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True Crime General

Murdered Midas

A Millionaire, His Gold Mine, and a Strange Death on an Island Paradise

by (author) Charlotte Gray

Publisher
HarperCollins
Initial publish date
Sep 2020
Category
General, General
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781443449366
    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781443449342
    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price
    $33.99
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781443449359
    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price
    $22.99

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Description

A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of the Year

In this “engrossing must-read” by “Canada’s most accomplished popular historian” (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine), the glittering life and brutal murder of Sir Harry Oakes is newly investigated. Murdered Midas is “superior true-crime writing” (The Globe and Mail).

On an island paradise in 1943, Sir Harry Oakes, gold-mining tycoon, philanthropist and one of the richest men in the British Empire, is murdered. The news of his death surges 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 becomes celebrated as the crime of the century.

The layers of mystery deepen as the involvement of Count Alfred de Marigny, Oakes’s son-in-law, comes into question. Also suspicious are the odd machinations of the governor of the Bahamas, the former King Edward VIII. But despite a sensational trial, no murderer is convicted. Rumours about Oakes’s missing fortune are unrelenting, and fascination with the story has persisted for decades.

Award-winning biographer and popular historian Charlotte Gray explores the life of the man behind the scandal—from his early, hardscrabble days during the massive mineral rush in Northern Ontario, to the fabulous fortune he reaped from his own gold mine, to his grandiose gestures of philanthropy. And Gray brings fresh eyes to the bungled investigation and shocking trial on the remote colonial island, proposing an overlooked suspect in this long cold case. Murdered Midas is the story of the man behind the newspaper headlines, a man both admired and reviled who, despite great wealth and public standing, never experienced justice.

 

About the author

Charlotte Gray is one of Canada’s best-known writers, and author of ten acclaimed books of literary non-fiction. Gray’s most recent bestseller is The Promise of Canada: People And Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country. Her previous book,  The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and The Trial that Shocked a Country, was also a bestseller and won the Toronto Book Award, the Heritage Toronto Book Award, the Canadian Authors Association Lela Common Award for Canadian History and the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Nonfiction Crime Book. It was shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize, the Ottawa Book Award for Non-Fiction and the Evergreen Award and was long-listed for the B.C. National Book Award for Non-Fiction. An adaptation of her bestseller Gold Diggers, Striking It Rich in the Klondike was broadcast as a television miniseries in early 2014 on the US Discovery Channel, under the title Klondike.

An Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of History at Carleton University, Charlotte is the Recipient of the Pierre Berton Award for distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history. She has chaired the boards of both Canada’s National History Society and the Art Canada Institute, has served on the boards of PEN Canada and the Ottawa International Writers Festival. She has frequently served on Writers Trust committees, as well as being a juror for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the RBC Taylor Prize, the City of Ottawa Book Prize, several CBC awards and the Kobzar Literary Award. Charlotte is a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Charlotte Gray's profile page

Awards

  • Unknown, Arthur Ellis Award for Non-fiction

Editorial Reviews

FINALIST FOR THE ARTHUR ELLIS AWARD FOR NONFICTION —

"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." —

"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." —

"An entertaining and satisfying read." —

"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." —

"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." —

"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." — Globe and Mail (Toronto)

"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." — Winnipeg Free Press

"An entertaining and satisfying read." — Quill & Quire

"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." — Ellery Queen

"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." — Millstone News

Other titles by Charlotte Gray