A CIRCLE OF WIVES

LaPlante LaPlante

An Indie Next Pick , an Amazon Best Book of the

Month, a Daily Candy Best Book of the Month,

and one of More Magazine’s “Five Thrillers Not

to Read After Dark”

From the bestselling author of Turn of Mind, this

riveting, complex psychological thriller dissects

the intricacies of desire and commitment, trust

and jealousy, passion and obsession.

When Dr. John Taylor turns up dead in a hotel room, the local police

uncover enough incriminating evidence to suspect foul play.

more …

An Indie Next Pick , an Amazon Best Book of the

Month, a Daily Candy Best Book of the Month,

and one of More Magazine’s “Five Thrillers Not

to Read After Dark”

From the bestselling author of Turn of Mind, this

riveting, complex psychological thriller dissects

the intricacies of desire and commitment, trust

and jealousy, passion and obsession.

When Dr. John Taylor turns up dead in a hotel room, the local police

uncover enough incriminating evidence to suspect foul play. Detective

Samantha Adams, whose Palo Alto beat usually covers petty crimes in the

wealthy town, is innocently thrown into a high-profile murder case that is

more complicated than any she has faced before. A renowned reconstructive

surgeon and a respected family man, Dr. Taylor was beloved and admired.

But beneath his perfect façade was a hidden life—in fact, multiple lives.

Dr. Taylor was married to three very different women in three separate

cities. As the curious circumstances surrounding his relationships emerge,

Detective Adams finds herself tracking down a murderer through a tangled

web of marital deception and revenge.

less …
  • Grove Press
  • Paperback
  • January 2015
  • 328 Pages
  • 9780802122926

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About LaPlante LaPlante

Alice LaPlante is an award-winning and best-selling

author of numerous books, including Coming of Age at the End of Days

(Available in hardcover August 2015), A Circle of Wives, and the New York

Times bestseller Turn of Mind, which was a B&N Discover Award finalist

and the winner of the Wellcome Trust’s Book Prize.

Praise

“Marriage is as mysterious as murder in LaPlante’s captivating psychological

thriller. . . . A smart, intricate tale about murder and the elusive mysteries

of marriage.”—People

“A suspenseful, thrilling read but also one that explores the complications of

human relationships with grace and understanding.”—Interview

“Love is a mystery in this clever whodunit about marriage, passion and

deception. . . . Sharply written and observant.”—Family Circle

Discussion Questions

The book is narrated by four different characters:

Detective Samantha Adams and Dr. Taylor’s three

wives: Helen, MJ, and Deborah. How does this structure

provide a more well-rounded understanding of each

character? Which of these characters voices do you

connect with most? Why?

Detective Adams interviews MJ, Helen, and Deborah in back-toback

chapters. What are the similarities and differences in how each

wife responds to learning that her husband was married to two other

women? What clues are revealed about each wife’s potential guilt or

innocence in their interviews?

Deborah believes that John’s three wives “added up to the perfect

marriage, and he needed all of us in order to have a balanced life.”

Does she really mean this? Discuss whether or not Deborah is a

reliable narrator.

Samantha confronts MJ with the news that MJ had a strong motive

to murder Dr. Taylor, as she would have lost her house. “I see now,”

Samantha says, “that any warmth I felt toward MJ was just stupid me

wanting to be liked. We are opponents, have been from the start.” Why

does this news shock Samantha? Has Samantha’s need to be liked

impacted her ability to do her job effectively?

Helen offers Deborah a place to stay in her apartment, then opens up

to Deborah about how she met Dr. Taylor. Are these gestures in line

with Helen’s character, or do they reflect a genuine reevaluation of her

personality in the wake of her pregnancy and Dr. Taylor’s death?

Why does Deborah indulge Samantha’s reenactment of Dr. Taylor’s

final moments? Is she paying off a debt she feels she owes Samantha?

What is Deborah’s quid pro quo in this scene?

Consider whether or not Samantha becomes part of Dr. Taylor’s circle

of wives. Why or why not?

The “Rashomon effect” occurs when multiple speakers narrate a

similar event in a contradictory way. How does the structure of A

Circle of Wives affect our understanding of Dr. Taylor’s character?

Knowing the outcome of the novel, discuss who was the most reliable

and the least reliable narrator.