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Synopsis

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 face of 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 a light on a central moment in our past.

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3.6 out of 5
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  • 3 person found this review helpful

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    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!

  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    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

  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    GREAT BOOK

    I truly enjoyed this book. It is both enformative, poviding informative and interesting infomation on this story

  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    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.

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    Massey Murder

    Interesting early history of Toronto wrapped around a murder story.

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