A Gentleman and a Thief

Alpine Books


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National Bestseller

Globe and Mail Bestseller List

Toronto Star Bestseller List

Catch Me If You Can meets The Great Gatsby in this Jazz Age tale of a master jewel thief who charmed celebrities and hobnobbed with New York’s millionaires while planning audacious heists to relieve them of their treasures.

A skilled con artist and perhaps one of the most charming, audacious burglars in history, Arthur Barry slipped in and out of the bedrooms of New York’s wealthiest residents, even as his victims slept only inches away. He befriended luminaries such as the Prince of Wales and Harry Houdini and became a folk hero, touted in the press as “the greatest jewel thief who ever lived” and an “aristocrat of crime.” In a span of seven years, Barry stole diamonds, pearls, and other gems worth almost $60 million today. Among his 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.

Dean Jobb—hailed by Esquire magazine as “a master of narrative nonfiction”—once again delivers a stylishly told, high-speed ride. 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). Sentenced to a twenty-five-year term, he staged a dramatic prison break when Anna became seriously ill so they could be together for a few more years as fugitives.

With dozens of historic images, A Gentleman and a Thief is page-turning escapism that sparkles with insight into our fascination with jewel heists and the suave, clever criminals who pull them off.