From Colombo to Castle -- try naming the fictional gumshoe in this quiz!
Whodunit? Why? How? From traditional tough guys like Sam Spade to village busybodies like Miss Marple, fictional detectives are on the job, solving mysteries and catching criminals. What do you know about them? Take the quiz: It'd be a crime not to.start quiz
Question 1 of 20
In which story did Sherlock Holmes first say, "Elementary, my dear Watson"?
... Although the quote is popular, Holmes never uttered those exact words. In the short story "The Crooked Man," Watson is impressed by Holmes' deductive abilities and exclaims, "Excellent!" Holmes replies with a modest, "Elementary."
Question 2 of 20
Police Lt. Cedric Daniels on "The Wire" changed professions at the very end of the television series; he became a/an __________.
... During the final season, Daniels was promoted to police commissioner. However, the politics of the position led to his resignation. In a flash-forward, he is revealed to be a criminal defense lawyer.
Question 3 of 20
In the movie "Blade Runner," Harrison Ford's character, police officer Rick Deckard, comes out of retirement to hunt down and kill bionic robots, a process known as ________.
... Blade runners had the responsibility of hunting down escaped replicants (humanoid robots) in order to "retire" them.
Question 4 of 20
Teenage detective Nancy Drew was created by _________.
... Publisher Edward Stratemeyer developed the Nancy Drew character, as he had earlier with the Hardy Boys. Several ghostwriters were responsible for the books, which were published under the name Carolyn Keene.
Question 5 of 20
Frances McDormand won an Oscar for her portrayal of Marge Gunderson, a police chief who just happened to be _______.
... In 1996's "Fargo," the chief is not hindered by her pregnancy while investigating murders.
Question 6 of 20
The Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, created by Agatha Christie, has the distinction of being the first fictional character to _________.
... Poirot died in Christie's 1975 book "Curtain;" his obituary appeared on the front page of the NY Times on Aug. 6, 1975.
Question 7 of 20
Kate Beckett is a police detective who cooperates with the title character, a writer, on TV's "Castle." Beckett originally joined the force because _________.
... Beckett's mother was murdered, a crime that was never solved. This influenced Beckett's choice of profession and motivated her to solve cases.
Question 8 of 20
The book "The Thin Man," featuring detective Nick Charles and his wife Nora, was written by the same author who created ___________.
... In addition to "The Thin Man," Dashiell Hammett also wrote the hard-boiled novel "The Maltese Falcon," which introduced private eye Sam Spade.
Question 9 of 20
Helen Mirren starred as DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) Jane Tennison in television's "Prime Suspect." As the series progressed, it became apparent that the detective ___________.
... Tennison had trouble balancing work and her private life and often used alcohol to cope with stress. In the last episode, "The Final Act," she attended Alcoholics Anonymous.
Question 10 of 20
Sue Grafton has written many books about detective Kinsey Millhone; the series is unusual in that __________.
... Grafton started the "alphabet series" in 1983 with "'A' is for Alibi." In 2012, she published the 22nd book in the series, "'V' is for Vengeance."
Question 11 of 20
In the movie "Devil with a Blue Dress," "Easy" Rawlins (played by Denzel Washington) is assisted in his search for a missing woman by his friend, ____________.
... Don Cheadle played the character of Mouse, a loyal, albeit trigger-happy, friend.
Question 12 of 20
Stieg Larsson's "dragon tattoo" series character Lisbeth Salander, a computer genius who uses her technical skills for research and detection, punishes a sadistic lawyer by __________.
... In the book "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," Salander fights back against her cruel, court-appointed guardian by tattooing a crude description of the guardian on his stomach.
Question 13 of 20
The 1970s TV series "The Rockford Files" featured an unusual private detective (James Garner); he didn't _______.
... Jim Rockford seldom carried a gun; he "didn't want to shoot anyone." Though tough, he was much more likely to use words than violence to get out of tight situations. Another unusual characteristic: Rockford was an ex-con.
Question 14 of 20
The graphic novel "The Green River Killer: A True Detective Story" details the real-life investigation of police detective Tom Jensen as he solves a series of Seattle area murders. The Green River killer was convicted in large part due to ____________.
... After two decades of investigation, Gary Ridgway was convicted of the murder of 48 women based on DNA evidence that was analyzed using newly developed techniques.
Question 15 of 20
In the TV series "Magnum, P.I.," the main character met his two sidekicks, Rick and T.C., while they were all _________.
... Magnum, Rick and T.C. were all Vietnam vets. Their military history was the basis of several episodes.
Question 16 of 20
In the Academy Award-winning movie "The French Connection," a New York City police detective who is investigating narcotics trafficking shoots a _________.
... While chasing criminals into a warehouse, "Popeye" Doyle (Gene Hackman) accidentally shoots a federal agent, mistaking him for one of the fugitives.
Question 17 of 20
Comic book detective Dick Tracy often fought villains with unusual names; which of the following was NOT a character in the comic strip?
... Tracy faced off against a number of criminals, including Black Pearl, Junky Doolb, 88 Keys, Flattop Jones, Measles and Coffyhead. He never had to deal with anyone named General Bullmoose though.
Question 18 of 20
On his namesake television series, Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) often used the catchphrase: "_____________."
... The disheveled detective unnerved many suspects by ending an interview, starting to exit and then reopening the questioning by asking, "just one more thing."
Question 19 of 20
In "The Silence of the Lambs," Jodie Foster's character, Clarice Starling, is investigating a serial killer known in the press as "___________."
... Jame Gumb, or "Buffalo Bill," kidnapped young women, murdered them and removed their skin in order to sew himself a "woman suit."
Question 20 of 20
In the BBC series "Sherlock," Holmes obtains his iconic deerstalker hat from a ________.
... In "A Scandal in Belgravia," Holmes investigates a murder at a theater. Before leaving, he grabs hats from a dressing room for himself and Watson to hide their faces from paparazzi.
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