Book Club Questions: The Dead Detective Agency

Book 1 of 4 Dead Detective Mysteries

1)                  At the beginning of the story, the reader experiences along with Tori the confusion of not knowing what’s going on. Looking back, what clues did you get that she was dead?

2)                  Some of the book’s humor comes from Sunday school concepts of Heaven juxtaposed with practices common to cruise ship vacations, such as the guest activities including harp lessons. Which of those did you find amusing?

3)                  Tori’s reaction to returning to her apartment is moving, since she sees that her life is truly over and there are things she didn’t get done. If you died today, what unfinished tasks would you leave behind that might bother you?

4)                  Seamus develops as a character over the course of the book and is the recurring character in subsequent books. What qualities does he have that make him a “leading man” for a mystery series?

5)                  One theme developed in the Dead Detective Mysteries is the idea that “resting in peace” requires a person to accept the end of his or her “personhood.” How difficult would be for you to do?

6)                  The two settings in the book, the cruise ship and life on earth, are vastly different. What earthly things does Tori experience in a new way after being on the ship? Do you agree that might be the case when one shifts planes of existence?

7)                  The plot is complicated by restrictions the dead face when going back to Life. Which aspects of the “rules” did you find interesting? Did any of them seem unlikely (given that the whole idea is just for fun)?

8)                  One common reaction to this series is “This should be a movie!” One problem would be showing the ghosts and hosts as different entities, since they share a body. How might that be handled?

9)                  A scene that gets a lot of attention from readers is the one in which Seamus hosts with a rat. Did you find it funny, upsetting, or did you have a different reaction?

10)              Were you upset that Tori went on to the Next Step at the end of the book, or did you see that as the logical choice for her (and for most people)?

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