The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master And The Trial That Shocked A Country

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The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master And The Trial That Shocked A Country

by Charlotte Gray

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd | September 10, 2013 | Hardcover

The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master And The Trial That Shocked A Country is rated 4 out of 5 by 4.

A Globe & Mail 100 Selection and longlisted for the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize!

A scandalous crime, a sensational trial, a surprise verdict-the true story of Carrie Davies, the maid who shot a Massey

In February 1915, a member of one of Canada''s wealthiest families was shot and killed on the front porch of his home in Toronto as he was returning from work. Carrie Davies, an 18-year-old domestic servant, quickly confessed. But who was the victim here? Charles "Bert" Massey, a scion of a famous family, or the frightened, perhaps mentally unstable Carrie, a penniless British immigrant? When the brilliant lawyer Hartley Dewart, QC, took on her case, his grudge against the powerful Masseys would fuel a dramatic trial that pitted the old order against the new, wealth and privilege against virtue and honest hard work. Set against a backdrop of the Great War in Europe and the changing faceof a nation, this sensational crime is brought to vivid life for the first time.

As in her previous bestselling book, Gold Diggers-now in production as a Discovery Television miniseries-multi-award-winning historian and biographer Charlotte Gray has created a captivating narrative rich in detail and brimming with larger-than-life personalities, as she shines alight on a central moment in our past.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.17 in

Published: September 10, 2013

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1443409235

ISBN - 13: 9781443409230

Found in: History

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting story... Overall I did enjoy the book. However it included so much detail about what was happening around the time of the story that I found it took you away from the core story line. It definitely provided an abundence of information and truly gave me a good sense of what was happening in the world in 1915. Although I did enjoy the book I could not give it more than 3* due to the lengthy distractions from the story line itself.
Date published: 2014-08-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from THE MURDER AND SO MUCH MORE In February of 1915 Charles (Bert) Massey was returning home after work only to be surprised by Carrie Davies standing in his doorway. Carrie was the Massey’s 18-year-old housemaid and she was holding a gun. She fired the gun into Bert Massey three times and succeeding in killing the son of one of Toronto’s richest ruling elite. She confessed to police, was removed from the residence and spent time in the “Don Jail” awaiting her trial. Seems rather cut and dried? Add to that the fact that not much is left in the way of records or transcripts other than newspaper articles and the occasional diary entry and it seems that Ms. Gray may have chosen a difficult murder trial to write about. I grant you this book may be a bit misrepresented by the title. Yes, it is about the Massey murder but that story is only the stepping-stone into this book and the thread the ties together the important people in the book; the Toronto elite; the movers and shakers; the disturbers of the calm and of course, the immigrants and the poor. When WWI is factored in as well as the perspective from the several newspapers operating at the time Ms. Gray gives us an accurate representation of Canada’s largest city in the early 1900’s. This book was chosen as Waterloo Region’s “One Book – One Community” book for 2014. A committee made up of the booksellers, librarians, booklovers and the public, chooses one book each year from a long list of 75 entries. The book must be written by a living Canadian author with a known body of work, it must appeal to the broadest possible audience and needs to encourage the exchange of ideas, including community building and program potential. Ideally it must have some element of the “WOW” factor and must be in print and available in paperback to make it affordable and accessible for all. The aim of the program is to have as many people as possible discussing the same book … to build a community of readers. I try to read the “One Book – One Community” selection every year and I enjoyed this year’s book very much. There have been quite a few negative reviews written, based on the title, but I felt the book delivered so much more than just a retelling of a long ago murder. I lived in Toronto for several years and have walked on the streets mentioned in the book, have visited some of the locations and have even dined in what was once the Massey Mansion (now know as The Keg Mansion, Restaurant and Steak Houseä). I concede that this may have made it a little more interesting for me personally, yet I would still recommend it as an excellent read and I applaud the committee on their choice.
Date published: 2014-05-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating This is a great book, very interesting story about the murder as well as sharing what life was like in Canada (in particular; Toronto) in the early 1900's.
Date published: 2014-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Truly Fascinating piece of non fiction The Good Stuff The amount of research put into this is truly mind boggling My father used to talk about this case to me when I was growing up. For such a kind hearted, giving man, he had a true fascination with true crime stories which always made me laugh. I know murder isn't funny, but it always seemed funny that he loved hearing about these cases. Miss you Dad Enjoyed reading about places I knew and had been too. Guess I should put this in the not so good, because it kinda made me home sick Made history come alive - this is the kinda book that will make kids interested in history. Canadian history isn't boring guys, just most history teachers make it feel that way (Except for you Mr Shore -- you taught it the way it should be taught) Didn't feel like Non-fiction - felt at times like I was reading a fast paced thriller Thoroughly disgusted on how women were treated during this era - hard for someone like me to understand how lucky we have it today - not perfect I know, but still so much better Did I mention how truly fascinating this piece of non fiction is. Couldn't put the damn thing down and that is truly unusual, as I am more a fiction girl. Mentions my home town of Richmond Hill - I know that is a terribly geeky observation - but hey, did I mention I am homesick Blown away about how little input Carrie had in her own defense Truly disgusted about the atrocious treatment Carrie received in order to prove that she was a virgin In depth sources section at the end of the book A must read for those interested in Toronto history The Not So Good Stuff Felt a little drawn out at times, but I guess with only so much background about the actual murder, it had to be done Favorite Quotes "But the city's social elite was an exclusive club. Toronto's Fine Old Ontario Families ("FOOFs" as they had come to be called) resented the mercantile class. "I do not care for Toronto as I used to," Colonel George Denison, who typified the old guard, told a friend in 1911. "Parvenus are as plentiful as blackberries, and the vulgar ostentation of the common rich is not a pleasant sight." "Gossip was easier to absorb than the welter of confusing stories out of distant countries on the far side of the Atlantic. The only sources of information about the war, not in its seventh month, were newspaper reports and the rumours they triggered: there was no radio, let alone any of the information technology we take granted for today." "When Martin first applied to Osgoode, an outraged and deeply conservative bencher harrumphed that her admission would prove "disastrous to the best interests of women," and that anyway, no self-respecting woman of fashion would want to wear the official robes of a litigator." 4 Dewey's I received a copy from HarperCollins at the Indigo Insider event, I am not required in any way to write a review for it - I just like to tell people what I think
Date published: 2013-10-09

– More About This Product –

The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master And The Trial That Shocked A Country

by Charlotte Gray

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.17 in

Published: September 10, 2013

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1443409235

ISBN - 13: 9781443409230

From the Publisher

A Globe & Mail 100 Selection and longlisted for the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize!

A scandalous crime, a sensational trial, a surprise verdict-the true story of Carrie Davies, the maid who shot a Massey

In February 1915, a member of one of Canada''s wealthiest families was shot and killed on the front porch of his home in Toronto as he was returning from work. Carrie Davies, an 18-year-old domestic servant, quickly confessed. But who was the victim here? Charles "Bert" Massey, a scion of a famous family, or the frightened, perhaps mentally unstable Carrie, a penniless British immigrant? When the brilliant lawyer Hartley Dewart, QC, took on her case, his grudge against the powerful Masseys would fuel a dramatic trial that pitted the old order against the new, wealth and privilege against virtue and honest hard work. Set against a backdrop of the Great War in Europe and the changing faceof a nation, this sensational crime is brought to vivid life for the first time.

As in her previous bestselling book, Gold Diggers-now in production as a Discovery Television miniseries-multi-award-winning historian and biographer Charlotte Gray has created a captivating narrative rich in detail and brimming with larger-than-life personalities, as she shines alight on a central moment in our past.

Editorial Reviews

PRAISE FOR GOLD DIGGERS:

?Nobody writes our nation?s history with quite the grace and authority of Charlotte Gray.? ?TORONTO STAR

?Shows why those hardscrabble years captivate us still. . . .Reinforces her reputation as a superb narrative historian.? ?NATIONAL POST

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