Jungle Reds Discussion Questions for Book Groups

HALLIE EPHRON: Whenever I finish a reading a book, I find myself desperate to talk about it with someone else whos read it. For those of us in a book group or book club, were fortunate to have a go-to source of like-minded readers to talk about the books we loved or hated or simply stirred us up and got us thinking.

From an authors point of view, were thrilled when a book group decides to read one of our books. Were often asked for discussion questions, so today were offering a list of questions for each of our latest books. And inviting you, please, at the end, to share your own experiences in a book group and what kind of questions youve found generate the most interesting discussions when your book picks a mystery novel.

LUCY BURDETTE: In my ninth Key West food critic mystery, A DEADLY FEAST, food criticHayley Snow is set to be married to her heartthrob detective Nathan Bransford. But she has a lot of worries because Nathans been married before and both sets of parents were married and then divorced. So she canvasses her friends and family about their experiences with marriage. Im hoping this book might make for a good book club discussion!

1. Whats your theory about what makes for a good marriage?
2. Does it seem to you that Nathan and Hayley are a good match? Why or why not?
3. When youre reading about a fictional wedding, how much do you like to hear about wedding plans and details?
4. What are your favorite examples of fictional weddings, either books or movies? Explain why you chose them.
And for some non-wedding questions:
5. Have you ever gone on a food tour? If so where? If not yet, what place would you love to eat your way around?
6. Martha Hubbard talks about chefs feeling possessive about the recipes they make and servethey dont want diners making substitutions. How do you feel about that?
7. How do you feel about Hayleys relationship with her mother? And compare this to her relationship with Miss Gloria and Allison, her stepmother.
8. Hayleys boss Palamina says she never understood why Hayley was living with a senior citizen, until she met Miss Gloria. How do you feel about this character? Does she accurately reflect seniors?

If you'd like to invite Lucy to speak toyou group, contact her at RAISLEIB "at" GMAIL DOT COM.

If not, get some wine and go into the other room and finish the book! Everyone else...

1. How did you feel about the ending?
2. When you started the book, how did you feel about Rachel and Jacks marriage? The dynamics of their relationship? What was the balance of power in that relationship?
3. How do you feel about lawyers and what they do? If youre a lawyer, what parts of the book capture a legal reality for you? If youre not a lawyer, which lawyer in the obok did you like the most? DId that change as the book progressed?
4. How do you think womens issues--sisterhood, support, mentoring--change professional relationships? How did Martha use hat? How did Rachel use that? How did Clea use that?
5. We are never in the point of view of the reporter Clea, but we hear her described-very differently by the three characters who deal with her. How do Jack, Martha and Rachel think of the journalist--and what do you think about how different those descriptions of her are?
6. Have you ever been so madly in love with someone that you would do anything to get them? Which characters in the book are obsessed with someone?
7. We think about unreliable narrators--but arent we all unreliable? Because were describing the world the way WE see it? Or the way we want it? And lawyers, especially, have to be able to argue both sides of any story. How does that prism change how you understood the book?
8. Have you ever been on a jury? What did you think about what happened in the deliberation room? If youre called to jury duty in the future--will this realistic portrayal change how you think about the jury system?
9. If you were a lawyer, would you want to be a prosecutor? Or a defense attorney? Why?
10. The title THE MURDER LIST has at least three meanings--maybe more. What did you think it meant when the book began--and what did you think at the end?

To request Hank for an event or speaking engagement, please contact hankevents@reganevents.com.

RHYS BOWEN: These discussionquestions for my new book, Above the Bay Of Angels,that will be published on February 11. Maybe you can think about the questions when you read it.

Above the Bay of Angels is a story of a young girl, cheated out of the life she expected but able to shine when she becomes a cook for Queen Victoria and experiences the delights of French cuisine when the queen goes to Nice.

1. Do you think Bella made a wise choice when she acted on the letter she found?
2. One of the themes of this book is the British class system. Do you think it right that Bella remains a snob?
3. Food plays a big part in this book. What does Bella learn about food as the story progresses.
4. The journey to Nice opens up a whole new world to Bella. Why do you think she is able to appreciate it more than her fellow cooks?
5. Discuss Bellas relationship with her sister
6. The story in Nice has its basis in real history. Did the plots and intrigue enhance the story for you?
7. In what ways is this a mystery rather than a simple historical novel?
8. Which character did you dislike most? (There were several really objectionable ones, werent there?)
9. What was your impression of Queen Victoria from this story? Did it agree with what you already knew about her?
10. Did you agree with the ending? Were you surprised? Did she make the right choice?

If you would like your bookclub to Skype with Rhys do contact her at authorrhysbowen@gmail.com and visit her website for updates.


1.Do you think the portrayal of Vivs experience in the kitchen at OReillys was realistic? What special challenges do women chefs face in the kitchen?
2.Why do you think Viv cut off all contact with Fergus? How might things have turned out differently if she had not?
3.How do the events of the book change Vivs relationship with her own kitchen staff?
4.Why did Melody withhold the truth about her family and their circumstances from Andy?
5.Do you feel that Melodys relationship with Andy can be repaired? How might it be different?
6.What qualities does Kit have that are consequential to the resolution of the story and Graces safe return?
7.Do you feel that Melodys relationship with her parents, and in particular, her mother, has changed by the novels end?
8.How does Duncans injury affect his handling of the case?
9.Why does Duncan feel driven to learn what happened to Nell Greene?
10. Are there any commonalities in the revelations experienced by the major characters? If so, what are they?

To arrange an author appearance, Deborah's publicist at Harper Collins:danielle.bartlett@harpercollins.com


Interestingly enough, I have to write readers questions for my July book PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA this week. Its a new genre for me, single title romantic comedy, but Im having a lot of fun with discussion possibilities. Heres my starting place, well see which of these make it into the back of the book!

1. What event causes Chelsea to reconsider the path her life is presently on?
2. Do you think revisiting her past will help Chelsea to move forward with her future?
3. What is Chelsea looking for? What does she hope to find in revisiting her post college gap year?
4. Which of the three loves of her postcollege gap your is your favorite? Why?
5. When does Chelsea start to see her work rival, Jason Knightley, in a different light?
6. What happened that kept Chelsea from moving forward with her life? Why?
7. How does grief play a role in both Chelsea and Jasons lives?
8. How does Chelseas relationship with her family change during the course of the book?
9. What does Chelsea learn about revisiting her past? Why couldnt she be the girl she once was again?
10. What does Chelsea learn about herself during her trip? How is she different at the end of the novel from who she was at the beginning?

To contact Jenn, reach out to publicist Brittanie Black, PRH Publicity: bblack@penguinrandomhouse.com

HALLIE EPHRON:Careful What You WIsh For

1.There are three couples in the book (Emily and Frank, Ruth and Murph, and Quinn and Wally.) How is stuff a dynamic in each of their marriages?
2.How did Emily and Franks fertility problems affect their relationship? How has it affected Emilys relationship with Becca?
3. What is Emilys relationship with her mother? How are they alike; how are they different?
4. At the end of the novel, why do you think Emily goes with Frank to the storage unit?
5. Do you think Frank got what he deserved in the end?
6. What do you collect, and what does it say about you?
7. Have you known a hoarder? What skills do you think a professional organizer needs to help someone like that?
8. Do you think Emily and Becca made any decisions that a more experienced professional might not have made?
9. What do you think the title CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR refers to?
10. The author has said that one of the inspirations for this book was the Patricia Highsmith novel, Strangers on a Train. Can you see the similarities and differences?

If you would like your bookclub to Skype with Hallie, please contact her at Hallie "at" HallieEphron.com; check her website for her events.

Now we'd love to hear about your experiences in a book discussion group. We'd love to hear all about it...

What are the books that were particularly interesting or difficult to discuss? And what kind of questions youve found generate the most interesting discussions when your book picks a mystery novel.

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