- Did you know who the Arthur and George of the title were before you began the book? If not, were you surprised when George's surname was first revealed to the reader and how had you pictured him up until that moment?
- George has trouble believing that he was a victim of racial prejudice. Why is this difficult for him to believe when everyone else involved in the case seems to think that this must have played a part in his conviction?
- What qualities does the Mam encourage in Arthur? And how does Arthur's upbringing compare with George's? How influential do you think Arthur and George's parents were on their beliefs and adult careers?
- Do you think it matters that the real perpetrator of the animal mutilations is never identified? In the Sherlock Holmes' novels the villains are always captured and the case is wrapped up - would you have preferred this to have happened in this book?
- Discuss Barnes' depiction of the police in the novel - how do you think he perceives their involvement in the case?
- Would you describe Arthur and George as a detective novel?
- Does it matter to you what in the novel is fiction and what fact?
- Do you think Arthur's relationship with Jean Leckie was compatible with his childhood views of chivalrous knights - did his affair affect your opinion of him?
- Discuss how Barnes is able to evoke the period through his writing.