The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton is one crazy ride! The following book club questions will have spoilers so if you haven’t read the novel yet, check out my preview and review first.
The story is a murder mystery but unlike any other. It follows Aiden Bishop as he finds himself in the most peculiar situation: he wakes up each day in the body of a different house guest. He’ll be stuck in this time loop forever until he solves the mystery of who murders Evelyn Hardcastle. There is so much to discuss!
Let’s get into the book club questions.
- What do you think about the story choice written in first-person present where we experience everything as Aiden does?
- Let’s talk over the eight hosts that Aiden inhabits: the “doctor” Sebastian, the butler Roger, the banker Ravencourt, the socialite Jonathan Derby, the solicitor Edward Dance, the police officer Jim Rashton, the other socialite Donald Davies and the artist Gregory Gold. How did each experience with the host bring him closer to solving the murder? Is there a host that was your favorite? The least? Which one was the most helpful? The least helpful?
- Why do you think the plague doctor took such an interest in helping Aiden? Who do you think he and the Silver Tear really were; were they prison guards in a futuristic prison or something else? Why do they wear those costumes?
- Did you trust Anna at first? Why or why not?
- What did you think about the revelations about who Anna really was, Annabel Caulker? Why was Aiden so determined to still help her despite knowing she killed his sister? Do you think she really has changed?
- Through all the hosts, there’s still a murder mystery. Did you suspect Evelyn’s brother Michael or you were surprised at that development? What about the fact the real Evelyn was in hiding?
- Why did the plague doctor choose to have Anna and Daniel in Evelyn’s murder mystery prison? What do you think he meant by “Blachearth was built to break devils, not petty thieves?”
- What about the revelation that Evelyn killed her brother Thomas? How would everyone’s lives been different if Charlie Carver didn’t take the blame?
- Did you believe that Aiden was talking to his future self with Daniel Coleridge or did you not trust Daniel? In what ways did he sabotage Aiden’s plans?
- What did you think about Charles Cunnigham? Why do you think he wasn’t a host for Aiden?
- We don’t know much about Aiden’s backstory. What do you think he was like before entering Blackheath? Why do you think the author chose not to go too much into his backstory?
- There were many puzzle pieces and characters, did you feel there were any loose hanging threads that were never solved?
- What does the title mean – specifically the half death?
- What happens next for Aiden and Anna?
- Do you feel there was an overall theme to the book?