Discussion Questions — A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS

  1. A Murder for the Books is set in a small, historic town in the mountains of northern Virginia. How much did you know about this area before reading the book? What do you think is the most memorable aspect of Taylorsford after reading this book?
  2. Who’s your favorite character in the book? Why?
  3. The library in Taylorsford is a Carnegie Library, built around 1919. How much did you know about Carnegie libraries before reading this book? Do you have a favorite older library that you like to visit?
  4. Amy doesn’t fit the typical image of a librarian. What’s differentiates her from the way the profession is usually presented in the media?  Is she more or less similar to librarians you have known?
  5. Richard, a dancer and choreographer, also doesn’t fit the traditional mold for such a profession. Were you surprised by his depiction in the book? Why or why not?
  6. Research plays a large role in solving the various mysteries in the book. What’s your experience with research and information gathering? Did you learn anything new about libraries or research from this book?
  7. Why do you think Aunt Lydia is so reluctant to share certain aspects of family history with Amy? Have you ever had any similar experiences with uncovering family secrets?
  8. Some of the characters in the book believe in the possibility of ghosts, and some do not. What’s your take on this topic? Have you ever had a possibly supernatural experience that you couldn’t explain?
  9. What do you think about the art dealer, Kurt Kendrick? Is he an antagonist in the book or something else?  Do you enjoy reading about a rather “gray” character like Kurt, or do you prefer your characters more clearly delineated as good or bad?
  10. Amy’s family history plays a large role in the book.  What do you think such a history means to the present generation? Do you believe the sins of the fathers (and mothers) carry down through generations, or do you think every new generation is given a clean slate?