The Massey Murder

Charlotte Gray's book is about the true story of Carrie Davies, the maid who shot a Massey.

Charlotte Gray

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. (From HarperCollins Canada)

In addition to her acclaimed career as a writer and historian, Gray was also a panellist on Canada Reads in 2013, defending Away by Jane Urquhart.

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From the book

Charles Albert Massey sauntered away from the new Dupont streetcar station, heading west into the chilly dusk. Most of a recent snowfall had been shovelled off the sidewalk by Toronto's Public Works department, which meant that heaped banks of dirty snow protected pedestrians from cars, horse-drawn carriages, and delivery trucks. Dupont was a teeming downtown thoroughfare, lined with grocery stores and bakeries. Massey, a slender man of medium height, carefully picked his way around dog excrement and slushy puddles, thankful that, despite a hangover, he had remembered to pull galoshes over his leather shoes that morning.

From The Massey Murder by Charlotte Gray ©2013. Published by HarperCollins Canada.

Author interviews

Roughing it with Moodie and Traill

Digital Archives

21 years ago
Biographer Charlotte Gray discusses her new book on 19th-century immigrant sisters Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill. 15:24

More about this book

Charlotte Gray's 'The Massey Murder' has been chosen as the region's One Book, One Community initiative, aimed at building community through reading. 7:01