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Book clubs  •  3 July 2024


Eleanor Jones Can't Keep a Secret book club questions

A tense and quirky mystery novel to read with your book club.

Things have settled down in Cooinda and Eleanor Jones is getting used to her new normal – spending time with her friends, going to school, and working on a project at the local old age home. But just as things start to feel calm, a series of events once again rock Eleanor’s world: Troy’s ex-girlfriend is back in town and, during a visit to the old age home, Eleanor’s buddy Nance admits to witnessing a murder, swearing Eleanor to secrecy.

In an effort to definitely not be concerned about Troy’s ex, Eleanor throws herself into solving the mystery of the murder Nance spoke about. Enlisting the help of new friend and genealogy expert Jem to research Nance’s past, Eleanor soon realises that digging into old secrets can sometimes be incredibly dangerous indeed.

This is the second book by YA author Amy Doak. In this story she picks up the adventures of Eleanor Jones, Year 11 student at Cooinda High, who continues to find herself caught up in mystery and – possibly – murder!

Discussion points and questions

  • What are some of your favourite tropes in the mystery genre? What typical tropes has Amy Doak used to make Eleanor Jones is Not a Murderer and Eleanor Jones Can’t Keep a Secret fall into the murder mystery category?

  • As with the first Eleanor story, the author has used a few red herrings to distract the reader from the truth. Can you think of any red herrings connected to Nance witnessing the murder plotline? (Don’t forget this could be a plot element or a character.) Were any red herrings used for the robberies’ storyline?

  • Nance’s story of witnessing a murder would be considered a ‘cold case’. Do you know of any cold cases in real life? What do you think makes something a cold case? Why do you think cold cases form a good backbone for a fictional mystery story?

  • Now that you’ve finished the story, what do you think of Catherine, the Patient Liaison Officer?

  • Put yourself in Nance’s shoes. How do you think what happened to Victor affected her? How would she have coped with this as she grew into adulthood?

  • Eleanor’s friendship group is a key component in the story. How do you think the friendship group has changed and developed since the first book? Where do you think her friendships could go in future Eleanor stories?

  • Do you think Namita and Eleanor’s friendship has grown? How can you tell? Do you think Namita is someone you could rely on when it really counts? Do you think they are on their way to being best friends?

  • What do you think will happen with Eleanor’s relationship with Troy? What would you like to see happen?

  • As in book one, Eleanor has a good relationship with her mum, Min. Why do you think their dynamic works so well? Do you think there might come a point when this dynamic might have to change?

  • How did you feel about Jem when you were reading the story? Do you think Eleanor handled the situation with Jem well? Why do you think she felt pressure to ask him to go to the play with her? What do you think she could have done differently?

  • Social media is everywhere and a big part of our day-to-day lives. Do you respect Eleanor’s decision to not be on her phone all the time? Do you think this is a sustainable attitude for her to have?

  • This novel is available in print format, as an ebook, and also as an audio download. What qualities do you think the publisher and author would have looked for when auditioning actors to read Eleanor’s story? Do you have a clear idea in your mind about what Eleanor should sound like?

  • At the end of the book there is an ad for the next book in the series – Eleanor Jones is on Fire. Do you think there have been any hints in this story as to what the next Eleanor book might be about?

Feature Title

Eleanor Jones Can’t Keep a Secret
Eleanor Jones stirs up more mystery and danger in this fast-paced YA mystery.
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