Discussion Guide: NO STRANGERS HERE

  1. How does the title No Strangers Here apply to our protagonist, veterinarian Dimpna Wilde? How would you personally feel living in a place where everyone thinks they know everything about you?
  2. Detective Inspector Cormac O’Brien, from Killarney, is an outsider to the residents of the close-knit community of Dingle, Ireland. Does being an outsider help or hinder his ability to investigate the murder of Johnny O’Reilly? How does he compensate for it?
  3. Dimpna Wilde carries a lot of emotional trauma from her past. Do you think her pain is deepened when she returns home to Dingle after living in Dublin for years? Or does coming home allow her to heal from that trauma?
  4. Dimpna’s mother Maeve Wilde is a very independent woman, and somewhat estranged from her husband, veterinarian Eamon Wilde. Do you think she still loves Eamon? Whether yes or no, what informs your decision?
  5. How does the coastal setting of the Dingle Peninsula affect the story? Would the characters in No Strangers Here act, interact, and react the same to the situations that take place in the story if they lived in a big city such as Dublin?
  6. A few of the animals in the story provide clues to solving this mystery. Do you recall which animals lead to new revelations?
  7. Dimpna’s father Eamon Wilde is struggling with dementia. Cormac’s mother has Motor Neuron Disease (known as ALS in the U.S.). How do the health difficulties of their parents affect both Dimpna and Cormac? Does it inform their behavior in any way when it comes to solving the murder of Johnny O’Reilly? Does it give them empathy for each other?
  8. Jealousy is a theme in the book between several pairs of characters. Which characters harbor jealousy toward each other, and why do you think that jealousy exists?
  9. Secrets are another undercurrent in No Strangers Here. How many characters are keeping secrets? Which secrets are the most destructive? Are secrets ever necessary to keep, and why (or why not)?
  10. Dimpna Wilde and Cormac O’Brien are both short in stature. How does this affect each of them? Do others treat them different because of it? Would they have the same personality traits if they were taller?