The Temptress: The Scandalous Life of Alice de Janzé and the Mysterious Death of Lord Erroll by Paul Spicer (St. Martin’s Press U.S. and Simon & Schuster U.K., 2010)
On The Temptress, I worked as a ghostwriter, collaborating with author Paul Spicer to write his biography of Countess Alice De Janzé. Alice was a beautiful but troubled American heiress who lived in Paris in the 1920s — where she inspired a character in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel — before moving to Kenya in the 1930s. In Africa she fell in with the infamous "Happy Valley" set and met the author's mother, who was living there at the time. Later, Paul became fascinated by Alice, becoming convinced that she was responsible for the unsolved murder of Lord Erroll in Nairobi in the 1941. The book unravels the mystery, with Alice as the culprit.
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Praise for The Temptress
“In Paul Spicer the notorious American expatriate and radiant beauty Alice de Janzé has finally met her match. With the dedication and zest of a private detective, Paul Spicer pursues her into the ironically named "Happy Valley" of equatorial East Africa where her melodramatic life ended in violence and tragedy. She appears like one of those extreme characters from the pages of Evelyn Waugh and Scott Fitzgerald. But, as Paul Spicer shows, truth is once again stranger than fiction." —Michael Holroyd, author of A Strange Eventful History
“Spicer has brought an extraordinary character out of the shadows.” —James Fox, author of White Mischief
“Deliciously salacious...” —Vogue
“A true story of glamour, scandal, and murder in colonial Africa.” —The Daily Beast
“Fans of Frances Osborne’s The Bolter will enjoy Paul Spicer’s The Temptress.” —The Wall Street Journal
“The Temptress is a page-turner...a first-rate story.” —The Mail on Sunday