Discussion Questions for A Basket of Trouble

Discussion Questions for A Basket of Trouble:

1. A Basket of Trouble is the third book in the Claire Hanover gift basket designer series, and as with the first two, the murder case is intricately tied to a relationship issue in Claire Hanover's life. In the first book, A Real Basket Case, the issue was Claire's relationship with her husband Roger, and in the second, To Hell in a Handbasket, it was with Claire's daughter Judy. In this case, Claire deals with her relationship with her brother Charley, specifically sibling rivalry that was fostered by their mother. How realistically is the sibling rivalry issue explored and resolved? Have you had to deal with similar problems with your own siblings? How did you resolve them or do you think they will ever be resolved?

2. Claire's brother Charley owns a trail-riding business and his wife Jessica operates a hippotherapy nonprofit. Thus the book delves into the world of working horses. Did you find the descriptions of horseback riding, care of horses, and the use of horses in therapy to be interesting and important to the story? Did you enjoy reading about them? Did you learn anything about horses as a result?

3. A significant subplot in A Basket of Trouble is illegal immigration and the impact on employers of complicated and convoluted legislation regarding the issue. What are your feelings on the problems related to illegal immigration? Do you think the issue was portrayed fairly and realistically in the book? If you had been in Charley's shoes, would you have done anything differently?

4. Claire and Charley also have to deal with their mother's advancing senility in the book. Do you think they handled it well or could have done better? Have you had to deal with an aging relative that required institutional care in your own life? How was it resolved?

5. If you've read all three books in the series, what's your impression of Claire Hanover's character growth across the three books? How has she changed, and are those changes good or bad? What do you expect for her in the future?