Customer Reviews


22 Reviews
5 star:
 (13)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for a rainy weekend.
Do you ever read a book you enjoy so much that you hunt down similar books about similar subjects to fill the void? It never works. After Paul Spicer's 'The Temptress,' I read Frances Osbourne's 'The Bolter,' which was an anti-climax.

This book, by contrast, was an absolute delight. I can't recommend it highly enough. Spicer is clearly invested in his subject,...
Published on 23 July 2012 by Boo Radley

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not proven
An interesting and well written account of the life of Alice, Countess De Janze, one of the Happy Valley set. However, the author's contention that Alice murdered Josslyn Hay, Earl of Erroll, is based on speculation rather than fact. As a candidate for the murder Alice is at best in the "possible but not probable" category and, with so much time passed and all possible...
Published on 3 Dec. 2012 by H. Rogers


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for a rainy weekend., 23 July 2012
By 
This review is from: The Temptress: The Scandalous Life of Alice, Countess De Janze (Paperback)
Do you ever read a book you enjoy so much that you hunt down similar books about similar subjects to fill the void? It never works. After Paul Spicer's 'The Temptress,' I read Frances Osbourne's 'The Bolter,' which was an anti-climax.

This book, by contrast, was an absolute delight. I can't recommend it highly enough. Spicer is clearly invested in his subject, Alice De Janze, an uncommonly beautiful American heiress and member of Kenya's notorious Happy Valley Set between the wars. The writing is flawless, evocative and transporting. The subject matter is engrossing. Spicer writes about Alice incisively, striking exactly the right balance between analysis and narrative, maintaining exactly the right distance from a subject with whom he is somewhat connected (she was friends with his mother.) This is a story you'll read without blinking, until you realise it's 4am and you're disappointed to be finished. The pace and tone of the narrative is compelling, too. Just when you feel the story is meandering along at a comfortably pleasant pace, something terrifically dramatic happens, and Alice De Janze's life was punctuated with a lot of cinematically melodramatic moments.

The most infamous of these incidents in the book is the murder of Lord Erroll (the subject of 'White Mischief,' a book by historian James Fox, and later a film of the same title.) A reviewer below criticises Spicer for his theory about Erroll's murder, and this is probably legitimate. I haven't read 'White Mischief,' so Spicer's is effectively the first theory about Erroll's death that I have read. For this reason, I was pretty easily persuaded. Those who are more widely read in this area can better judge. However, as an ignorant but interested reader I enthusiastically recommend this to like-minded readers. It's a little bit racy and a lot scandalous, but also thoughtful and empathetic, offering new insight into a beautiful, complicated and deeply troubled woman.

I went on to read Karen Blixen's 'Out of Africa' for the first time, which I loved. I can also recommend 'Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life and Untimely Death in Africa' by Mark Seal. I plan to read 'White Mischief' and 'Too Close To The Sun: The Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton' by Sara Wheeler. Since finishing 'The Temptress', I find I almost miss the heady atmosphere of white Kenya and the African landscape. I want to read more books with lions in them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not proven, 3 Dec. 2012
By 
H. Rogers - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Temptress: The Scandalous Life of Alice, Countess De Janze (Paperback)
An interesting and well written account of the life of Alice, Countess De Janze, one of the Happy Valley set. However, the author's contention that Alice murdered Josslyn Hay, Earl of Erroll, is based on speculation rather than fact. As a candidate for the murder Alice is at best in the "possible but not probable" category and, with so much time passed and all possible suspects long dead, the murder is unlikely to ever be solved. James fox's White Mischief is still the most plausible account of what may actually have happened.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 8 Sept. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Temptress: The Scandalous Life of Alice, Countess De Janze (Paperback)
Bought this book for reading on holiday, having watched the film "White Mischief" and being rather intrigued about all the lives and loves of the "Happy Valley" set. An interesting story. Only one drawback - I was so keen to continue reading page after page, that before I knew what had happened, I had finished the book before the holiday was over!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now we know, 26 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have often wondered about the truth behind the murder of Joss and believe that the whole affair was a cover up from start to finish. Paul Spicer`s book is a refreshing new insight into the REAL murderer. Great read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, I think he's right., 5 Sept. 2014
By 
Lady Anne Shaw (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Really good - fascinating. I now feel that Paul Spicer is correct in proposing Alice as murdered of Lord Errol. Read many books about this, but this is thought-provoking when you think you have read everything! Thanks, Paul
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars 'Happy Valley', 26 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Enjoyed the book and thought it brought the characters of Kenya's infamous 'Happy Valley' alive. A good and enjoyable read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars For such a juicy subject I didn't find the novel ..., 20 Feb. 2015
By 
JP (Albuquerque, NM, United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Temptress: The Scandalous Life of Alice, Countess De Janze (Paperback)
For such a juicy subject I didn't find the novel as engrossing as it should have been. However, it was an okay read on a fascinating time and personality.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Interested in the book because I was born in Kenya ..., 17 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Interested in the book because I was born in Kenya. The book should be read in conjunction with "White Mischief" by James Fox.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 Jan. 2015
By 
Charlotte Baldwin "English mystery fan" (Urbanna, VA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Temptress: The Scandalous Life of Alice, Countess De Janze (Paperback)
I have read numerous books on The Happy Valley crowd and find them very interesting.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and well written, 8 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Temptress: The Scandalous Life of Alice, Countess De Janze (Paperback)
Enjoyed this very much - life of the wealthy and titled in Kenya in the 1930's .
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Temptress: The Scandalous Life of Alice, Countess De Janze
Ł7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews