaming from the theatre. Miss Marple convinces her that she is not going mad; she had obviously lived in the house before. Gwenda discovers that she had lived there as a child with her father and stepmother, Helen Halliday (nee Kennedy). She also remembers having seen Helen's strangled body, and a man's voice uttering the lines from the play. It turns out that Gwenda's father had died in an asylum, convinced that he had killed Helen, who had disappeared without a trace. Gwenda and Giles consult Helen's half-brother Dr. Kennedy, who regretfully describes her as having been something of a nymphomaniac. Miss Marple, however, pieces together certain incidents, such as a tennis net that had been cut to pieces and an injury on Helen's foot that was treated by her brother, but never healed. She deduces that Helen was not man-hungry; she was desperate to escape the smothering (and, likely, incestuous) attentions of her brother. It was he who strangled her out of twisted and frustrated love; the lines that Helen heard after the murder were those spoken by Ferdinand, the twin brother of the Duchess in Webster's play, who had ordered the murder of the sister he loved, but could not have.

"Sleeping Murder" was released after Christie's death, and is the last mystery featuring Miss Marple.
9. In this 1939 Christie novel, a seemingly respectable elderly woman commits a series of murders which she hopes to pin on the man who had jilted her many years earlier.

Answer: Murder is Easy (U.S. title "Easy to Kill")

"Murder is Easy" (a.k.a. "Easy to Kill") begins with Luke Fitzwilliam, a retired policeman, encountering a sweet elderly lady named Miss Fullerton (in some editions, she is named Miss Pinkerton), from the village of Wychewood-under-Ashe. She is on her way to Scotland Yard to urge an investigation of a series of deaths in her village which she suspects are actually murders.

Moreover, she knows who the killer is. The next day, Luke reads of her death from a hit-and-run accident. He decides to visit Wychewood himself, and upon arriving meets pretty Bridget Conway, fiancé of Lord Easterfield, a pompous, nouveau-riche press lord.

He learns of the death of Dr. Humbleby, which Miss Fullerton had predicted. Together with Bridget, Luke investigates the series of strange deaths, all of them having been people who had, coincidentally or not, quarreled with Lord Easterfield.

There are many other suspects, including a creepy antiques dealer who secretly practices black magic, but the culprit turns out to be the demure Honoria Waynflete, who had been engaged to Lord Easterfield many years before.

He had terminated the engagement after watching her kill her pet canary in a fit of rage; she had nursed a secret resentment of this ever after, particularly when her family fortunes declined whilst Easterfield became wealthy. She secretly resolved to destroy him by killing various people with whom he had quarreled, in the hope that he would ultimately be arrested and convicted for murder. As it happened, many of Easterfield's enemies were people she disliked as well, making the murders more enjoyable. Miss Waynflete is about to complete her plan by killing Bridget with Easterfield's antique Moorish knife when Luke, who has been put on her track by Dr, Humbleby's widow, appears and saves her. Sensing that Luke and Bridget really belong together, Lord Easterfield nobly releases Bridget from their engagement.
10. The last novel featuring Hercule Poirot also features a murderer who is, in fact, not a murderer. That is, he does not commit the murders himself, rather he subtly goads desperate people to the breaking point, and stands innocently by as they commit the murders he has driven them to. His motive? The sheer pleasure of watching the mayhem he has caused. Which of these features Poirot's final bow?

Answer: Curtain

"Curtain" begins with Col. Hastings making a nostalgic return to Styles Court, the setting of Christie's first novel "The Mysterious Affair at Styles", which featured the debut of Hercule Poirot. A sadly aged Poirot presents his old friend with a list of five murders, seemingly unrelated. However Poirot has discovered a common denominator- a mysterious figure whom he calls X, who was known to each of the perpetrators, none of whom, Poirot believes, was a murderer by disposition. He believes that in each case, the murders were psychologically prompted by the mysterious X, who takes great pleasure in his manipulations and their tragic consequences. He then informs Hastings that X is present among the guests at Styles, but declines to identify him.

During the week, disturbing things occur: the henpecked Col. Luttrell takes a shot at his shrewish wife and wounds her. Hastings finds himself contemplating murder when the self-effacing Stephen Norton, a birdwatcher, seems to have spotted a tête-à-tête between Hastings' daughter Judith and Major Allerton, whose attentions to Judith disturb Hastings. Then, Barbara Franklin, the wife of Judith's employer, Dr. Franklin (with whom Judith is in love), dies from a poison that her husband had been researching. Norton seems to know something about the death, which was deemed a suicide, and asks Hastings to arrange a meeting with Poirot. That night, however, Norton is found shot to death, and Poirot dies of a heart attack. Four months later, Hastings receives a manuscript from Poirot revealing all: Norton had been the mysterious X, and Poirot himself had shot him after confronting him with his crimes. Poirot had declined to take his heart medication on the night of the murder, leaving himself in God's hands.

"Curtain" was published in 1975, the year before Christie's death, but had been written thirty-five years earlier in 1940 and kept in a bank vault. It was the last novel published during Christie's lifetime.
Source: Author jouen58

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