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Preview — The Count and the Confession by John Taylor
The Count and the Confession: A True Murder Mystery
by John Taylor
Roger de la Burde was an unusual and charming man—a wealthy scientist and art collector, he claimed to be a Polish Count, wore ascots, and always bowed to women. But after he was found dead in the library of his Virginia estate, police discovered that de la Burde was not the man he had pretended to be. In fact, he was such a womanizing swindler that they had no difficulty ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 10th 2003 by Vintage
(first published 2002)
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This work of non-fiction is interesting, and it happened just up the road so some of the geography and players are familiar. It's about a bogus nobleman, art collector and overall scalawag and the circumstances of his life and death. After his death, thought at first to be a suicide, his longtime companion is charged with murder, following a baffling confession she says she was pressured to make and sign. There are heavy-handed tactics by the police, but also basic ineptitude on their part and t ...more
I've always liked John Taylor's writing since he came out with Circus of Ambition in the 1980s. He's written many articles for Esquire, and his beautiful but very depressing Falling is a memoir about his divorce. The Count and the Confession is a true-crime story, and I found myself changing my mind again and again about whether I thought the prime suspect was guilty.
Jul 27, 2007 Melissa rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans...
The interesting twist about this story is that it is real. I found a lot of things in this book that made it virtually impossible for me to put it down. The mystery surrounding the Count's death, the interesting lifestyle in which the Count lived all added to this book. You do not really come across people like this anymore, which made it extremely fascinating.
I like the occasional true crime story, and if you saw how often I’m watching A&E, you would know how true this is. I found this one especially interesting, because it takes place in an area I’m familiar with. You can pretty much tell which way the book is slanted within the first few chapters, but I found that both sides were treated pretty fairly.
John Taylor is the author of Paths to Contemporary French Literature (Volumes 1-3) and Into the Heart of European Poetry. He has written numerous books of stories, short prose, and poetry, including The Apocalypse Tapestries. He writes the “Poetry Today” column in the Antioch Review and has long been a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement. He has lived in France since 1977. In 2010 ...moreMore about John Taylor...