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Book Club Questions for Mother-Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon (+ Printable PDF)

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mother daughter murder night book club questions

Book club questions for Mother-Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon explore the themes of family bonds, resilience in the face of adversity, the power of intergenerational relationships, the pursuit of justice, and the unexpected strength that can emerge when loved ones are thrown into challenging situations.

This story wasn’t just about murder. It was about moms and daughters coming together to make their relationships better. It was about knowing the past and each other. It was about handling sickness stress and working together despite disagreements. I loved it!

What were your impressions of this novel? ✨

Mother-Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon

I hope you will enjoy the thoughtfully crafted book club questions tailored for Mother-Daughter Murder Night in this blog post. Further below you will also find a downloadable PDF version I’ve prepared for your book clubs (available at the bottom of the post), along with supplementary suggestions for books that share similar themes and narratives.

Let me know if you find these book club questions useful. I’m excited to hear your unique perspectives during your book club discussions!

Book Club Questions | Additional Recommendations | Printable List

About the Story

Mother-Daughter Murder Night” is a heartwarming and suspenseful story that revolves around three generations of strong-willed women: Lana, a successful businesswoman, her daughter Beth, and teenage granddaughter Jack.

When Lana’s health forces them to spend time in a quiet coastal town, they stumble upon a murder mystery that shakes up their lives. Jack, the smallest but most independent of the trio, discovers a dead body while kayaking and becomes a prime suspect in the investigation. Determined to protect their family and prove her strength, Lana dons a disguise to uncover the truth behind the murder.

With Beth and Jack’s assistance, they unravel a complex web of secrets, family feuds, and hidden disputes within the tight-knit community. As they venture into more dangerous territory, the Rubicon women must learn to rely on each other, forging a bond that they had always resisted.

“Think Gilmore Girls, but with a murder twist,” this story is a delightful blend of family drama and mystery that will keep you hooked from start to finish.

About the Author

Nina Simon has worn many different hats in her career, from being a NASA engineer to a slam poet, game designer, museum director, and nonprofit CEO. But before all of that, she was just a daughter to a wonderful and funny mother who inspired her first novel.

nina simon author

Nina has always loved writing, and for 13 years, she ran the Museum 2.0 blog. She’s also written two nonfiction books, “The Participatory Museum” and “The Art of Relevance.” However, writing a novel wasn’t initially on her to-do list. It all changed in 2020 when her mom was diagnosed with advanced cancer, leading Nina to quit her job to care for her.

They both enjoyed reading mysteries, so they decided to imagine one together, featuring characters similar to them—hardworking California women trying to balance work and motherhood. As Nina wrote, her mom read, and this creative process helped them heal and grow closer.

Today, her mom is doing well, and you can soon find “Mother-Daughter Murder Night” in a bookstore near you. Nina now lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with her family.

Book Club Questions for Mother Daughter Murder Night

  1. The story revolves around three generations of strong women—Lana, Beth, and Jack—each with their unique personalities and strengths. How did the portrayal of their characters impact your reading experience? Which character did you relate to the most, and why?
  2. Jack’s discovery of the dead body sets the events of the novel into motion. How does this traumatic event affect her character and her perspective on life? Discuss the challenges she faces as a young girl caught up in a murder investigation.
  3. The book combines elements of family drama and murder mystery. How did the author balance these two genres, and what do you think each added to the story? Did you find one aspect more compelling than the other?
  4. The Rubicon women are forced to come together to solve a murder mystery, putting aside their differences and relying on each other. How did their relationships evolve throughout the book, and what did you think of their dynamics as a family?
  5. The setting of the story shifts from the bustling city to a sleepy coastal town. How did this change of environment affect the characters and the overall tone of the book? Did it enhance the story’s impact?
  6. Detective Nicoletti is one of the few male characters in the book, and he plays a significant role in the investigation. How do Lana, Beth, and Jack interact with Detective Nicoletti, and what does his character add to the story?
  7. The book addresses themes of illness, resilience, and the pursuit of justice. How did these themes resonate with you, and did they add depth to the narrative? Were there any particular scenes or moments related to these themes that stood out to you?
  8. Lana, the matriarch of the family, takes on the role of an amateur sleuth. What did you think of her determination and resourcefulness in solving the murder? Did her character development surprise you?
  9. In a small community filled with quirky characters, secrets, and hidden conflicts, how did the author keep you engaged in the mystery? Were there any twists or revelations that caught you by surprise?
  10. The title, “Mother-Daughter Murder Night,” implies a significant bond between generations. How did this bond play a role in the story’s resolution? Were there any moments that particularly touched you regarding this theme?
  11. The book delves into themes of resilience and determination, particularly in the face of illness. How do Lana’s experiences with cancer shape her actions and motivations throughout the story? Were there moments that resonated with you on a personal level?
  12. “Mother-Daughter Murder Night” combines elements of humor and mystery. Were there specific humorous moments or lines that stood out to you? How did the author balance humor with the more serious aspects of the story?
  13. The author, Nina Simon, wrote this book as a collaborative project with her own mother during a challenging time. How does this background information about the book’s creation impact your reading experience and interpretation of the story?
  14. If you were to compare this book to another work of fiction or a TV series, as suggested by the description (“Think: Gilmore Girls, but with murder”), which one would it be, and why? How did this comparison enhance or affect your reading experience?
  15. Without giving away spoilers, how satisfied were you with the resolution of the murder mystery and the overall conclusion of the story? If you were in charge of the Rubicon women’s next adventure, where would you like to see them go or what mystery would you want them to solve?
  16. Were there any surprises or plot twists that caught you off guard as you read the book? How did these moments contribute to your overall enjoyment of the story?
  17. If you were to sum up the book’s main message or takeaway, what would it be? How did the themes of family, resilience, and amateur sleuthing come together in the narrative?

Additional Recommendations

Hope you enjoyed the book club discussion questions and reading guide for Mother Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon!

Here are some more of my book club recommendations related to this book:

Nineteen Steps by Millie Bobby Brown

Love blooms in the darkest days…

It’s 1942, and London remains under constant threat of enemy attack as the second world war rages on. In the Bethnal Green neighborhood, Nellie Morris counts every day lucky that she emerges from the underground shelters unharmed, her loving family still surrounding her.

Three years into the war, she’s grateful to hold onto remnants of normalcy—her job as assisting the mayor and nights spent at the local pub with her best friend. But after a chance encounter with Ray, an American airman stationed nearby, Nellie becomes enchanted with the idea of a broader world.

Just when Nellie begins to embrace an exciting new life with Ray, a terrible incident occurs during an air raid one evening, and the consequences are catastrophic. As the truth about that night is revealed, Nellie’s world is torn apart. When it seems all hope is lost, Nellie finds that, against all odds, love and happiness can triumph.

Nineteen Steps is a deeply affecting, mesmerizing page-turner inspired by the author’s family history. An epic story of longing, loss, and secrets, Millie Bobby Brown’s propulsive debut introduces an unforgettable, brave young woman and boldly portrays the strength in the power of love.

A Bakery in Paris by Aimie K. Runyan
a bakery in paris book

From the author of The School for German Brides, this captivating historical novel set in nineteenth-century and post–World War II Paris follows two fierce women of the same family, generations apart, who find that their futures lie in the four walls of a simple bakery in a tiny corner of Montmartre.

1870: The Prussians are at the city gates, intent to starve Paris into submission. Lisette Vigneau—headstrong, willful, and often ignored by her wealthy parents—awaits the outcome of the war from her parents’ grand home in the Place Royale in the very heart of the city. When an excursion throws her into the path of a revolutionary National Guardsman, Théodore Fournier, her destiny is forever changed.

She gives up her life of luxury to join in the fight for a Paris of the People. She opens a small bakery with the hopes of being a vital boon to the impoverished neighborhood in its hour of need. When the city falls into famine, and then rebellion, her resolve to give up the comforts of her past life is sorely tested.

1946: Nineteen-year-old Micheline Chartier is coping with the loss of her father and the disappearance of her mother during the war. In their absence, she is charged with the raising of her two younger sisters. At the hand of a well-meaning neighbor, Micheline finds herself enrolled in a prestigious baking academy with her entire life mapped out for her.

Feeling trapped and desperately unequal to the task of raising two young girls, she becomes obsessed with finding her mother. Her classmate at the academy, Laurent Tanet, may be the only one capable of helping Micheline move on from the past and begin creating a future for herself. 

Both women must grapple with loss, learn to accept love, and face impossible choices armed with little more than their courage and a belief that a bit of flour, yeast, sugar, and love can bring about a revolution of their own. 

Murder by Invitation Only by Colleen Cambridge
murder by invitation only book

In this engaging historical mystery, Agatha Christie’s ever-capable housekeeper, Phyllida Bright, not only keeps the celebrated author’s English country home in tip-top shape, she excels as an amateur sleuth. But when a murder-themed game goes awry, can she outfox the guilty party?

“A murder will occur tonight at Beecham House . . .” Who could resist such a compelling invitation? Of course, the murder in question purports to be a party game, and Phyllida looks forward to using some of the deductive skills she has acquired thanks to her employer, Mrs. Agatha, who is unable to attend in person.

The hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Wokesley, are new to the area, and Phyllida gladly offers their own overwhelmed housekeeper some guidance while events get underway. Family friends have been enlisted to play the suspects, and Mr. Wokesley excels in his role of dead body. Unfortunately, when the game’s solution is about to be unveiled, the participants discover that life has imitated art. Mr. Wokesley really is dead!

In the absence of Inspector Cork, Phyllida takes temporary charge of the investigation, guiding the local constable through interviews with the Murder Game actors. At first, there seems no motive to want Mr. Wokesley dead . . . but then Phyllida begins to connect each of the suspects with the roles they played and the motives assigned to them.

It soon becomes clear that everyone had a reason to murder their host—both in the game and in real life. Before long, Phyllida is embroiled in a fiendishly puzzling case, with a killer who refuses to play by the rules . . .

Printable PDF

Feel free to distribute these discussion questions to your book club members before your meeting. Simply click the link below to download and print the PDF file.

Happy reading! ❤️


Wednesday 4th of October 2023

Great book