A Gentleman and a Thief: The Daring Jewel Heists of a Jazz Age Rogue
A Gentleman and a Thief: The Daring Jewel Heists of a Jazz Age Rogue

A Gentleman and a Thief: The Daring Jewel Heists of a Jazz Age Rogue

Jobs, Dean
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For attendees to the Ashland Public Library Event with Dean Jobs and Joe Pompeo on July 22, the authors will be signing bookplates for every book ordered through Aesop's Fable.

A captivating Jazz Age true-crime caper about "the greatest jewel thief who ever lived" (Life Magazine), Arthur Barry, who charmed everyone from Rockefellers to members of the royal family while simultaneously planning and executing the most audacious and lucrative heists of the 1920s. 

“A master of narrative nonfiction. In this mesmerizing tale about a Jazz Age gentlemanly thief, Jobb has found his own perfect jewel.”
―DAVID GRANN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wager and Killers of the Flower Moon

“An enthrallingly propulsive, unpredictably twisty biography of one of the most fascinating criminals of the 20th Century.  I was hooked from the very first heist.”
―MICHAEL FINKEL, New York Times bestselling author of The Art Thief and The Stranger in the Woods

A skilled con artist and one of the most successful burglars in history, Arthur Barry was adept at slipping in and out of bedrooms undetected, even when his victims slept only inches away. He became a folk hero, a gentleman bandit touted in the press as the “Prince of Thieves” and an “Aristocrat of Crime.” Think Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief. In a span of seven years, Barry stole pearls, diamonds, and other precious gems worth almost $60 million today. Among his many victims were a Rockefeller, an heiress to the Woolworth Department Store fortune, an oil magnate, Wall Street bigwigs, a top executive of automotive giant General Motors, and a famous polo player. He befriended the Prince of Wales, Harry Houdini, and other luminaries. The rollicking, caper-filled rise and dramatic downfall of this master thief is a high-speed ride told in stylish prose.

A Gentleman and a Thief is also a love story. Barry confessed to dozens of burglaries to protect his wife, Anna Blake (and was the prime suspect in scores of others on Long Island and across Westchester County). Sentenced to a twenty-five-year term, he staged a dramatic prison break—triggering a bloody inmates' riot—when Anna became seriously ill, so they could be together for a few more years as fugitives. Page-turning, escapist, and sparkling with insight into the allure of gemstones and our fascination with well-planned heists and the suave, clever criminals who pull them off, A Gentleman and a Thief is perfect for true crime fans who relish the exploits of con artists and high-class crooks.

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin (June 25, 2024)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1643752839