Book & Garden Clubs

Sally Handley loves book and garden clubs. If you live in Upstate South Carolina and would like Sally to participate in your book club’s discussion of one of her books, or if you are a garden club member and would Sally to do a presentation for your group, just contact her at If your book club is too far for a day trip from Mauldin, SC, Sally would be happy to Skype in.

Book Club Questions

Second Bloom Discussion Questions

  1. The original title of this book was Murder in Pineland Park. What do you think of the title Second Bloom?
  2. In real life, private citizens rarely assist the police in solving crimes. Yet, this is a staple of the cozy mystery genre. Did you find the reason Holly Donnelly becomes involved in Mrs. Hagel’s murder investigation compelling?
  3. Did you find Ivy’s reason for getting involved realistic?
  4. Did you share Holly’s first impressions of Nick Manelli?
  5. What does Nick Manelli’s relationship with his assistant, Yolanda Rivera, reveal about his character?
  6. Did you feel the minority characters were depicted fairly?
  7. If you were making a movie of this book, who would you cast in the leading roles?
  8. In what ways have Holly and Ivy been impacted by their involvement in the Hagel murder investigation?

Frost on the Bloom Discussion Questions 

  1. Though this second book in the Holly and Ivy Mystery Series takes place in the winter, gardening is a factor. Discuss how the sister’s knowledge of plants assist them in their sleuthing.
  2. Holly becomes angry with Nick when he gives her what he describes as her “first lesson” is self-defense. Is she justified?
  3. In spite of her independence, Holly uses some age-old feminine wiles in dealing with Nick. Is that out of character?
  4. Ivy is the less impulsive of the two sisters. Does she surprise you in this book?
  5. Does the use of tarot cards help or hinder the investigation?
  6. Kate’s grandmother communicates with her in a dream. Do you believe in the ability of spirits to communicate with us?
  7. Do you think Holly and Nick have a future together?

Full Bloom Discussion Questions

  1. Full Bloom takes Holly and Ivy out of Pineland Park. What did you think of Reddington Manor as a setting  for a cozy mystery?
  2. Had you previously heard the expression, “Things happen in threes”? Do you agree?
  3. Discuss how Kate and Holly seem to have switched roles from the previous two books in the series.
  4. Herbal remedies are featured in this book. Do you think herbs can be as effective as pharmaceutical drugs?
  5. Ivy says that Holly is “big on wakes”? How do you feel about attending wakes?
  6. Benny and Razor are not the typical individuals that Holly and Ivy encounter. What is your opinion of these two characters?
  7. Discuss Kate’s choice of weapons for self-protection.
  8. Did you suspect the identity of Tommy Cranston’s father?
  9. At what point did you guess the murderer?
  10. What type of future do you envision for Holly and Nick?