The Great Pearl Heist by MollyCaldwell Crosby
London's Greatest Thief and Scotland Yard's Hunt for the World's Most Valuable Necklace

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Molly Caldwell Crosby once again brings forgotten history to vivid life in an absorbing account of crime and deduction in the early days of the twentieth century. . . .
In the summer of 1913, under the cover of London’s perpetual smoggy dusk, two brilliant minds are pitted against each other—a celebrated gentleman thief and a talented Scotland Yard detective—in the greatest jewel heist of the new century. An exquisite strand of pale pink pearls, worth more than the Hope Diamond, has been bought by a Hatton Garden broker. Word of the “Mona Lisa of Pearls” spreads around the world, captivating jewelers as well as thieves. In transit to London from Paris, the necklace vanishes without a trace.
Joseph Grizzard, “the King of Fences,” is the charming leader of a vast gang of thieves in London’s East End. Grizzard grew up on the streets of Whitechapel during the terror of Jack the Ripper to rise to the top of the criminal world. Wealthy, married, a father, Grizzard still cannot resist the sport of crime, and the pearl necklace proves an irresistible challenge.
Inspector Alfred Ward patrols the city’s dark, befogged streets before joining the brand-new division of the Metropolitan Police known as “detectives.” Ward earns his stripes catching some of the great murderers of Victorian London and, at the height of his career, is asked to turn his forensic talents to finding the missing pearls and the thief who stole them.
In the spirit of The Great Train Robbery and the tales of Sherlock Holmes, this is the true story of a psychological cat-and-mouse game set against the backdrop of London’s golden Edwardian era. Thoroughly researched, compellingly colorful, The Great Pearl Heist is a gripping narrative account of this little-known, yet extraordinary crime.


About MollyCaldwell Crosby

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Molly Caldwell Crosby holds a Master of Arts degree in nonfiction and science writing from Johns Hopkins University and previously worked for National Geographic magazine. Her writing has appeared in Newsweek, Health, and USA Today, among others. She lives in Memphis, Tennessee, with her family.
Published November 27, 2012 by Berkley. 305 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Heist stories have an enduring fascination for the public, and Crosby (Asleep: The Forgotten Epidemic that Remains One of Medicine's Greatest Mysteries, 2010, etc.) offers an exhaustively detailed reconstruction of one all but forgotten by history.

Nov 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Great Pearl Heist: London...

Dallas News

The Great Pearl Heist is the story of the 1913 theft of a fabulous necklace of 61 matched, pale-pink pearls.

Dec 07 2012 | Read Full Review of The Great Pearl Heist: London...

Deseret News

In her new nonfiction book, “The Great Pearl Heist," author Molly Caldwell Crosby tells the story of a mystery of epic proportions with characters that would rival even a Sherlock Holmes adventure.

Dec 29 2012 | Read Full Review of The Great Pearl Heist: London...

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