The Perilous Phlogisticon

This murder mystery is set in a steampunk world – where the technology and aesthetic designs are inspired by 19th-century steam-powered machinery. Our story is based on the real, but long since discredited, theory of phlogiston. This theory postulated the existence of an element called phlogiston; which was believed to have negative weight because after it was released due to burning of a substance, the substance gained weight. We have taken this idea and imagined that some scientists are planning to use phlogiston in the construction of a flying machine, the Phlogisticon.

In the town of Oxbridge, three Guilds have come together to design and build a flying machine, which they call the Phlogisticon. These Guilds are:

  • the Librarians – keepers of all knowledge,
  • the Horologists – who are responsible for all engineering works,
  • and the Infernal Devisors – who study and experiment with fire and chemistry.

The project was going extremely well until the pilot, a Mr Valliant, was found dead in the Phlogisticon this afternoon.

The suspects are:

Mr Isambard Hill, Master of the Horologists’ Guild
Miss Alice Bodley, member of the Librarians’ Guild
Professor Ebenezer Burns, member of the Infernal Devisors’ Guild
Miss Wilhelmina Morris, lead interior designer for the Phlogisticon
Sir Herbert Gold, administrator of the Queen’s Fund for Research
Miss Amelia Gray, assistant interior designer for the Phlogisticon
Mr Leonard Davis, researcher and inventor
Miss Marguerite Lestrange, recently arrived in Oxbridge.


Some of the fabulous costumes for this plot