Book Club Questions for



1. Protagonist Maggie, an artist, has a finely honed visual sense. Her family's lineage goes back centuries in Pelican. How do these attributes help make her a capable amateur sleuth?

2. Is there any way her standing in the community might be a complication?

3. What makes Rufus Durand, the town police chief, an interesting character? What’s surprising about him? Are there any other characters that surprised you? Discuss.


4. Maggie finds the whole concept of a beauty pageant outdated. Do you agree?


5. What do you think of the rules and regulations for Pelican’s contest?

6. Detective Bo Durand’s son Xander is a seven-year-old with Asperger’s Syndrome. How does this affect his relationship with Maggie?

7. What did you find interesting about the Louisiana orphan train?

8. New Orleans still has a rigid class system. How is that reflected in the book and how does it affect the characters?


9. What are some of the social and preservation issues hinted at in the book?


10.Robbie Metz sometimes feels uncomfortable in Pelican because he’s Jewish. Do you find this realistic? Why? Are there any hints of anti-Semitism in the book? Of racism? Discuss.