Did the opening chapter make you want to read more?


What motivates Alexa to act as an advocate for the dead girl in the woods?


What role does the Women’s Clinic play in Alexa’s life?


Alexa says that she is only looking for a casual relationship, so she continues to date Caleb, thinking he’s on the same page.  Why do you think she completely misread not only Caleb, but his view of their relationship?


In Chapter 18, Caleb uses sex to punish Alexa for what he calls “her sin against God”.  Afterwards, Alexa tells herself that because the encounter began with her willing consent, she “couldn’t call it rape”.   Do you think this sexual encounter between Caleb and Alexa was rape or rough sex?  If you think it was rape, why do you think Alexa lied to herself?


Alexa is a strong advocate for women’s rights, but she doesn’t always reflect that strength in her own actions.  Do you view Alexa more as a strong, decisive woman or a passive victim?  Why?


By the end of the book, do you believe her experiences have transformed Alexa in any way?  Describe any transformation.


Reverend Browne is able to convince his congregation that his actions, even including murder, are carried out in the name of the Lord.   Why do you think that people allow themselves to be convinced that an action or belief is right, even when it conflicts with the principles of their religion or their upbringing?


In Roe vs Wade, the Supreme Court upheld a woman’s right to choose abortion.  Yet, more than 40 years later, the right to an abortion remains a divisive issue in America, both politically and culturally.  The anti- abortion movement engages in activities ranging from simple protests to hectoring patients to criminal actions such as assault, arson and murder.  The pro-choice movement is also very committed to their position. Why does this issue remain such a hot button for the United States?


The Underground Railroad has played an important role in our national narrative of the Civil War.  Do you believe that the Underground Railroad has been romanticized?


Imagine hiding in that cave beneath Our Lady of the Forest with Confederate soldiers standing overhead.  Although the episode in Dead of Autumn is fiction, there must have been many such close calls for slaves riding the Underground Railroad to freedom.  What characteristics could give a slave the strength to run for freedom?


The parallel story about the Babes in the Woods is a fictionalized account of a real incident from the Depression.  Why do you think Elmo Noakes killed his three daughters?  What were his alternatives?


Did you find any common themes in young Dewilla’s tale and Alexa’s modern-day story?


What was your response to the ending?




Did the opening chapter make you want to read more?


Would you have gone into Cecily Townes’ home when you saw that broken glass?


Do you believe that the police should treat every missing child as the victim of foul play? Do you have any experience as a runaway yourself – or know a teen who ran away from home?  What was the reason for leaving?


The goal of today’s foster care system is to reunite a child with the parents whenever possible?  Do you believe there are circumstances when the child should not be returned to the parents?


Would you have helped the girl who approached Alexa at the reception and asked her to get her out of the foster care facility? Why or why not?


Alexa is a strong advocate for women’s rights, but she doesn’t always reflect that strength in her own actions.  Do you view Alexa more as a strong, 

decisive woman or a passive victim?  Why?


Jack Nash and the Quinn Huttons (both father and son) get away with horrible crimes for many years.  Does money and respectability deter the 

authorities – and others – from suspecting people of a crime?


Did you think the sex trafficking plot was realistic? What is your understanding of the prevalence of sex trafficking in the United States?  

Could it happen in your community?


Would you take a trip to Thailand and India with Melissa to photograph victims of human trafficking?


Imagine running through the dark fields at night to escape men with guns.  What characteristics of her personality give Alexa the strength to run for freedom and not just give up?


The parallel story about Woodstock takes the reader back to the hippie era and its days of peace and music.  For those of a certain age -were you a 

hippie?  For younger readers - could you embrace that counterculture lifestyle?


What was your response to the ending?

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Did the opening chapter make you want to read more?

What emotions did the illness of the child, Tessa, make you feel?

What are your thoughts about the political parts of the novel?  Do they strike you as realistic? For example - the human-trafficking commission; the energy bill; life working in state government. 

Alexa becomes involved in anti-fracking protests. Do you think those protests were effective? Have you ever been involved in an environmental protest or a protest on another issue that’s important to you? 

For those of you who’ve read other books in this series, you know that Alexa has an uneven track record with romance. Why do you think she had trouble committing to John Taylor, the State Trooper? Why do you think she was drawn to Walt Jordan, the State Legislator?

What role does yoga play in Alexa’s life?

Did any of the scenes in this book frighten you? Which ones and why?

Who were some of your favorite characters in the book? Why?

Do you think that there are parallels between the early days of nuclear power and todays’ fracking? Discuss.

In the Three Mile Island story, do you view Will Armstrong’s growing obsession with nuclear energy as selfish or admirable?
Alexa’s visit to her parents’ new vacation home in Umbria, Italy takes an unexpected turn. Do you believe that Alexa and her father handled the situation correctly? If yes, what would you have done differently?

What are the main themes of DEAD of SPRING?

What was your response to the ending?

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Did the opening chapter make you want to read more?

What would you have done if you found that body in the field?

Do you think your community would welcome a refugee family? Would you?

What do you believe causes prejudice? Fear of the “different”? Lack of understanding? Attitudes passed down from generation to generation? Or differences among races that can’t be bridged?

How do you think you would react if you were stopped in your car by a menacing group on a lonely country road?

What causes people to become terrorists? Are foreign terrorists different than domestic terrorists?

Alexa and Reese’s love story has been complicated. Were you glad to see them get back together?

Who’s your favorite character(s) in this book? Why?

What do you like most about Alexa? What do you like least?

How easy is it to spot a bad or dangerous person? How much do our own experiences and attitudes help frame our snap judgements about people as Alexa and Tyrell did with Uncle Nabil?

Do you believe Sloan is an evil person?

How do you think the story of Elijah and John Brown tied into the present-day story?

Do you think John Brown was a hero or a terrorist?

What was your response to the ending?




What about the opening chapter grabbed your attention?


How does the  novel portray the complex issues around elephant poaching?

Did you notice any universal themes about Botswana politics and the governmental process?

Could you relate to Alexa’s feelings about being in a new place surrounded by people she didn’t know?

What is your opinion of Alexa? 

Do you think Alexa was attracted to Harry? Would you have made the same choice as Alexa did and stay with Reese?

Did any of the scenes in the book frighten you? Which ones?

Who is your favorite character in this book? Why?

Which character(s), if any, are evil?

What would you have done when armed men invaded Noka Camp?  Do you think Alexa handled it well? 

Would you like to go on safari to Botswana or another African country? Why or why not?

Thoreau once wrote: “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” How important do you believe it is to study threatened and shrinking wild animal populations such as lions and other big cats?

Did this book add to your understanding of African countries like Botswana?

What was your response to the ending?

What do you think Alexa’s next adventure will be? 


Thanks for selecting a book in the Alexa Williams suspense series as your Book Club selection. You can look for upcoming Alexa Williams novels and sign up for my newsletter here.

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