The Poisoned Chalice Murder A 1920s English mystery
by Diane Janes
Pub Date 01 Nov 2018
Diane James’s second 1920s mystery, The Poisoned Chalice Murder, is even more enjoyable than her debut - a stunning accomplishment. Frances Black and Tom Dod are a charming pair of amateur detectives, working well together despite a frisson of attraction they dare not act upon. Frances is the more perceptive of the duo, and the novel focuses on her perspective. Diane James skillfully portrays the social dilemmas Frances is faced with. Being separated from her husband is scandalous, despite the fact that he ran off with another woman. Accepting a divorce, even more so. As a woman on her own, being respectable is of central importance. Tom is also constrained, as he married his dead brother’s fiancée so their children would be legitimate.
Tom’s aunt has asked them to look into a trio of deaths. Superficially they don’t appear suspicious,...
The Magic Chair Murder is a thrilling and well plotted mystery set at the end of the 1920s. Women were beginning to play a greater role in commerce and academia. Frances Black is a capable woman long separated from her husband. As part of the board for the Robert Barnaby society, she recommended Linda Dexter as a speaker. Surprisingly Linda Dexter doesn’t show up, and her car is found burned out a ways away. Along a little traveled railway, Linda’s body is found. Was her murder related to her talk, which promised to challenge some much beloved beliefs? Or was it related to her past?
Between dealing with egos and avoiding a stalker, Frances Black, assisted by her friend Tom Dod, delves into the mystery of Linda Dexter’s death.
The Magic Chair Murder is a well plotted mystery, and Frances Black is a lead who is easy to identify with. All in all, it is a solid s...