Discussion Questions for Book Clubs Reading Mysteries by S.W. Hubbard

If your book club is reading one of my mysteries, you may find these discussion questions useful to get the conversation flowing.Please post any additional discussion questions your book club  found useful in the comments. Remember, I’m available to attend your book club either in person (In NJ) or via Skype. Contact me to schedule a time.

Another Man’s Treasure

  1. Why do you think Audrey is so determined to find out how her mother’s ring got into Agnes’s attic?
  2. Why is Audrey so drawn to the Finneran family? Did you like them and their house? Did Anne remind you of any politicians’ wives from history or current events?
  3. What do you think of Cal? Is he more sinned against than sinning?
  4. What do you think of Audrey’s father? Is Audrey too hard on him?
  5. Who is your favorite character in the book?

Treasure of Darkness

  1. Were you sympathetic to Ramon and the other undocumented workers?
  2. Did Audrey over-react when she thought Ty had been shot? Why do you think Sean continues to be suspicious of Ty?
  3. Have you ever known anyone with a hoarding problem? What kinds of things do you have a hard time throwing away? How did the the “logic” of Harold’s hoarding impact the mystery plot?
  4. Were you sympathetic to Harold’s mental illness problems? Did you think his family did enough to help him? How would you feel if Harold lived next door to you?
  5. Was Jill’s determination to help Harold believable?
  6. Are Audrey and Sean good for each other? Is her uneasiness around the Coughlin family justified? Have you ever been to a family party like the one at Adrienne and Brendan’s house?
  7. How did you feel about the resolution of the Ramon/missing money plotline? Did Ty do the right thing?
  8. What did you think Ethel the dog had found in the bedroom full of toys? Were you surprised by the ending?

This Bitter Treasure

  1. Have you ever cared for a sick, elderly relative? What are the greatest challenges? Are adult children obliged to care for their parents even if the parents have never been loving or supportive?
  2. What did you think of Darlene? Is she a good home care aide? A good mother?
  3. Why is Audrey having such a hard time committing to Sean? Why is she afraid to have kids? Do you think she can be a good mother?
  4. What did you think of each of the Eskew children at the beginning of the book? How did your opinion change by the end?
  5. What’s the most extreme thing you can imagine yourself doing to protect a family member?

(if you’ve read all three books)

Parent/child relationships are a continuing theme in the Palmyrton Estate Sale mysteries. All parents make mistakes. Which parents in the series make unforgivable mistakes? Can a child ever be free of his or her parents’ influence?

Take the Bait

  1. How does Frank’s status as an outsider in Trout Run hinder his investigation? Help it?
  2. Jack Harvey frequently says that he knows his daughter, Janelle, and what she would or wouldn’t do. Does he? How well do you feel you know your children?
  3. What is the appeal of communal living? Why do we automatically suspect people who live very differently than we do?
  4. This novel has quite a few red herrings. Who was your leading suspect as you read? Were you surprised by the ending?
  5. Frank is gruff and impatient. Is he a likable character? Does he have self-awareness?

The Lure

  1. Although Mary Pat Sheehan is already dead in Chapter One, we get to know her as the novel progresses. How sympathetic a character is she? Could her life in Trout Run have had a happy ending?
  2. An undetected pregnancy is something we hear about in the news with surprising frequency. Do you think it’s possible to share a house with a woman and not notice that she’s pregnant?
  3. How does Frank’s attraction to Beth affect his investigation of Mary Pat’s death?
  4. How does the dispute among Trout Run’s citizens regarding Raging Rapids deepen the mystery surrounding Mary Pat?
  5. Did you feel that justice was done in the end?

Blood Knot

  1. The North Country Academy uses extreme tactics to deal with its troubled students. Can these ever be justified?
  2. The opening of the Academy creates many new jobs in Trout Run. How does this complicate Frank’s investigation? Should cops be above local politics?
  3. MacArthur Payne and Heather are polarizing characters. If you had a daughter like Heather, can you ever imagine turning to someone like Payne for help?
  4. What are the challenges of finding romance in a small town? Is Penny a good match for Frank, or is she too young?
  5. Does Frank do the right thing in the climactic scene in the church?

False Cast

  1. As the novel opens, Earl finally graduates  from the police academy. How does this long-sought achievement create problems for both Frank and Earl?
  2. Why do you think so many local people sympathize with Ronnie? Were you hoping he’d escape or get caught?
  3. Frank is a man who likes to be in control of his world. How do his controlling impulses backfire on him?
  4. The Internet is both a blessing and a curse. How does online activity change the formerly insular community of Trout Run?
  5. Edwin’s own words and actions cause Frank to suspect him. Why is Edwin so angry at Frank?