Book Launch: Murdered Midas by Charlotte Gray (Sold Out)

Book launch Murdered Midas by Charlotte Gray

"Canada's pre-eminent historian." —Maclean's

Book launch
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
7 p.m.

Library and Archives Canada, the Ottawa Public Library and the Ottawa International Writers Festival invite you to the launch of Charlotte Gray's unforgettable new book, Murdered Midas: A Millionaire, His Gold Mine, and a Strange Death on an Island Paradise. The story of the infamous Sir Harry Oakes as only Charlotte Gray can tell it.

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 known 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.

For more information about this event, call 613–996-5115 (1-866-578-7777) or email

Library and Archives Canada
Pellan Room, 2nd floor, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa
Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa Public Library, Writers festival
  • Biography

    Charlotte Gray is one of Canada's best-known writers and the author of 10 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 Non-fiction Crime Book. It was shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize, the Ottawa Book Award for Non-Fiction and the Evergreen Award, and longlisted for the BC National Non-Fiction Award. An adaptation of her bestseller Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike was broadcast as a television miniseries in 2014 on the U.S. Discovery Channel.

    An adjunct research professor in the Department of History at Carleton University, Gray is the 2003 recipient of the Pierre Berton Award for distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history. She has chaired the boards of both Canada's National History Society and the Art Canada Institute, and has served on the boards of PEN Canada and the Ottawa International Writers Festival. She has frequently served on Writers' Trust committees and has been a juror for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the RBC Taylor Prize, the Ottawa Book Awards and the Kobzar Literary Award. Charlotte Gray is a Member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

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