A fearless boomer with a curious mind, Alice Abbott is our generation's next great crime-solver. Things in Austin, TX get a little weird when a dear friend comes up dead and Alice finds herself in the midst of a mystery with more twists than Austin's infamous FM2222. Can she find the killer?
Are you interested in scheduling an interview with Susan or having her attend a discussion or reading? If so, Susan would love to join you to discuss her newest offering "Designed for Murder".
The questions outlined below can be used as prompts for discussion groups and readers interested in a deeper exploration of Designed for Murder.
The book depicts various family relationships, some positive and enriching, some poisonous. Alice quotes a line from Leo Tolstoy’s book, Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Does Tolstoy’s comment ring true in Designed for Murder? How is each unhappy family distinct from the other unhappy families?
The meaning of home is a theme in the book. How is the theme developed?
Alice and her sister decide to live together in order to maintain their independence by sharing expenses and acting as helpmates in time of need. Is this a viable solution for our ageing population? If you are living alone, is having a roommate a solution you would consider?
The setting of the book is Austin, Texas. How is the setting central to the plot? Consider weather, traffic, time of day, places of business, Alice’s relationship to the city and the changes it is undergoing.
Plants are a feature in the book. How are they used, and what value do they add?
Various foods and meals are described in the book. What role does eating play?
Alice has to overcome her self-doubt and spiraling depression to help a friend. Have you ever had to step outside your comfort zone to accomplish a goal? How did it change you?
Traditional murder mysteries include a number of characters who are suspects. In this mystery, which character did you think committed the crime? Did you figure out the culprit before the end?
Mysteries are also full of twists in the plot. Which twist surprised you the most?