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Download The Great Pearl Heist: London's Greatest Thief and Scotland Yard's Hunt for the World's Most Valuable Necklace Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Great Pearl Heist: Londons Greatest Thief and Scotland Yards Hunt for the Worlds Most Valuable Necklace Audiobook, by Molly Caldwell Crosby Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (193 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Molly Caldwell Crosby Narrator: Michael Page Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2012 ISBN: 9781469273105
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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, and 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It’s a gem…Crosby’s story is rich in the lore of London’s famed underworld; this is a tale of fences, putter-ups and receivers…She takes us deep into the worlds of criminals and the lawmen who pursued them.”


  • “Molly Caldwell Crosby has a lovely talent for imagining history.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Crosby turns back the clock to a winning true crime tale…The author highlights the case’s major influence on British crime detection and the legal system, adding a dash of color and realism to a largely forgotten chapter of Edwardian London.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Crosby’s thriller-style account is backed up by her intensive research of Metropolitan Police records in the National Archives in London…She has crafted another compelling, popular history.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • A Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Month in December 2012
  • Selected for the December 2012 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matthew Dixon | 2/1/2014

    " The title advertised something that the book simply could not deliver. The story of the theft of a very valuable pearl necklace and the subsequent apprehension and prosecution of the people responsible has its interesting points but nothing which would take it outside the realm of a New Yorker article. Not going to be putting this author on my watch list. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen M | 2/1/2014

    " Fun read and a good nonfiction companion to the Downtown Abbey series. Same time period, but a very different class of people. This case illustrates the rise of the modern-day detective and lets us time-travel to the days when jewel thieves shuttled between Paris and London on boats. Great idea, great research, fun photos, good writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole | 1/31/2014

    " I'd go with 3.5 stars if that was an option. I certainly enjoyed reading about this particular jewel heist and about the turn-of-the-century international pearl market. As is normal with pop history, I would have liked to have seen evidence that the author tried to read some of the relevant scholarship, because that would have adjusted some of the claims in the book and its tone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobby | 1/19/2014

    " Interesting, true heist from 100 years ago in London. Learned a lot about the background of so many Brit references in present-day mysteries. Glad author had lists of characters in opening pages of book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/18/2014

    " Quiet interesting. Much history along with the story of the stolen pearl necklace. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 1/17/2014

    " Interesting read about a crime In London right before WWII . Enjoyed the insights into the underworld and the beginnings of detective work. If you like historical mysteries you'll enjoy this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura Lee | 1/13/2014

    " Interesting. Would make a great movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 1/3/2014

    " This interesting true story narrated the details of a gang of jewel thieves and the Scotland Yard detective who eventually caught them. It was a fairly quick read with lots of interesting tidbits about life in 1913 London. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick Reno | 1/3/2014

    " You've got to love history that reads like a good whodunit (OK, maybe you don't; but I do!), bad this is a good yarn and a very different perspective on Edwardian England than you'll get from Ken Follett's great trilogy in progress or Downton Abbey. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren | 12/25/2013

    " An eloquently written tale of the real-life mystery of a pearl heist just before WWI in England. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 12/6/2013

    " Fascinating - a chatty examination of the true theft of the most valuable pearl necklace of its time. Caldwell Crosby evokes the lives and times of the people involved vividly and with sympathy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 11/11/2013

    " A true story of an elaborate jewel heist which took place in Edwardian London. The story traces the scheme, heist, sting, and trial of the notorious jewel thieves who stole a famous pearl necklace worth more than the Hope Diamond. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 7/9/2013

    " Nonfiction written with pace and style of a novel. Love it when historic events are retold in a way that captures your imagination and keeps you up reading late into the night! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise | 4/3/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. Thank you so much for the gift of winning it. I love history and learning about Scottland Yard and the inner workings was a nice change. It was also a fresh change to a who did it book I would enjoy reading more history books like this!! Thank you again!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gwyn | 3/18/2013

    " Very interesting and occasionally laugh out loud funny. It's also a nice look into evolving police tactics and forensics of the early 20th century. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 2/10/2013

    " Not the most thrilling of true crime books, but interesting and well researched. A reliable account and engaging story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Claudia Shaw | 1/31/2013

    " This book was very well researched and very interesting. The number of facts however weighed the action down way too much. "

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About the Author

Molly Caldwell Crosby is the national bestselling author of Asleep: The Forgotten Epidemic that Remains One of Medicine’s Greatest Mysteries and The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic That Shaped Our History, which has been nominated for several awards. 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.

About the Narrator

Michael Page has been recording audiobooks since 1984 and has over two hundred titles to his credit. He has won numerous Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. As a professional actor, he has performed regularly since 1998 with the Peterborough Players in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He is a professor of theater at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.