(30. - 1055.) Murdered Midas by Charlotte Gray (A Millionaire, His Gold Mine, and a Strange Death on an Island Paradise) - Murdered Midas won the 2020 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-Fiction. While interested in reading the winning book I was more drawn to the book as I wanted to know who Gray thought murdered Sir Harry. In 2014 I read Who Killed Sir Harry by Eric Minns. While titled a novel it was more a non-fiction recounting of Sir Harry’s death and the subsequent trial of his son-in-law, Count Alfred de Marigny, for murder. While Who Killed Sir Harry was not a well written book I was fascinated with the murder and trial. I wrote a post on who I thought had killed Sir Harry.Murdered Midas opens with Harry Oates, 37 years old, and still searching for his big strike. For over 15 years he has pursued gold in the Klondike, Australia and California. His methodical approach to prospecting has yet to be successful. Gray recounts how most prospectors find silver or gold by luck.
Determining which claims he wanted to re-file was hard work:
…. Working thigh-deep in mukeg and bogs, and sleeping in either his tent or one of three lean-to shelters he had fashioned out of sacks and sticks.On a frigid night, as low as -50, Oakes and the Tough brothers re-stake claims adjacent to Kirkland Lake. Oates had developed a theory that gold veins in the area ran under lakes.
When the Duke of Windsor heard the news of Harry’s death, he made an instant decision that, in retrospect, was unwise - the latest in a lifetime of ill-advised decisions by the former king. Assuming that the case was byond the capacity of Nassau’s police resources (four officers and 140 constables), he looked elsewhere for help.Instead of Scotland Yard or the FBI the Duke, having recently met Captain Edward Melchen of the Miami Police Department and found him “to be a very good fellow” he asks the Miami Chief to send Melchen to the Bahamas. Captain James Barker accompanies him.