Book Club Discussion Questions for A Haunting at Linley
A Haunting at Linley was meant to imitate a traditional Agatha Christie novel. Do you think the author achieved this? In what ways?
There are many red herrings and suspicious characters in this story. Who did you think was the culprit? At any point did you guess that it was Mrs. Pennyworth and Triggs?
What was your reaction to Henrietta solving the case on her own, without Clive’s help? Was it believable?
Do you think Miss Simms got off too easily? Alternately, do you think Mrs. Pennyworth’s sentence was too harsh (execution)?
Did you think it was believable that Lady Linley had an affair and that Wallace was illegitimate?
Did you feel sorry for Wallace at any point? Is he a sympathetic character or annoying, or both?
As the title implies, there are many instances of “haunting” in this book—Henrietta’s experience in the study, the false haunting by Triggs and Pennyworth, Julia’s experience in her father’s study, Melody’s experience in the graveyard with the mysterious Junior, Amelie’s experience with baby Linley, and even Elsie’s storyline continually references Charles Dickens and Scrooge, who was haunted by three ghosts at Christmas. Discuss your feelings about all of these. Were they convincing? Have you ever had such an experience or know someone who did?
Discuss Elsie and Gunther’s finally accepting Oldrich Exley’s offer of help. Do you think it was wise? Do you trust Oldrich to keep his word? How much of Gunther’s stubbornness was responsible for their fates?
Do you think Julia’s decision to abandon Highbury and leave for Texas with Glenn was wise? Did she act too hastily simply to avoid Randolph? Is she too damaged to be able to love Glenn fully?
Did you sympathize with Melody’s plight at the convent? Were you surprised to learn that Sr. Bernard and Sr. Magdalen knew she was an imposter the whole time? Did you enjoy her final chapter of the book enough to want to read a spin-off series centered around her?
Were you surprised that Clive and Henrietta decided to remain in London? Were you disappointed that they did not return to Highbury? What do you think of their relationship with Edna and Pascal? Do you think it is unrealistic, or is a sign of changing times?
What was your reaction to Castle Linley being converted to a school for underprivileged girls? Do you think Clive and Henrietta should have done something else with it?
What did you think of Stan and Rose’s wedding, considering what we know about Rose’s sexuality? Was it right for Rose to hide it from Stan and go through with the wedding anyway?
Who were your favorite characters from the whole series? Who were your least?