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The Inquisition – The Norwood Builder

The Inquisition – The Norwood Builder

“Now we have the Sherlock Holmes test …”

–  A Scandal in Bohemia (SCAN)

Sharpen your pencils! How well do you know your Canon and The Adventure of the Norwood Builder.


1. Whose death does Holmes appear to lament in the story’s opening paragraphs?

2. Watson is living with Holmes again. Who bought his Kensington practice?

3. What does Watson divulge about the case of “the shocking affair of the Dutch steamship Friesland”?

4. How does their new case’s client introduce himself?

5. Holmes makes four immediate deductions about the client, and Watson tells us the basis for each. What was deduced from the untidiness of the man’s attire?

6. And what was deduced from the charm on his watch-chain?

7. What Scotland Yarder is on the case?

8. After examining the draft of Oldacre’s will, what does Holmes immediately deduce about it?

9. Why did Mrs. MacFarlane break her long-ago engagement to Jonas Oldacre?

10. Besides organic remains, what clue did the police find in the burnt woodpile?

11. What additional clue are the police presented with the day after their investigation?

12. How did Holmes know where Oldacre was hiding?

13. What is Oldacre’s defense for his actions?

14. What alter-ego had Oldacre created as part of his scheme?

15. What does Holmes tell Watson to record as the source of the organic remains in the woodpile?

BONUS: Jonas Oldacre is described as “a little, wizened man” whose career spanned “many years” and who has been retired for “some years.” But how old is he?

Answers will be provided in another post on this site, later this month. How do you think you fared with this?

Karen Wilson has the investiture of “A Faithful Scotchwoman” with us and the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes. She was the Tantalus (Quizmaster) of Watson’s Tin Box for 5 years and for the last three years she has helped develop the “killer quiz” on all 60 stories for that group’s annual Mycroft. Karen has been the organizer of the annual Scintillation of Scions conference and is already planning for the 2021 event to be held on August 6-7.

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