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1. Joan is apprehensive about returning to Madden. After finally deciding that she will attend the reunion, she steps outside her comfort zone to prepare for the trip. Is there a passage that reveals this most vividly for you?

2. Joan’s emotional journey in A NOSE FOR DEATH changes her perspective on her own teenage years? Can you relate? In what way?

3. Joan’s perception of her mother changes significantly in the course of the book. Describe how that makes you feel? Is there one particular scene that best illustrates that shift in perception?

4. Did you have a Marlena, Gabe, or Roger in your past? Discuss.

5. If you were to imagine the scent of Jacques Bistro, how would it smell?

6. Do you want Gabe and Joan to get together? Are you satisfied with the way their relationship resolves?

7. When did you know for certain “who dunnit?”

8. What did you enjoy most about A NOSE FOR DEATH?

9. Do you have a significant olfactory memory from your own past? What is it?

10. The Imposter Syndrome, when people don’t feel as though they are deserving of their success, is a theme throughout A NOSE FOR DEATH. Is there an illustration of the Imposter Syndrome in the story that resonates for you?

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Tips For Participating in a Book Club Discussion

1. Watch your language! Try to avoid words like "awful" or "idiotic"—even "like" and "dislike." They don't help move discussions forward and can put others on the defensive. Instead, talk about your experience—how you felt as you read the book.

2. Don't be dismissive. If you disagree with someone else, don't refer to her as an ignoramus. Just say, "I'm not sure I see it that way. Here's what I think." Much, much nicer.

3. Support your views. Use specific passages from the book as evidence for your ideas. This is a literary analysis technique called "close reading."

4. Read with a pencil. Takes notes or mark passages that strike you—as significant or funny or insightful. Talk about why you marked the passages you did.

(Tips courtesy of