LONGER ... 'MURDER
BY PERSONS UNKNOWN'
SELLING MOMBASA AUTHOR ERROL TRZEBINSKI
SOLVES A NAIROBI 'HAPPY VALLEY' MURDER CASE !
- - IN THE EARLY hours
of 24 January 1941, Captain the Hon. Josslyn Victor Hay, 22nd Earl of
Erroll, hereditary High Constable of Scotland and Kenya's Assistant
Military Secretary, was shot in the head.
body was shoved into the footwell of his hired Buick, which
was run off the road. The murder might have passed unnoticed:
an unremarkable detail in a corner of the British Empire
distracted by the Second World War.
a sensational trial, in which complex social comings and
goings titillated the watching audience with tales of love
affairs and wild parties, and a 'Not Guilty' verdict meant
that Lord Erroll's memory would not discreetly fade.
the murder has never been reinvestigated, and Erroll's killer
has never been found, the coroner's last word on the subject
being that it was 'Murder By Persons Unknown'.
- - Best
Author Errol Trzebinski.
- EVENING STANDARD LONDON)
was one of the century's great unsolved crimes.
the diverting tales of white mischief among the settlers of Kenya's
"Happy Valley" lies the uncomfortable truth: someone wanted
Erroll dead, and the motives and means and identity of that person
have never been properly explained.
Trzebinski, biographer of Denys Finch Hatton, Beryl Markham and the
Kenya pioneers, is uniquely placed to reopen the investigation into
the mysterious death of Lord Erroll.
knows the people and the places, and has unrivalled access to Erroll's
surviving friends and family circles.
didn't set out to seek a killer previously overlooked in all the
colourfully distracting images of the Happy Valley set, but that is
what she found.
she has uncovered a plot that stretches from a dusty crossroads on the
Ngong-Nairobi road to the heart of British power in Whitehall.
the first time, the life of Lord Erroll, the threat he posed and the
dangerous friends and enemies he gained can properly be revealed.
the heart of the story is no crime of passion or lovers' feud but a
carefully constructed kill.
Trzebinski is author of
• 'The Lives
of Beryl Markham' and
Will Speak', the biography of Denys Finch Hatton
which was used as the source for the love story in the Oscar-winning
film 'Out of Africa'.
lives in Mombasa.