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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.
CHARLOTTE GRAY is one of Canada’s best-known writers and the author of ten acclaimed books of literary non-fiction. Her most recent bestseller is The Promise of Canada—150 Years: People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country. Her bestseller The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master, and the Trial That Shocked a Country 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 longlisted for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. An adaptation of her bestseller Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike was broadcast as a television miniseries. An adjunct research professor in the department of history at Carleton University, Charlotte Gray is the recipient of the Pierre Berton Award for distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.