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The Magic Chair Murder

The Magic Chair Murder

A 1920s English mystery

by Diane Janes

Severn House

Historical Fiction

Pub Date 01 Mar 2018


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 story and an entertaining one. I’m curious to see where the next novel goes.

4 / 5

I received a copy of The Magic Chair Murder from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.

— Crittermom


Introducing amateur sleuths Frances Black and Tom Dod in the first of an intriguing new historical mystery series set in the north of England.


The night before she’s due to make a speech to the Robert Barnaby Society on the subject of the famous writer’s ‘magic chair’, committee member Linda Dexter disappears. When her body is discovered two days later, fellow members Frances Black and Tom Dod determine to find out the truth about her death.

Could Linda have discovered something about Robert Barnaby that got her killed? Or does the answer lie in the dead woman’s past? As they pursue their investigations, Fran and Tom find the Barnaby Society to be a hotbed of clashing egos, seething resentments and ill-advised love affairs – but does a killer lurk among them?

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