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Book Club Goodies for The Prisoner's Apprentice


I love book clubs and am super happy to support yours. If you want to choose The Prisoner's Apprentice for your next pick—and who wouldn't want to pair red wine, good friends, and 19th century murder?—I have a special basket of digital goodies especially for you.

Discussion Questions

The Prisoner's Apprentice explores many themes, allowing you take a spirited discussion in any direction you'd like, from justice to equality, loyalty to ambition. You could consider the attitudes within the context of their time or choose to experiment with a modern #BLM or #MeToo lens on the historical story. Or—if you're extra brave—you could try viewing the world through Rulloff's eyes, taking a stab at what made the serial-killing scholar tick.

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Event Ideas

Like a dose of merriment with your murder? 19th century villainy makes a festive subject for a book club gathering, at Halloween or any time of year you feel like exploring the darker edges of humanity—mustache twisting encouraged.

Mix a period appropriate cocktail, let the strings and chords of musical sin provide the backdrop—even have some fun with costumes if you're really feeling bold. 

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Virtual Visit

If you're interested in the author's perspective, I'd be honored to join your group. The format is up to you—a private reading, Q&A, the story of how I discovered Rulloff in my family tree, a discussion of writing process, or more on the true story of Rulloff himself. 

Bonus: as a veteran family historian, I'm also happy to give you and your guests the tools to find the villains, rogues, and scoundrels in your own family trees.

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About the Author


As slippery as her characters, Cheyenne is a polka-dot-loving tomboy, Palo Alto native drawn to the past as much as the future, and a globe-trotting bookworm.


She’s lived in California, Australia, Singapore, and most recently Mexico aboard a sailboat named Pristine. She blogs about reading and writing historical fiction at

Cheyenne is also the great-great-grand-niece of Edward Rulloff.


Consider yourself warned.

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