Test Your Wits Against Master Sleuth Benoit Blanc

Knives OutHave you seen the fabulous new movie, Knives Out? After the 85th birthday party for ridiculously successful[1] crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plumber) attended by his bloodsucking offspring, the maid, and the nurse, he is found dead in his office, throat slashed. At first, the police rule it a suicide. But was it?

The famous private investigator Benoit Blanc is hired by an anonymous client to find out the truth. During the course of his investigation, he encounters a series of classic mystery clues. Match your wits against Blanc! See if you can guess what each clue means! Give yourself one point for each correct answer. Answers below – no cheating!

Spoiler alert! I tried not to give away the solution. You’ll enjoy the movie more if you see it before taking the test.

1.There is a house party in a gothic country mansion hosted by the fabulously wealthy patriarch who ends up dead. Who are the suspects?

 a         One of the offspring.

b          The maid.

c          The nurse.

d          All of the above.

e          None of the above.

2. Benoit Blanc discovers that on the day of the party, Harlan Thrombey announced a change to his will. What does that mean?

a          The best way to get murdered by your family is to change your will.

b          The suspects are narrowed to those who knew about the will change.

c          Someone had incentive to kill him before the will was changed.

d          All of the above.

e          None of the above.

3. On the night Harlan Thrombey is murdered, the dogs bark at 3 AM. What does that mean?

a          The neighborhood dogs are barking.

b          Someone is setting off fireworks.

c          Someone they don’t like is prowling around the property.

d          All of the above.

e          None of the above.

4. One of the suspects admits to climbing the trellis to get back into the house the night Harlan Thrombey died. During the investigation, a dog bring a chunk of broken trellis to Benoit Blanc to play fetch. What does that mean?

a          She didn’t do a good job of cleaning up her trail.

b          It’s an old house and she has no business climbing the trellis.

c          Someone else climbed the trellis before her, damaging it.

d          All of the above.

e          None of the above.

5. The night he died, Harlan Thrombey was given medication by his nurse. The toxicology screen has not come back before Blanc began his investigation. Without knowing the results of the tox screen, what is the significance of the administration of his medication?

a          So what? He’s an old dude. He should be getting meds every night.

b          What kind of meds? Is it something that could kill him?

c          Did the nurse try to kill him?

d          All of the above.

e          None of the above.

6. During the investigation, the maid, Fran, is murdered. Is she murdered because:

a          She was murdered for the same reason Harlan was.

b          She knows something about Harlan’s death.

c          Her death was being used to frame someone.

d          All of the above.

e          None of the above.

7. Harlan Thrombey died in his country mansion. What is the significance of the location?

a          It’s classic Agatha Christie.

b          It limits the number of suspects to his houseguests.

c          The possibility of a break-in has to be considered.

d          All of the above.

e          None of the above.

8. There was an argument on the afternoon. Harlan’s mother, who is so old no one knows, sees the handsome sweater-wearing grandson Ransom leave in a huff. What does that mean?

a          Chris Evans looks great in sweaters.

b          Ransom has a nasty temper.

c          Grandma sees everything, knows everything.

d          All of the above.

e          None of the above.

9. No one can remember what country Marta came from. What does that mean?

a          It would be helpful to know how people are usually murdered in her homeland because maybe she did it.

b          The family considers her as one of their own and don’t care she wasn’t born in the USA.

c          It explains why she wasn’t living at the house.

d          All of the above.

e          None of the above.

10. Marta receives a blackmail letter. Why?

a          Because she has a secret she doesn’t want exposed.

b          Because she received a letter meant for someone else.

c          Because she is being lured to a meeting.

d          All of the above.

e          None of the above.

How did you do?

8-10 and above: Super Sleuth. Benoit Blanc ain’t got nothing on you. You probably knew from the beginning who did it.

6-7: Detective Chief Inspector. Like DCI Vera Stanhope, you’ve seen it all and go straight to the source. It didn’t take long for you to figure it out.

4-5: Detective Inspector. Like DI Jimmy Perez, you have a sixth sense of where evil lays. Lies? Whatever.

2-3: Detective Sergeant. What you lack in experience, you make up for with enthusiasm. Just like DS Benjamin Jones in Midsomer Murder.

0-1: Detective Constable. DC Endeavor Morse is your best buddy. Your intelligence will ultimately find the correct solution.

Answers:

  1. d. All of the above. Everyone’s a suspect until he or she is ruled out.
  2. d All of the above. The best way to get murdered is to announce a will change. Don’t tell them and you’re safe.
  3. c. Someone they don’t like is prowling around the property.
  4.  e. All of the above. 
  5. b. All of the above. Medication was one of Agatha Christie’s favorite ways to kill someone.
  6. That was a trick question. When we learn of Fran’s death, the right answer could be “all of the above” one of those turns out to be the correct answer. So give yourself a point if you guessed “a” through “d”.
  7. d. All of the above. Some of suggested it was a “locked room” mystery but the room in which Harlan died wasn’t locked. It’s really a “country house mystery” which would suggest a closed circle of suspects – those in the house. AC wrote several of these: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Dumb Witness, Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, And There Were None, Curtain, to name a few.
  8. d. All of the above, if you ask me.
  9. e. None of the above. They can’t remember because they are so self-absorbed.
  10. c. She’s being lured to a meeting. During the movie, did you hear a voice in the back of your mind saying “Don’t go! It’s a set up! Give the note to Blanc!” I did.

 

[1] Let me emphasize he is a fictional crime writer.

10 thoughts on “Test Your Wits Against Master Sleuth Benoit Blanc”

  1. Lol, what a great post! I went to a WGA screening where Rian Johnson spoke afterwards and it was so rewarding to hear him extoll the cozy genre. He talked about how the whole project went from script to completed shoot in a year, which is unheard of. When the new James Bond movie got pushed back three months, Daniel Craig had an opening and people instantly jumped on board. An improv friend plays the housekeeper!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Edi Patterson as Fran? She was hysterical! And she got a really great death scene! Rian Johnson must love mystery – it was so chocked full of references. And I loved all the color-coded stickies surrounding the computer station. And all the books! It looked like home.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I have not seen this movie YET, but it is playing at the theater within walking distance of my house. (well, walking if one is a “fitness” geek) so I skipped to the end to comment. I think I can make a showing tomorrow, and I absolutely needed something to do. THANKS. I’ll comment later!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I was afraid to read your post or any of the comments! I’m hoping to see it over Christmas, when hubs and I hit the cinema for back-to-backs on xmas eve and xmas day. It’ll be my reward for getting this manuscript done. I’m a third of the way there! *crosses fingers* *throws salt over shoulder* *knocks wood* *whimpers a little*

    Liked by 1 person

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