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Smile Beach Murder Reader’s Guide

By Alicia Bessette

Smile Beach Murder by Alicia Bessette


Reader’s Guide
Smile Beach Murder by Alicia Bessette
Discussion Questions:

1.   How would you describe the Outer Banks setting of Cattail Island? Do you think you would enjoy living year-round in a popular vacation spot? If a murder happened in your favorite beach town, would you think twice about visiting?

2.   Discuss how the resurfacing of a dormant treasure hunt helps propel the plot. Have you ever discovered an unexpected or mysterious treasure? Did it inspire you to take some sort of action?

3.   Callie rediscovers her love of the Mary Higgins Clark novel While My Pretty One Sleeps. How does its narrative dovetail with her current problems? Have you ever reread a book after many years? In what ways did your relationship with the protagonist change the second time

4.   Discuss the role of the MotherVine Bookshop in the day-to-day life of Cattail Island. Do you have a preferred bookstore? How is it vital to its community?

5.   What possible role did Tin Man play in unveiling the murderer? Have you ever observed pets or other animals seemingly acting on intuition or “sixth sense”?

6.   Several characters are in their seventies and eighties, including Hudson, Antoinette, and Pearleen. Discuss how they are portrayed. Do you enjoy books that feature intergenerational relationships?

7.   In her pursuit of the truth, Callie takes risks, such as entering homes uninvited and chasing a suspect on foot. Is her behavior justified? Do you believe amateur sleuths exist outside of fiction? Is there any situation in which you could see yourself becoming an amateur sleuth?

8.   Did you have your own theory as to how Eva Meeks died? Were you surprised by the murderer? Did you believe that person’s motives?

9.   How would you describe Toby’s personality? Do you think he and Callie are well suited for each other?

10. Why do you think the Cattaillion is so special to the people of Cattail Island? Does your community host a similar annual gathering or event? Discuss its characteristics and how it supports or celebrates where you live.
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