Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Massey Murder by Charlotte Gray

The Massey Murder: A maid, her master and the trial that shocked a nation
by Charlotte Gray
HarperCollins Canada
ISBN: 978-1-44340-923-0
Buy from Indigo

Description: 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.

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

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