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The Grim Reader Reader’s Guide

By Kate Carlisle

The Grim Reader by Kate Carlisle


The Grim Reader by Kate Carlisle
Book Group Discussion Questions

1. Who were the suspects in the murder? What were the clues that made you suspect each one? Did you figure out the killer before the end of the book? How?

2. What were the red herrings in this book? (A red her‑ring is a false clue that leads you to suspect the wrong person.)

3. Were you surprised when one of the main suspects was killed partway through the book? Why or why not?

4. In each Bibliophile Mystery, the modern-­day mystery centers on a rare book in Brooklyn Wainwright’s care. In this case, Little Women. What interesting facts did you learn about Little Women by reading The Grim Reader?

5. Little Women is very much a story about a close family, and so is The Grim Reader. Describe how the closeness of Brooklyn’s and Derek’s families were revealed throughout the book.

6. Have you read any or all of the previous Bibliophile Mysteries? (You’ll find a full list on the Books page at How do you think that impacted your reading experience?

7. At the book festival, bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright hosted several activities.

Accordion bookmaking for children. Share an early childhood book-­related memory with the group.

Book and wine pairings. Name one of your favor‑ ite books and suggest a wine that would pair well with it.

Book appraisals. Do you personally own any rare or antique books? Tell the group an interesting anec‑ dote about a book in your collection. For example, how did you acquire it? Have you had it appraised?

8. What did you learn about bookbinding after reading The Grim Reader? Have you ever taken a book arts class?

9. Brooklyn and Derek spend most of their time in San Francisco, but this book took place entirely in Dharma. How did the setting of Dharma impact the storyline? For next year’s Bibliophile Mystery, do you hope it will take place in Dharma or in the city—or neither or both? Based on the ending of The Grim Reader, where do you think the next book will take place?

10. Suggest other rare books you’d like to see featured in a future Bibliophile Mystery. If you’d like to come up with a list as a group, Kate Carlisle would love to hear from you. You can contact her at While you’re there, visit the Secret Room to find fun bonus con‑ tent such as puzzles, word games, maps of Dharma and Brooklyn’s San Francisco, contests, and more.
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