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Who Killed Sir Harry Oakes? Paperback – Import, 1989

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Mandarin; Reprint edition (1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749301503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749301507
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jack Purcell on May 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
Sir Harry Oakes, his place in the minds of pre-WWII well-to-do, his connections with the rich, powerful and regal, and finally, his spectacular homicide and bumbled investigation all make it a worthwhile area of interesting esoterica. I don't believe this is the best work ever written about Oakes or his murder(ers), but it's one of the few books about it still available. It's middling good place to try to read about a fascinating man and an incident that briefly took the attention of the world away from profound events elsewhere. If you enjoy this and it makes you hungry for more you might try hunting down, The Life and Death of Sir Harry Oakes by Geoffrey Bocca as a captivating follow-up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dark Knight on November 27, 2010
Format: Unknown Binding Verified Purchase
The story of Sir Harry Oakes' murder in the Bahamas in 1943 will never go away. Why? Because it's the most fascinating murder mystery of all time.
Leasor's book is one of eight written about the murder so far. It is not the best, but its theories are worth examining, even if supposed connections with major events like the sinking of the Normandie are a little far-fetched.
In 2005, two books about the Oakes murder were published within weeks of one another, one written by a controversial Nassau journalist, the other by an old Etonian former barrister.The first, Blood and Fire by John Marquis, has been judged the most plausible and best written of all. The other, Serpents in Eden by James Owen, was very interesting but, in my view, completely wrong in its conclusions.
However, anyone interested in murder mysteries ought to get into this story because it throws up so many fascinating angles and possibilities.The list of major characters - including the Duke of Windsor - is reason enough to study the case, though the list of possible motives is equally captivating.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Acute Observer on October 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The 'Foreword" provides a summary. Sir Harry Oakes became one of the richest men in the world by discovering gold in Ontario. He did not inherit his fortune, or make it by exploiting any person, company, or country. His gruff crude manner masked his erudition. This book lacks an index and a table of contents. Chapter 1 tells the history of Sir Harry Oakes and Alfred de Marigny to 1943. After Sir Harry Oakes' strange death, de Marigny was arrested for the murder. The prison doctor who examined de Marigny saw "no marks of any burns" (p.25), and was immediately dismissed! Barker and Melchen poisoned Lady Oakes' mind against de Marigny (p.26). Nancy remained loyal to her husband. The most damning evidence against de Marigny was his fingerprint at the murder scene (p.29). When the Commissioner of Police could testify to de Marigny's presence earlier that day, the Commissioner was transferred far away to prevent this testimony (p.29)! De Marigny's driver was beaten to try to make him testify against de Marigny! The two watchmen on duty the night of the murder disappeared (p.31). Nancy hired Raymond Schindler, the famous private detective (p.30). A very powerful person was trying to murder an innocent victim (p.32).

Many of the witnesses that testified were not present at the time of the murder. What some witnesses claimed to know did not match what they really knew (p.35). Harold Christie was very ill at ease in the witness box, and sweated profusely as if terrified (p.39). Captain Melchen did not know of the fingerprint until the funeral (p.51). This fingerprint was not photographed in situ, but lifted. It did not show the background, unlike the example given in court (p.66). Chapter 5 tells about the Normandie fire, and suggests this sabotage was part of a scheme.
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By Barrie Tomkinson on April 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Leasor is without doubt a very accomplished author. I read his novel Follow the Drum some time ago and found it a fascinating account of British/Indian history. Who Killed Harry Oakes is an engrossing account of the lifestyle of extremely wealthy people in the Bahamas from 1940 to modern times. Although there are some editorial textual mistakes I recommend it to people like myself who enjoy what I call educational novels.
I am now looking forward to more of James Leasors works.
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