Book Club Discussion Questions for My Memoir, Angel Hero, Murder in Hawai’i, A True Story

On June 2nd, Sisters in Crime (SinC) Hawai’i prez Vicki White shared this message from the national SinC organization with members like me:

“It’s time to gather submissions for the July Book Club Central Booklist.  This month’s theme is Mystery from Sea to Shining Sea (mysteries set in different states).”

Since my murder mystery memoir is set in Hawai’i, it qualifies. So I filled out the entry form and returned it by the deadline of Friday, June 8th. National SinC also asked for a URL link to an entry on my website that includes book club discussion questions in case my memoir is selected to be read by a book club (wouldn’t that be lovely!) I gave them the URL to this blogpost, and included the 29 questions below:

Most of the following Book Club Discussion Questions are adapted from Teresa Preston’s 40 Great Book Club Discussion Questions For Any Book at

  1. What other books did Angel Hero, Murder in Hawai’i, A True Story, remind you of, if any?
  2. If you were making a movie of this memoir, who would you cast? (One screenplay writer who adapted this book into a movie script suggested Scarlett Johansson for Lizbeth and Chris Hemsworth for Vic. Author Lizbeth Hartz thought Christian Bale would be a better choice for Vic.)
  3. Share a favorite quote from the book, and why this quote stood out.
  4. What feelings did this book evoke for you?
  5. If you got the chance to ask the author one question, what would it be?
  6. What do you think of the book’s title and how it relates to the book’s contents? What other title might you choose? (The author considered using, “When God Solves the Murder”)
  7. What do you think the author’s purpose was in writing this book? What ideas was she trying to get across?
  8. What aspects of the author’s story could you most relate to?
  9. Think about the other people in the book besides the author. Who do you identify with and why?
  10. Talk about the author’s use of language/writing style. Was there a passage that stood out for you or gave you an “a-ha!” moment? (Have each member read his or her favorite passage out loud.) How does this particular passage relate to the story as a whole?
  11. Discuss the mystery aspect of the plotline. Were you able to predict certain things before they happened, or did the author keep you guessing until the end of the story?
  12. How important is the setting to the story? If applicable, discuss the time period in which the book is set (the 80’s).
  13. Would you recommend this work? Why or why not?
  14. What did you like or dislike about the book that hasn’t been discussed already?
  15. Was there a specific message or theme that was important to you?
  16. How does this book relate to your life or experiences?
  17. Did this book change your perspective about romance, firefighters, or living in Hawai’i?
  18. Do you think true-life stories like this one are potentially more powerful than fictional ones? Why or why not?
  19. Which aspects of the writer’s character do you identify with most and least?
  20. Does the author approach her own story with a sense of irony, sympathy, distance, comedy, or something else entirely?
  21. What are the roles of fate and desire in this life story?
  22. In what ways does the central character change over the course of the memoir?
  23. What is the story’s impact on you?

Leave a Comment