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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

One Wrong Word

1. Have you ever had anyone start an unfair rumor about you? How did you deal with that?

2. Crisis management expert Arden Ward is visited by Cordelia Bannister, who needs her help to rehabilitate her husband’s reputation. Even though Ned has been acquitted of a fatal drunk driving accident, the public still thinks he's guilty. Have you ever disagreed with a jury‘s verdict? Has there been a case where someone was found not guilty and you thought, Oh, they got away with it!

3. Both Arden and Monelle work for tyrannical bosses. Have you ever had an employer who was difficult to work for? How did you handle it?

4. What did you think about how Arden reacted to the rumor she'd been having an affair? And the fact that she was fired over another woman's "hunch"?

5. Ned Bannister seems like a loving father and a devoted husband. Or does he? Remember, we only meet Ned through other people's points of view: Cordelia's, Arden's and Monelle's. And they all think of him differently, don't they? When we hear about him from Cordelia's point of view, he's self-centered, selfish, work-obsessed and narcissistic. Is that how you felt about him, too?

6. Did you predict how the story would end? Were you right?

7. District Attorney Monelle Churchwood is convinced Ned Bannister is guilty as charged --- and she's determined to have him get what he deserves. An obsessed prosecutor can be dangerous. How did you feel about Monelle at the beginning of the novel? And how did you feel about her at the end?

8. Arden understands the power of the media…and knew when they were on Ned’s trail. And it was a newspaper that dubbed Ned "The Parking Garage Killer.” Do you follow the coverage of high-profile trials? Why are we also interested in those? Do you feel sorry for the families of those charged with terrible crimes?

9. One of the pivotal pieces of evidence might have come from Nyomi Chang. Were you worried about what she might say?

10. The children, Pip and Emma, are caught in the middle of this. How did you feel about them?

11. You may not have liked Cordelia at the beginning of the book --- but she had a solid alibi for the time of the accident. Did your feelings about her change?

12. Whose home did you like best?

13. Who in the book do you think lives happily ever after?

14. Fragrance plays a big role in ONE WRONG WORD. Do you have a favorite perfume? Does someone you know have a signature scent?

15. Have you ever wished you had a crisis management expert?

One Wrong Word
by Hank Phillippi Ryan