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 | March 17, 2014 | Trade Paperback

The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master, and the Trial That Shocked a Country is rated 4 out of 5 by 1.

A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of the Year

An Amazon Top 100 Book of the Year

Shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize

Longlisted for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

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-which was made into a Discovery Channel miniseries entitled "Klondike"-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: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages, 9.13 × 6.25 × 0.94 in

Published: March 17, 2014

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1443436429

ISBN - 13: 9781443436427

Found in: History

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Reviews

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

– More About This Product –

The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master, and the Trial That Shocked a Country

by Charlotte Gray

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages, 9.13 × 6.25 × 0.94 in

Published: March 17, 2014

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1443436429

ISBN - 13: 9781443436427

From the Publisher

A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of the Year

An Amazon Top 100 Book of the Year

Shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize

Longlisted for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

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-which was made into a Discovery Channel miniseries entitled "Klondike"-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.

About the Author

CHARLOTTE GRAY, one of Canada's pre-eminent biographers and historians, has won many awards for her work, including the prestigious Pierre Berton Award for a body of historical writing, the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction, the Ottawa Book Award and the CAA Birks Family Foundation Award for Biography. Her nine books have brought our past to life. A Member of the Order of Canada, Gray was a panellist for the 2013 edition of CBC Radio's Canada Reads. She lives in Ottawa.

Editorial Reviews

"Engaging. . . . Gray's cast involves meticulously researched historical figures, whose behaviour she depicts with psychological insight. Narrated with a great sense of presence, irony, and verve, this book recreates a vanished world of Canadian jurisprudence and politics, invests it with life, and makes it memorable." -- Globe and Mail

"Canada's pre-eminent historian. . . . A captivating read, balancing intense research with richly drawn characters and lively storytelling." - Maclean's

"Gripping and insightful . . . . Gray has managed to resurrect a devilishly intriguing character." - Quill and Quire

"Gray uses discerning research and a perceptive tone to weave a compelling tale of murder, class conflict and societal changes brought on by war in early 20th-century Canadian society. In The Massey Murder, Gray shows real kindness and compassion, bringing a sense of humanity to a once-lurid tale from the tabloids." - Winnipeg Free Press

"An engrossing chronicle of Toronto's social life at the beginning of the 20th century.." - Toronto Star

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