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Book club questions for The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley examines all the twists, turns and reveals in this locked-room mystery. There will be spoilers so for more context about the book, check out my spoiler-free review first.
While I had my issues with it, I thought this was a decent read overall. Jess was compelling, although I would have liked to know her backstory more. She’s strong too, especially knowing she’s facing danger but she’s determined to find Ben. The initial twist totally caught me off guard and I love when that happens!
But some of the other characters I wasn’t a fan of and that did take away from the story for me. Again, it’s not about likability but I just didn’t care much about them and their reveals weren’t that impressive to me. Also, I wish we would have gotten more of Ben’s perspective in the past—I wasn’t fully satisfied with the reasons he had for moving into the apartment and the other actions he takes.
I wrote down all my spoiler thoughts here so check it out and we can discuss this book in more detail!
Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.
The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.
The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge
Everyone’s a neighbor. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.
Book Club Questions for The Paris Apartment
- Why did Jess decide to come to Paris?
- Ben is Jess’ half-brother and though they were raised by different families, they’re really the only family each other has. We only got brief hints and explanations of their shared past. Did you want to know more about their backstory, particularly when it came to their mother?
- Jess eventually gets into the apartment and Ben is no where to be found. How would you have handled the situation if you were Jess?
- Ben was raised by a well-off foster family while Jess bounced around several toxic and abusive homes. How did this differing upbringing influence who they became as adults?
- Were you surprised when it turned out that Sophie, Nick, Mimi, Antoine, Jacques are one big family and not just random residents? Or did you see it coming before the reveal?
- Ben if oftentimes referred to as a chameleon—while he is always charming, he can somewhat blend with whoever he’s with and Nick remarks that he probably never knew the real Ben. What is your overall impression of Ben? Why do you think he always wears a mask so to speak?
- Did you like the Paris setting?
- Did you believe that Ben was dead or did you suspect that he could potentially be alive?
- Let’s talk about the climax. We find out after Nick revealed to Jacques what Ben was doing—he went to kill Ben but Mimi stopped him and ended up killing Jacques. Sophie, hating Jacques and caring for Ben, covers up Jacques’ murder and keeps Ben alive. What were your thoughts about this reveal?
- After Ben is saved by Jess, he tells her: “I couldn’t help myself, you know? That family. Everything we never had. I wanted to be part of it. I wanted them to love me. And at the same time, I wanted to destroy them. Partly for living off women who might have been Mum, at one stage in her life. But also, I suppose, just because I could.” What is your interpretation of this line and Ben’s motivations with the family?
- Did you like the ending? What happens next for each of the main characters?
Hope you enjoyed book club questions for The Paris Apartment! Here are some more recommendations along with links to book club questions.
The Club by Ellery Lloyd
If you’re seeking another dark-type of thriller, check out The Club by Ellery Lloyd.
The Home Group is a glamorous collection of celebrity members’ clubs dotted across the globe, where the rich and famous can party hard and then crash out in its five-star suites, far from the prying eyes of fans and the media.
The most spectacular of all is Island Home—a closely-guarded, ultraluxurious resort, just off the English coast—and its three-day launch party is easily the most coveted A-list invite of the decade.
But behind the scenes, tensions are at breaking point: the ambitious and expensive project has pushed the Home Group’s CEO and his long-suffering team to their absolute limits. All of them have something to hide—and that’s before the beautiful people with their own ugly secrets even set foot on the island.
As tempers fray and behavior worsens, as things get more sinister by the hour and the body count piles up, some of Island Home’s members will begin to wish they’d never made the guest list.
Because at this club, if your name’s on the list, you’re not getting out.
The Maid by Nita Prose
If you’re looking for a unique mystery, that is actually a bit heartwarming too (yes, it does exist!), check out The Maid by Nita Prose.
Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.
Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.
But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?
A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.