Here are some questions to get the conversation started about Smoke.
- Marge Smith could be seen as one in a long line of spinster detectives, dating back to Anna Katharine Green’s Amelia Butterworth and including Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Mary Roberts Rinehart’s Miss Pinkerton. What other spinster detectives can you think of? What does Marge have in common with them? How is she different?
- Several of the characters in the book defy stereotypes, especially about age and gender. Do you find these characters unrealistic?
- Several of the most likeable characters in the book are criminals, including Marge herself. What motivates these characters to commit crime? We can probably all agree that murder for personal gain is morally indefensible. But what about the other crimes? Are some worse than others, and if so, why?
- If you could change one thing about the book, what would it be and why?