The Secret of Magic (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Stepping into the 1946 hotbed of Revere, Mississippi, New York NAACP lawyer, Regina, investigates the murder of a black World War II hero, Joe Howard Wilson, who courageously survived everything but his hometown. After a grand jury deems his death "an unfortunate accident," eccentric author of The Secret of Magic, M.P. Calhoun, calls upon Thurgood Marshall for support to honor her lifelong employee and friend, Joe's father. Stories swirl from Calhoun's book, more truth than fiction, woven in and out of the lives of beloved, tragic characters! 

— From Jane


Winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

"If you liked The Help, you'll love this one "

In a novel that "brings authentic history to light,"* a young female attorney from New York City attempts the impossible in 1946: attaining justice for a black man in the Deep South.

Regina Robichard works for Thurgood Marshall, who receives an unusual letter asking the NAACP to investigate the murder of a returning black war hero. It is signed by M. P. Calhoun, the most reclusive author in the country.

As a child, Regina was captivated by Calhoun's The Secret of Magic, a novel in which white and black children played together in a magical forest. The book was a sensation, featured on the cover of Time magazine, and banned more than any other book in the South. And then M.P. Calhoun disappeared.

With Thurgood's permission, Regina heads down to Mississippi to find Calhoun and investigate the case. But as she navigates the muddy waters of racism, relationships, and her own tragic past, she finds that nothing in the South is as it seems.

Named one of four titles on the shortlist for this year's Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, awarded by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation


*Augusta Trobaugh.

About the Author

Deborah Johnson is the author of The Secret of Magic and The Air Between Us, which received the Mississippi Library Association Award for Fiction.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780425272787
ISBN-10: 0425272788
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: January 6th, 2015
Pages: 416
Language: English