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Having just finished The Bolter Edwardian Heartbreak and High Society Scandal in Kenya, I was eager to stay in Happy Valley and readabout the disreputable lives of the denizens living there Rich, titled little silver spoon twits with money to burn and boy did they burn it , unlimited leisure time to spend on devising new and novel ways to commit adultery or other sexual escapades within their tight knit group and drink drug themselves into oblivion or suicide , and generally live the Having just finished The Bolter Edwardian Heartbreak and High Society Scandal in Kenya, I was eager to stay in Happy Valley and readabout the disreputable lives of the denizens living there Rich, titled little silver spoon twits with money to burn and boy did they burn it , unlimited leisure time to spend on devising new and novel ways to commit adultery or other sexual escapades within their tight knit group and drink drug themselves into oblivion or suicide , and generally live the kind of wasted life that served no purpose except to give readers like myself unlimited reasons to be disgusted yet also strangely fascinated by their life and times in the roaring 20 s and depressed 30 s White Mischief didn t quite live up to the can t look away from that car wreck that was so evident within the pages of The Bolter, but it wasn t without it s moments What generally didn t engage me was the writing style, which was flat and didn t flow smoothly from start to finish A true, unsolved murder mystery featuring an earl, his mistress, her husband, a world war, and a tight knit little group of priviledged colonials should have made for riveting reading, but it was mostly sluggish going, and sometimes hard to follow.Giving it a 3 because I didn t stop reading it, but would love to find a better book on the subject This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Rich people seem to fall in love a lot in the twentieth century Can you imagine having sex with quite so many of your friends Weird.But White Mischief is far too long Essentially, there s no mystery at all The whole thing is a waste of everyone s time.I liked the term public schooliganism , however.Oh I forgot to say they think they re so posh but they re just so Jeremy Kyle Gwladys, second wife of Lord Delamere, speaks against Sir Jock Delves Broughton at his trial for the murder Rich people seem to fall in love a lot in the twentieth century Can you imagine having sex with quite so many of your friends Weird.But White Mischief is far too long Essentially, there s no mystery at all The whole thing is a waste of everyone s time.I liked the term public schooliganism , however.Oh I forgot to say they think they re so posh but they re just so Jeremy Kyle Gwladys, second wife of Lord Delamere, speaks against Sir Jock Delves Broughton at his trial for the murder of his second wife s boyfriend and Gwladys s step son goes on to become this wife s fourth husband My current mother in law tried to get my second husband imprisoned for the murder of my boyfriend Disclaimer ARC provided by the publisher Open Road Media via Netgalley in exchange for a fair review Thank you One of my all time favorite television shows is Heat of the Sun which was shown in the United States as part of Mystery now Masterpiece Mystery It starred Trevor Eve as a London policeman who was re assigned to Kenya in between wars He clashed not only with his superior but also with the upper crust Luckily for him, he had a good Sergeant who was a dead shot, and a pilot who was Disclaimer ARC provided by the publisher Open Road Media via Netgalley in exchange for a fair review Thank you One of my all time favorite television shows is Heat of the Sun which was shown in the United States as part of Mystery now Masterpiece Mystery It starred Trevor Eve as a London policeman who was re assigned to Kenya in between wars He clashed not only with his superior but also with the upper crust Luckily for him, he had a good Sergeant who was a dead shot, and a pilot who was also his romantic interest In short, the three stars were great It s why I requested this book when it popped on Netgalley The first episode of Heat of the Sun seems to draw on this murder White Mischief is a two part story The first concerns that of Jossyln Hay, Lord Erroll and his murder This part covers the trial of the man accused of the murder as well as Kenya at the time The second part is Fox chronicling his investigation into the case, an investigation done with Cyril Connolly, for newspaper magazine investigative journalism piece The first half of the book is the strongest Hay was a womanizer, and Kenya s Happy Valley set was decedent Think soap opera Think Downton Abbey withpanting, drugs, and liquor And lions This part is told as straight forward narrative Part of the charm is the drop in guest stars Karen Blixen appearsthan once, Beryl Markham and others make appearances Fox does his best to make Erroll if not likable at least acceptable as a human being The reporting tone allows for distant and the story is compelling, most because the people are truly characters There is the woman with the pet lion, the feather game, and the social clubs Did you know that mayor of Nairobi was a woman at this time Neither did I And wait until you hear about the woman who tried a murder suicide It isn t all gossip mongering It isn t gossip mongering at all What Fox is doing is setting the stage, allowing the reader to see the people, the characters, for who they really were, or at least seemed to be This is necessary because the second part of the book depends on these character studies and gossip stories The second part is weaker in part because of the discussion of the investigation doesn t necessary take place in a strict narrative order There is a bit of jumping around and at times there are digressions Some of these digressions are interesting, some not so much One of the most interesting is the appearance of Antonia Fraser and her comments about the case The writing style also changes slightly It is less engrossing,laid back There also is a bit too much hero worship of Connolly, though considering Connolly s reputation perhaps this is understandable What Fox does very well in this section almost better than proving his thesis of whom the murder was is make Connolly sound like a man I wish I could meet Fox s proving of his thesis is well done and logical Recommended for those interest in murder mysteries, true crime, literature, and In the Heat of the Sun.Crossposted at Booklikes Of course, if it hadn t been for James Fox I might not have known anything about the Lord Erroll murder of January 1940 in Happy Valley, Kenya First I read the article some years ago in Vanity Fair Then there was the movie And then, again, some years ago I picked up this book Of course, it did take around 8 years for me to get around to reading it Even at that, I had to be nudged by a GR reading group But I think it was worth the effort.This book wassocial than anything else Cyril C Of course, if it hadn t been for James Fox I might not have known anything about the Lord Erroll murder of January 1940 in Happy Valley, Kenya First I read the article some years ago in Vanity Fair Then there was the movie And then, again, some years ago I picked up this book Of course, it did take around 8 years for me to get around to reading it Even at that, I had to be nudged by a GR reading group But I think it was worth the effort.This book wassocial than anything else Cyril Connolly was the one the real bug about Lord Erroll and Fox appears to have gone along for the ride.I had recently finished Frances Osborne s book about her great grandmother, Idina Sackville, The Bolter Edwardian Heartbreak and High Society Scandal in Kenya Guess I also wasn t quite ready to leave Happy Valley.The eternal triangle Diana Caldwell involved inthan one triangle , Sir Jock Delves Broughton and Josslyn Hay, 22nd Earl of Erroll Jock and Diana had been married a couple of months when she fell over Joss everyone fell for Joss and decided she would hold him to a marriage pact and demand an out Jock not too pleased about that and not long after Joss is murdered in his car after dropping Diana off Everything seems to point to Jock, who allegedly took a sleeping pill that night, is alibied by June Carberry But questions remain Everybody, even 40 years later, is scared to talk I was going to give it 3 stars for all that this book dragged and dragged giving details about people so awful it was impossible to care much about them So many of them were sadistic, superior, classist, racist, sexist, selfish and not particularly intelligent Perhaps virtue is not very interesting but it s absence is even less so, especially without any critique The almost objective voice of the author telling us dry facts almost put me to sleep and I like detective novels.But it was tho I was going to give it 3 stars for all that this book dragged and dragged giving details about people so awful it was impossible to care much about them So many of them were sadistic, superior, classist, racist, sexist, selfish and not particularly intelligent Perhaps virtue is not very interesting but it s absence is even less so, especially without any critique The almost objective voice of the author telling us dry facts almost put me to sleep and I like detective novels.But it was thorough and I appreciated a glimpse that I thought showed me similar masculinities to ones I am finding in modern boys schools websites albeit packaged differently I felt I was getting an idea of what I was grappling with the end though After one completely selfish sadist murders another because both wish to objectify the same drearily beautiful woman we are finally after 288 pages examining characters and motives and to me showing that privilege and selfishness of both murderer and murderee were to blame finally told that in the end Africa was to blame er.what How was the continent to blame For being there to be colonised For being forced to receive into itself the dregs of British privilege people seemed to be semi exiled there if they were too rich to be punished but embarrassingly awful I found such a conclusion unforgivable, had the author not been watching his own discoveries about characters Had he in some unaccountable way fallen in love with them They were Gadsbyish if you take all the writing out of Gadsby and get a journalist to long windedly present everything anyone ever said I mean if Gadsby wasn t fiction but everyone was sort of like Tom and Daisy except eventedious and Gadsby was less tragic andcruel I tried to like it I didAt least the women were portrayed as characters I suppose.Anywaywon t be looking forlike this one It was such a slow read for me because after the beginning it really wasn t very gripping Surprisingly after the murder the pace slowed down to almost nothing and a lot of repetitions.Whodunnit Wellto me noone was completely innocent though I felt empathy for the child Another schadenfreude filled book of the trashy English colonialists that polluted Kenya s Happy Valley a hundred years ago My daughter gave me The Bolter which i loved and this contemporaneous story does a fine job illustrating how they lived, thought, and carelessly destroyed everything everybody they came in contact with A true life murder mystery with almost unbelievable characters Huzzah Mau Mau Another schadenfreude filled book of the trashy English colonialists that polluted Kenya s Happy Valley a hundred years ago My daughter gave me The Bolter which i loved and this contemporaneous story does a fine job illustrating how they lived, thought, and carelessly destroyed everything everybody they came in contact with A true life murder mystery with almost unbelievable characters Huzzah Mau Mau |Free ♟ White Mischief: The Murder of Lord Erroll ☩ The riveting true story of decadence, deception, and murder among British aristocrats in colonial KenyaIn , with London burning in the Blitz, a group of hedonistic English nobles partied shamelessly in Kenya Far removed from falling bombs, the wealthy elites of Happy Valley indulged in morphine, alcohol, and unrestricted sex, often with their friends spouses But the party turned sinister in the early hours of a January morning for Josslyn Hay, Lord Erroll, who had been enjoying the favors of the beautiful young wife of a middle aged neighbor Hay was found dead, a bullet in his brain The murder shocked the close knit community of wealthy expatriates in Nairobi and shined a harsh light on their louche lifestyleThree decades later, author James Fox researched the slaying of Lord Erroll, an unsolved crime still sheathed in a thick cloud of rumor and innuendo What he discovered was both unsettling and luridly compelling White Mischief is a spellbinding true crime classic, a tale of privileged excess and the wages of sin, and an account of one writer s determined effort to crack a cold and craven killing I can t recall media covering this prolonged mystery of who killed Lord Erroll but thought it could be interesting read The book is a collection of tidbits, recollections, interviews, suppositions following up gossip. Being blessed with in laws who are lovely AND live in Kenya and having been there myself scores of times, it was finally and long overdue time to pick up this tragic hymn to the days when the sun never set on the British Empire and when its outcast sons and daughters could enjoy the spoils delivered by the Maxim gun An extravagant life in the white highlands of Kenya with waiters, alcohol and adultery in amounts seconded only by feudal kings Many came to Kenya in the early 1900 s for adventu Being blessed with in laws who are lovely AND live in Kenya and having been there myself scores of times, it was finally and long overdue time to pick up this tragic hymn to the days when the sun never set on the British Empire and when its outcast sons and daughters could enjoy the spoils delivered by the Maxim gun An extravagant life in the white highlands of Kenya with waiters, alcohol and adultery in amounts seconded only by feudal kings Many came to Kenya in the early 1900 s for adventure and opportunity, including good people like Karen Blixen and the head of the white settlers in Kenya Lord Hugh Delamere, and worked damned hard in the field and in the bar to make their inherited fortunes grow or at least not dwindle many of them in vain Others came to Kenya as society outcasts or second, third etc in line for inheritance and they landed in created a society that was beyond reach of the Victorian morale of home, but all ears to the libertine morale of the roaring 1920 s Here landed also Josslyn Hay, the Lord Erroll to be and thus bound to become one of the most prestigious persons in Scotland, but having spent his youth being thrown out of Eton and banging the wrong ladies in the wrong locations he had few other places to go than the Rift Valley and the Aberderes Range Here the white settlers of Kenya were secure from the Maasai, the Kikuyu and the Indian immigrants thanks to colonial legislation put in place after severe pressure being applied on the distant British administration by the swashbuckling Delamere and other settlers The Happy Valley was conceived and the crowd enjoyed the three A s Altitude, Alcohol and Adultery to the motto of yet another fucking beautiful day in Africa Wife swaps, weekend long orgies with champagne by the gallon, cocaine, intimidated and exploited staff, ignored and unattended children and rows of cunning stunts and wrecked marriages were the joys and pleasures and the crowd would gather frequently at notable places such as Djinn Palace at Lake Naivasha and the beautiful Muthaiga Country Club where lords and countesses were acting like wild monkeysA day in January 1941 the beginning of the end of these happy days started, as Lord Erroll was found with a bullet in the head at the wheel of his Buick This started a scandal that at least contributed to the British losing their license to operate as a colonial power and leading to the Mau Mau revolt in the late 1950 s James Fox set out in the late 1970 s, while many from the Happy Valley crowd and it s eyewitnesses we re still alive, to explore the circumstances around this mystery murder that has never been resolved James Fox book comes in two parts First part, which ends with murder of Lord Erroll, is EXCELLENT It tells the story of the Happy Valley and their background in a way that adds to the already immense pleasure of enjoying a sundowner in Muthaiga Country Club knowing that this was perhaps the continent s most in famous social place less than 100 years ago Reading Fox tale of this crowd adds a most credible and needed wickedness to the neater tales of, e.g Karen Blixen this was the Wild South for the wealthy what the Wild West was for the poor The second part of the book is the story about Fox and his mentor Cyril Connolly s search for the truth behind the murder, which never led to anyone being convicted I can see what he is aiming at He presents the story with the cozy suspense and logical tidiness of a crime novel, as they during the late 60 es and early 70 es track down the events and the survivors of the days of the murder It just doesn t do it for me The details on ballistics and the missing hour and all that other stuff is just not really exciting to me and it becomes tedious instead Why Maybe because the murder is too far away for me both in time and space Maybe my interest is simply not strong enough for a person who may have been something big when he lived and died, but who today is just a tiny rock in history s maelstrom Maybe this just goes to show how the things that are important and big events in one generation slowly but surely fade out in the coming generations and become boring specifics of a time passedOr maybe I am just not that hooked on crime novels I had always wanted to read this book When I saw it on my friend s coffee table, I had to have it Growing up around Karen, I read, saw and witnessed the very extravagant living of British settlers They continue to live in closely guarded circles attending clubs and parties serviced by well trained African workers When I first heard of this story, I thought of it fascinating it was quoted in an article covering the assassination of Tonio Trzebinski in almost a similar manner to that the of I had always wanted to read this book When I saw it on my friend s coffee table, I had to have it Growing up around Karen, I read, saw and witnessed the very extravagant living of British settlers They continue to live in closely guarded circles attending clubs and parties serviced by well trained African workers When I first heard of this story, I thought of it fascinating it was quoted in an article covering the assassination of Tonio Trzebinski in almost a similar manner to that the of Earl of Errol Unlike that of Tonio, the author has covered the incidents leading to the murder of the Earl quite well He is detailed, almost too detailed for non history lovers He gives wonderful insights of old white settlers society and sneak peaks of Happy Valley the hedonist society The only caveat to this read is, if you don t already know the small details about Kenya Like who Delamere was or where Kilifi Malindi Ngong Road Karen are it might not be as exciting as it was for me and those who do This then should be a read in summary of all other learnings about Kenya and the history made by the British in Kenya