A gold mine. A millionaire. An island paradise. An unsolved murder. A missing fortune. The story of the infamous Sir Harry Oakes as only Charlotte Gray can tell it
On an island paradise in 1943, Sir Harry Oakes, gold mining tycoon, philanthropist and "richest man in the Empire," was murdered. The news of his death surged across the English-speaking world, from London, the Imperial centre, to the remote Canadian mining town of Kirkland Lake, in the Northern Ontario bush. The murder became celebrated as "the crime of the century."
The layers of mystery deepened as the involvement of Oakes' son-in-law, Count Alfred de Marigny, came quickly to be questioned, as did the odd machinations of the Governor of the Bahamas, the former King Edward VIII. Despite a sensational trial, no murderer was ever convicted. Rumours were unrelenting about Oakes' missing fortune, and fascination with the Oakes story has persisted for decades.
Award-winning biographer and popular historian Charlotte Gray explores, for the first time, the life of the man behind the scandal, a man who was both reviled and admired - from his early, hardscrabble days of mining exploration, to his explosion of wealth, to his grandiose gestures of philanthropy. And Gray brings fresh eyes to the bungled investigation and shocking trial in the remote colonial island streets, proposing an overlooked suspect in this long cold case. Murdered Midas is the story of the man behind the newspaper headlines, who, despite his wealth and position, was never able to have justice.
FINALIST FOR THE ARTHUR ELLIS AWARD FOR NONFICTION
"You’ll likely feel guilty for enjoying this true-crime account about an unsolved murder, but when a story is told with fulsome information and explained well, it’s hard not to smile. When it’s written by historian and biographer Charlotte Gray, you’ll smile more."
"Gray is Canada’s most accomplished popular historian. . . .Her deeply researched, brilliantly told account, with its motley cast of characters and exotic locale, is an engrossing must-read."
"Gray brings fresh eyes, deep research and her trademark page-turning, plot- and character-driven style to this fascinating history of a scandal that rocked the postwar world."
"An entertaining and satisfying read."
"A great story, well told by Charlotte [Gray]. She has an easy conversational style which makes reading her work a great pleasure. This is an engrossing and very readable book."