Molly Blume Mysteries
Blues in the Night
Dream House
Grave Endings
Now You See Me

Jessie Drake Mysteries
Fair Game
Angel of Death
Blood Money
Dead Air
Shadows of Sin

Stand Alone Books
Where's Mommy Now?
Till Death do us Part
Nowhere to Run
Speak No Evil
Fertile Ground

short stories

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Reading guides are available for all four Molly Blume titles.




Blues in the Night

Reader's Guide

Read Chapter One | Reviews | Back to Blues Main


Several years ago Andrea Yates attracted national media attention when she drowned her five children in a bathtub in Houston. I was shocked and horrified by what Andrea Yates had done. I grieved for her children, for her family, for her.

Then I thought about Susan Smith, who went on national television and begged people to find the unidentified man who had killed her two sons, a stranger who robbed her of her precious family. But we soon learned that there was no stranger. We learned that Susan Smith had killed her sons because they were an encumbrance to her relationship with her lover, who didn't want a family.

So I wondered. Was Andrea Yates mentally ill as she claimed? Was she another Susan Smith, covering up premeditated murder? I listened to talk radio and read articles about Andrea and post-partum psychosis. Many people wanted her executed. Many thought she needed medical attention. I decided to explore post-partum illness, and that exploration formed the basis of Blues in the Night, the first in my new series featuring true crime writer/tabloid journalist Molly Blume.

1. How did you respond to Molly overall, and, more specifically, in her role as (a)reporter/writer, (b)family member, and (c) romantic partner?

2. Did you find Molly's concerns about trusting Zack credible?

3. Did you enjoy Molly's observations on writing?

4. What were your initial feelings for Robby? Do you think he truly grieved for his son even though he was responsible for his death?

5. Did you feel at all sorry for Betty Rowan? Why? Does her background explain her behavior toward Lenore?

6. Did you find that there were enough suspects and that the suspects were all credible in terms of motive and opportunity?

7. Did you initially think that Lenore had killed herself -- either intentionally or accidentally? (I wasn't certain for a while myself.)

8. Were you surprised by the identity of the killer? Most readers have told me that they were surprised. One told me that she figured it out early, but the truth is, I wasn't sure myself until I was on the last fourth of the book. For a long time I thought it was Nina -- trying to protect Dr. Korwin, enraged because she believed that Lenore had betrayed him and was going to ruin his reputation, etc.

9. If you *were* surprised, who did you think killed Betty Rowan? Why?

10. How did you feel about Lenore after you finished reading the book? Could you understand why she lied to protect Robby?

11. Before reading the book, did you know much about postpartum illness? Did you have an opinion about Andrea Yates and her fate? Did your opinion change after reading the book? Do you think women who kill their children in a psychotic episode should be institutionalized or imprisoned?

12. Do you think there are a significant number of women who suffer from PPD and (a)don't know it or (b)are ashamed to admit it? Is the illness addressed enough in your community?

13. What were your feelings about Lenore when Molly hears disquieting information that casts Lenore as a manipulator? Did you believe the information? Question it?

14. At the end of the book Molly reflects: "It's amazing how much we think we know, how little we actually do, how ready we are to jump to conclusions. I had done it, too."

15. Do we all do that? Do we judge people wrongly on bits of information? Is this one of the pitfalls of gossip - "lashon hara"?


Blues in the Night, published by the Ballantine Publishing Group,
is available in paperback
($6.99, 0-449-00726-X, Fawcett Books) at your local bookstore, and online at Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and Borders. The large print edition is published by Thorndike Press ($29.95; ISBN: 0-7862-5188-3).

Blues in the Night is also available from Brilliance Audiobooks.



On sale October 25

In paperback


All Molly Blume titles available from Audiobookstand.com

For inquiries contact
Sarina Evan
Publishing Group