Book Clubs

Hello book club members!

I’m delighted to hear about book clubs’ interest in my novels.  Please email me at pdshapiro AT Yahoo DOT com to schedule an author Q&A session.

Below are suggested questions for discussion. Let me know other questions that you think would be interesting and I’ll add them here (with attributions if you are willing to be credited).

GHOSTS ON THE RED LINE

Discussion Questions

  1. What do you think would happen to your city’s public transit services if commuters reported seeing their Departed on the subway trains?
  2. How would you react if you experienced a Visitation such as were experienced by commuters in Red Line trains in Ghosts on the Red Line?
  3. What if your Visitation were not from a loved one, but from someone you had reason to dislike or was hostile, as occurred on several occasions on the Red Line?
  4. How credible do you find the reactions of Red Line riders, the MBTA, the Boston media, and political leaders as described in the book?
  5. Are you persuaded by the conclusions of Harry West’s consulting team and Steve Cheng from MIT concerning the source of the Visitations on the Red Line?
  6. The Archbishop of Boston is displeased with Harry’s and Alexandra’s plan to open a Visitation Room.  How does his view, and the actions that he takes, fit with your perspective on what the Church would do in this situation?
  7. Have you ever experienced a Visitation? Do you believe such paranormal events are possible? Conceivable? Pure fantasy?
  8. How do you feel that Ghosts on the Red Line comes down on the nature of the Visitations, whether they were ghosts or some form of hallucination?
  9. If a Visitation Room were opened in your area, would be you tempted to try it out in order to communicate with a loved one?

THE TRAIL OF MONEY

Discussion Questions

  1. What do you take away from The Trail of Money about official corruption in China and Hong Kong?
  2. Do you find Chen Qiwei to be a sympathetic character given the experience of his village and his own suffering?
  3. How realistic do you find the Hong Kong settings as described in The Trail of Money? Does the story make you more eager to visit this fascinating city?
  4. How well developed are the two lead women characters, Erin Haig and Mei-Ling Blair?
  5. Do you find believable Harry’s relationship with Mei-Ling given their history and her marriage with his business partner?
  6. Would you be suspicious of Mei-Ling given what you know about her?
  7. The plot of The Trail of Money was described by one reviewer as “marvelously twisty” … do you find the various twists to be credible? And how about the final resolution?
  8. Edward Woo is a tortured villain. Why do you think he reacts as he does to the questions being asked about his business practices and relationships? What about his reaction to suspicions concerning his role in criminal acts that occur in the story? To what extent are his behaviors explained by his relationship with his father?
  9. How credible do you find the scenes involving the Hong Kong police?
  10. If you were offered as Harry was a “consulting” assignment in Hong Kong that actually involves an investigation into money laundering, would accept the project or turn it down? What if your personal and business situations were as dire as Harry’s at the time?
  11. Do you think justice was done at the end of the story?
  12. Harry feels guilty about what happened in Hong Kong. How do you judge his behavior?

PORTRAIT OF IGNATIUS JONES

Discussion Questions

  1. How realistic do you find the psychic medium sessions in Portrait of Ignatius Jones? How do they compare with your own experiences with psychic mediums?
  2. Have you ever felt a connection with a person through that person’s portrait?
  3. How do you think residents of a small town in Vermont would respond to establishment of a cult in their town?
  4. Do you agree with Murray Gattis that Charles Philip Tucker was possessed?
  5. Do you find credible the actions taken by Charles and by Buddy Choate in response to perceived insults to Ignatius Jones and to the Ignatius Jones Center for Spiritualist Discovery?
  6. Could the scheme actually work that was planned by Dr. Frances Gourmelon and executed by her and by Annie Kane?
  7. What is your opinion of Lily Prestowicz?
  8. If invited, would you visit the Ignatius Jones Center for Spiritualist Discovery?