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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Book of Cold Cases

1. There are multiple instances where Beth’s looks are used against her during the investigation and media coverage of the Lady Killer murders. What do you think the author is trying to say about a woman’s looks and how they relate to victimhood?

2. Think about how the Greer mansion is described in the novel. What do you think the mansion’s construction symbolizes?

3. The novel explores the case of a female serial killer. Why do you think the author chose to write about a serial killer who is a woman?

4. Why do you think Beth and Detective Black believe Shea is the only one who can solve this case? Do you think there are similarities between Beth and Shea that influence them? What are your thoughts on the parallels between Beth and Shea?

5. How do you think Shea’s time with Beth and diving deeper into the Lady Killer case helped her in her own life? Why do you think this is?

6. Discuss the note Am I bitter or am I sweet? Ladies can be either. This comes up various times in the novel. How do you interpret this phrase, and how do you think it influences the characters and their actions?

7. The novel shows the relationships between Beth and her family and Shea and her family. How would you compare these relationships? How do you think they have shaped Beth and Shea either positively or negatively, if at all?

8. Do you think that Beth Greer is a murderer? What is influencing your opinion?

9. Think about the ghosts in the novel. What do you think motivates them to stay around? Do you think they are or were evil?

10. Thinking of your answer to the previous question, what is your interpretation of the ending?

11. Beth and Shea both face struggles in taking control of their own lives. Even though their circumstances are different, what do you think the author is trying to tell us about female autonomy with these two characters?

The Book of Cold Cases
by Simone St. James