First American Edition
8 1/2" x 5 3/4"
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White Mischief is a book by British journalist James Fox, first published in hardback 1982 by Jonathan Cape. It is the account of the unsolved murder in 1941 of Josslyn Hay, the Earl of Erroll, a British expatriate in Kenya. The title is a pun on the 1932 Evelyn Waugh novel Black Mischief. The book was adapted for film in 1987.
Part novel and part journalism the book is divided into two distinct sections. Initially presented as a classic murder mystery, the first part of the story focuses on the dissolute lifestyles of the wealthy elite in colonial Kenya. Casual affairs, wife-swapping, habitual drunkenness and cocaine abuse were all common. The main protagonists are the victim, Josslyn Hay, a handsome womanizing aristocrat, his beautiful married lover Lady Diana Broughton and Diana’s much older husband Sir Delves Broughton. Although the identity of the murderer was never actually discovered at the time, the author claims to have found new evidence pointing to Sir Delves, and the second part of the book concentrates on the author’s investigations and interviews with surviving participants in the drama, both in Kenya and in England.