1. Mystery novels have been written from a variety of viewpoints—first person, alternating point of view, and so on. What point of view is used in Death of a Cozy Writer? Why do you think the author chose to tell the story this way? What are the drawbacks to a writer in using a particular point of view—for example, first person—to tell a crime story?
2. Death of a Cozy Writer has been called an affectionate send-up of the traditional or “cozy” mystery genre. The author calls it an homage to the golden age of the classic British mystery. What key elements do you think constitute a traditional mystery? How is this book different from a traditional mystery? How does it play off the traditions of the genre?
3. Of the four grown children of Sir Adrian, Ruthven appears to be the favorite (insofar as Sir Adrian favors anyone). Do you think most parents have a secret preference for one child over another?
4. How much do you think Chloe, Lady Beauclerk-Fisk is responsible for the failings, or the successes, of her various offspring?
5. Death of a Cozy Writer has several unlikable characters. Was there any one you particularly “loved to hate,” and why? Which of the characters in Death of a Cozy Writer would you like to get to know better?
6. The novel has several red herrings. Were you misled by any of these? Were you able to guess “who done it,” or did the author surprise you? If you were surprised, who did you think was the murderer, and what was his or her motive?
7. How does the weather reflect the atmosphere inside Waverley Court?
8. How important is the Christmas holiday season to the story? How would the story have been different if set in a different season?
9. Death of a Cozy Writer belongs to the “fair-play” school of crime writing. Once you learned who the culprit was, did you feel the author had “played fair” in providing you the clues needed to solve the crime?
10. Discuss the author’s use of humor in the book. Is humor ever appropriate to a murder mystery?
11. Death of a Cozy Writer is also the story of a death in Violet’s past. How successful is the author in bridging the past with the present?
12. In what ways do you think Sarah’s future will be altered by the events of this book?