Imagine a strand of pearls more valuable than the Hope Diamond, a pearl necklace worth at least $18 million in today’s dollar. In London, 1913 a magnificent pale pink pearl necklace was purchased by Hatton Garden broker for an astronomical amount and the subsequent publicity made it a much coveted target for jewel thieves of the day. It wasn’t long before a grand jewel heist, more exciting than the necklace itself, was underway. This is the subject of Molly Caldwell Crosby’s book The Great Pearl Heist: London’s Greatest Thief and Scotland Yard’s Hunt for the World’s Most Valuable Necklace.
The book not only goes into detail about the heist itself but the key figures involved such as Joseph Grizzard, “the King of Fences,” who no longer needs to steal, after becoming a wealthy family man but continues to lead a gang of East End criminals mainly, for the sport of it.
On the opposite side of the law is Inspector Alfred Ward one of the first officers in a new division of the Metropolitan Police called the “detectives”. After catching some of the most infamous murderers of Victorian London, Ward is clearly a worthy adversary to this clever gang of crooks so it comes as no surprise when he is assigned the case.
Compared to a Sherlock Holmes’ novel and set against England’s glamorous Edwardian era, this is a captivating and atmospheric tale of cat and mouse that will appeal to a wide range of readers from true crime fans to mystery lovers to history buffs.
Molly Caldwell Crosby is also the author of the national-bestselling book The American Plague.