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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Princess of Las Vegas

1. There’s a lot of talk about chance in the novel. To what extent has chance played a part in Crissy’s and Betsy’s lives, and to what extent have their choices driven them to this point?

2. Has a bad choice you’ve made led to something good? Or has a good choice --- as the British would say --- gone to pot?

3. Why do you think Crissy finds it easy to let down her guard in a public performance but so difficult to do the same in her personal life?

4. On page 12, Crissy scoffs at the trope of the “unreliable narrator,” saying all narrators in fiction are unreliable. Can that also be applied to us in real life and the stories we tell ourselves and others?

5. The novel explores the public’s obsession with the royals. Apart from Chrissy’s uncanny resemblance, what else do you think draws her to Princess Diana’s persona, both public and private? Can you relate at all to celebrity fixations?

6. In addition to their mother’s death, what other issues do you think are at the root of Crissy and Betsy’s estrangement? In what ways did their paths in life diverge? In what ways are they coming together?

7. On page 80, the senator quotes Princess Diana: “I lead from the heart. Not the head.” In what ways is that true of him and of Crissy?

8. As a social worker, Betsy adopting Marisa is paramount in turning the girl’s life around. How do you think Marisa has the same impact on Betsy’s life?

9. As young as Marisa is, she’s adept at reading her elders and sees that Crissy is living in a state of denial. What is it about Crissy that tips her off? And in what ways does her denial become a threat to Marisa and to Betsy?

10. In what ways is Las Vegas, a city of “smoke and mirrors” as Crissy says on page 182,  the perfect place in which to lay the foundation for Betsy’s bitcoin outfit, Futurium? Or, for that matter, Crissy’s current life and career?

11. When talking about the odds against the house on page 188, Marisa says, “The longer you play, the more you lose.” Is that also true when applied to the real-life games that Betsy and Crissy are playing? If so, what are the unexpected advantages of those losses in the long run?

12. As Crissy gets more deeply --- and dangerously --- involved with saving Buckingham Palace and, in turn, her career, do you think she is more fearless and determined, or heedless?

13. In the beginning of the novel, Crissy admits that both she and her sister were naive. In what ways is that true? And considering the events that followed, which sister was more so?

14. In hindsight, Crissy says that if she had to take the same risks and the same chances, she would do it all over again. Considering the danger she put herself, Betsy and Marisa in, do you understand the sentiment?

The Princess of Las Vegas
by Chris Bohjalian

  • Publication Date: March 19, 2024
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday
  • ISBN-10: 0385547587
  • ISBN-13: 9780385547581