The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master And The Trial That Shocked A Country by Charlotte GrayThe Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master And The Trial That Shocked A Country by Charlotte Gray

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

byCharlotte Gray

Hardcover | March 4, 2015

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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.

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. Over nine books, she h...
Title:The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master And The Trial That Shocked A CountryFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.17 inPublished:March 4, 2015Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443409235

ISBN - 13:9781443409230

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Rated 1 out of 5 by from A boring book, cobbled together from newspaper articles This book could've been riveting, or at least interesting, but it's not. Given that it's non-fiction, not a whole lot of flourish can be applied, but this was like reading a textbook. Not only that, but there are no court transcripts, witness statements, nor are the contents of the letters written by Carrie Davies (the murderer of Bert Massey) immediately after the shooting revealed. As such, the author relies solely on contemporaneous newspaper reports, while at the same time, emphasizing how biased they are. There is a lot of potential for interest not only about the murder itself, but class struggle, the efforts of a prominent family to keep away the hint of scandal, and the dynamics of the Massey's themselves, who has basically disinherited Bert. Don't buy this. Get it from the library, or skip it.
Date published: 2018-05-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from GREAT BOOK I truly enjoyed this book. It is both enformative, poviding informative and interesting infomation on this story
Date published: 2015-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Innocence and virginity win out I thought the story worth reading as it gave a fair portrayal of what likely happened when a maid shot and killed her master Maybe he deserved consequences not sure death was appropriate
Date published: 2015-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Massey Murder Grey provides a good context for this situation of essentially lowly servant vs. moneyed employer. She captures the context of Toronto, the types of law practiced then, the astute capacity to construct agency for a maid. The last chapters provides Grey at her best reconstructing a 'nobody' who survives and rebuilds her life. Well worth the read to understand Toronto of yesterday to current Toronto. Neither Toronto would recognize itself! How times change in one century!
Date published: 2014-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Massey Murder Interesting early history of Toronto wrapped around a murder story.
Date published: 2014-08-23
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 5 out of 5 by from The Massey Murder Awesome read. You feel like you are there watching it all happen. Class struggle over riding it all with excellent background development of the involved parties and the city of the day. Well worth the read.
Date published: 2014-04-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The Massey Murder Trial Boring! I will not bother reading anything else by Ms Gray. I can not believe that an author with such poorly researched work as this has been honoured. She should be refunding readers for the cost of this academically inadequate piece of trash.
Date published: 2014-03-09
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

Editorial Reviews

In The Massey Murder, Gray shows real kindness and compassion, bringing a sense of humanity to a once-lurid tale from the tabloids.”