Charlotte Gray is one of Canada’s best-known writers and is the author of ten acclaimed books of literary non-fiction. Her most recent bestseller is The Promise of Canada: 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. An adaptation of her bestseller Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike was broadcast as a television miniseries in 2014 on the US Discovery Channel. She has frequently served on Writers’ Trust committees and been a juror for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the RBC Taylor Prize, the City of Ottawa Book Prize and the Kobzar Literary Award. Charlotte Gray is a Member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
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.