In Kenya's 'Happy Valley' in the years spanning the 1920s to the 1940s no one paid too much attention to the privileged colonial set as they farmed their estates, partied until dawn and indulged in extra-marital affairs. Not until Josslyn Hay, Earl of Erroll, was shot dead at the wheel of his Buick in the early hours of 24 January 1941. Some said the good-looking womaniser had it coming. He was a philanderer who could have had any number of enemies among cuckolded husbands who wanted revenge. Ageing Jock Delves Broughton stood trial for Erroll's murder but was acquitted and the mystery remained unsolved - until now.
American heiress Alice de Janzé had been conducting a clandestine affair with Joss for years. Married into French aristocracy, her stunning beauty was to prove a fatal lure to men of adventure. Previously tried by a French court for shooting one of her lovers, scandal followed her wherever she went.
She arrived in Kenya as a newly married Countess in the 1920s, but by 1941 she had turned forty and the years of partying had taken their toll. Pushed aside by Erroll for younger lovers, and increasingly isolated, Alice threw herself into an act of desperation, resulting in his murder and her own tragic demise. The Temptressnot only solves the mystery of Josslyn Hay's murder with the utmost conviction - it eloquently paints a portrait of a volatile, captivating woman.
Paul Spicer was born in South-east England, spent his childhood in Kenya and Jerusalem, attended Eton in the 1940s and has since spent his life travelling the world as a businessman. Married with two grown-up children, he divides his time between Dorset and Kenya. The Temptress: The Scandalous LIfe of Alice, Countess de Janze is his first biography.
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