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The Steal

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Member Reviews

A fun, clever romp through Cannes, Paris, and New York featuring a classy, smart jewelry artist and business executive paired with a rumpled, smart-alecky ex-soldier turned insurance investigator. This is the kind of book you pick up in an airport and devour in between and on flights then leave somewhere for another bored traveler.

Overall appealing writing and a fanciful plot that whisks you through the fairyland of post-war Europe inhabited by film stars and very rich people. This would make a wonderful madcap rom-com-mystery movie. A very pleasant interlude….
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Well-imagined and a creative, romantic setting and story. But I couldn't get into the story - maybe it was the informal, chatty POV of the MC?
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THE STEAL
BY: C.W. GORTNER AND M.J. ROSE

C.W. Gortner is one of my top favorite author's. So much so, that I went on a binge this Summer; Reading every single historical novel that he has published. I first discovered how authentic his writing is when I first read and reviewed "The First Actress: A Novel of Sarah Bernhardt." It made a very huge and lasting impression on me. My other two top favorites are: "The Vatican Princess," which is a historical novel about Lucrezia Borgia and "The Confessions of Catherine de Medici." Nobody else that I am aware of can write about women using the first person narrative in such a convincing style. He also wrote two books about Queen Isabella of Spain, Mademoiselle Chanel and Marlene Dietrich, among many others'. I guess, you could intuit that when I noticed that he collaborated with M.J. Rose to write, "The Steal," I have been excited to read it and it did not disappoint me!

This one was an excellent short novella, that I have been savoring to read, but wanted to save it, takes place in 1957 during the International Cannes Film Festival. It doesn't cover the famous festival. It is basically about a huge jewelry heist of millions of dollars of stolen jewels to adorn the movie stars attending it. Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn are among the many lucky recipients that were supposed to be adorned with precious diamonds, rubies and emeralds all specially designed for them in particular.

The jewelry designer is Ania Thorne, whom has been groomed by her now infamous father ever since she was a child. She could be found drawing intricate designs of jewelry in her father's study ever since she was six years old. Her mother who died was very much embarrassed that her husband, Virgil Thorne, had expected his only child to draw pictures of ornate jewels instead of stick figured people and houses like most children. Ania is one cool character, now at the young age of twenty-eight to be the Director of Thorne & Company. She admits to having diamond dust running through her blood. She has devoted hundreds of hours specially designing this collection that is stolen the morning before the first gala is to take place.

Jerome Curtis, is the investigator from Lambert Securities tasked with finding out who would be so brazen to pull off such a dangerous heist at approximately 7:15 AM at the fabled Carlton Hotel. He arrives from London that same day as the one person the insurance company trusts to catch a thief and recover the jewels. He has some idea who might be bold enough to take such a high risk and that person hasn't struck in six years. With high stakes like these, Jerome is highly skilled. He thinks it is a person with the moniker dubbed, "The Leopard." He is notoriously known as the Leopard because he always leaves his calling card which is usually one Leopard glove which never reveals any fingerprints.

As Ania meets with Jerome Curtis he questions her over room service delivered to her hotel room as they are both hungry and Ania decides to save time by dismissing the hotel employee who brings their food to her room thinking it will be more expedient if she serves. They have coffee and Jerome ordered a Club sandwich and Anai ordered just a salad. After she lifts the silver serving tray she is unnerved for the first time as she lifts a necklace with her salad fork with a very personal handwritten message that she read's aloud.

"It's one thing for Liz and Sophia to find other adornments, but it would be a crime
if Audrey wore anything but a Thorne on her neck."

This short novella has great dialogue and it is obviously more plot driven. The chapters alternate between Jerome and Ania. This was an adventurous caper and I never had a clue who stole the jewelry other than to trust Jerome's experienced hunch that it must be the work of the Leopard. This isn't in any way a spoiler as Jerome Curtis discloses this up front in the very beginning. Is this jewelry thief in fact, the work of the Leopard? Who is the Leopard? Why is he targeting Ania Thorne? Is it because this person wants the International newspaper headlines?

One quick small thing of note. I noticed that a lot of reviewer's thought that this is based on the Alfred Hitchcock film called: "To Catch a Thief." I also am surprised that other reviewer's didn't love this as much as I did. It only costs $3.99 on Amazon in Kindle edition and is has been available for several month's now. If I had one quibble--and it is small; Is in that the chapter's delineated to either Anai or Jerome, that I would sometimes be caught off guard whose designated chapter I was reading even though they are named for each chapter in the beginning of each. This wasn't really that big of a problem because I would soon recover and it didn't matter all that much, since both are full of dialogue between them. It just was when one of them was thinking out loud, that it got a tiny bit confusing. Still, all in all, a PG rated, fun action packed short book for which I thoroughly enjoyed. It reads quickly and I hope that if you decide to read it, that you will love this as much as I did. I am crazy about C.W. Gortner's, previous work and have only read one book by M.J. Rose, whom I hope to read more of. I do Highly Recommend this!

Publication Date: August 10, 2021

Thank you to Net Galley, C.W. Gortner & M.J. Rose and Blue Box Press for generously providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

#TheSteal #CWGortner #MJRose BlueBoxPress #NetGalley
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Interesting read and much different time period for Gortner.  Enjoyed this one immensely, relatable characters and well written.
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I just love the French Riviera and Paris – the glamour, the beauty, the history, the champagne, and the excitement! So I was happy to join the #letstalkbookpromo tour for #The Steal by #CWGortner and @mjroseauthor.

The book is a fun jewel heist caper with a beautiful jeweler, Ania Thorpe (would be a social media influencer today!) and attractive ex-military covert op – now insurance investigator Jerome Curtis– thrown together when the jewels designed by Ania’s company (to be worn at the Cannes Film Festival by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn) are stolen!

How could this happen with every security detail in place?! That is the question!

And there you have it  – the gritty and fun 1950s detective procedural begins unwinding – told from the perspective of Ania and Jerome in alternating chapters - transporting  you to 1950s Cannes and Paris and New York City.

There is intrigue, adventure, car chases – and more… think “To Catch a Thief” with Grace Kelly and Cary Grant mixed in with James Bond and the Pink Panther. Great armchair travel for those of us missing those trips away.

This is a quick and fun read that unfolds as if you were watching a movie. In fact, this should be a movie. I loved getting to know the characters and with a cliffhanger ending – left me wanting to “watch” the next season….Thank you @letstalkbookpromo @getredprbooks and @mjroseauthor for the opportunity to read this e-book ARC. The book published this week so it’s available!
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I enjoyed this story about jewelry theft and the chase very much. I liked the interplay of the characters that were thrown together in dark and dangerous circumstances. I loved the glitz and glamour of Europe. What a backdrop!
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I was drawn to this book because it gave off Nancy Drew/classic P.I. movie vibes and it delivered in that aspect. The plot was fast-paced and really interesting. I loved the idea of taking a classic jewelry heist and putting a unique twist on it all set in amazing places like Cannes and Paris😍

Ania was a really cool female protagonist that you couldn’t help but relate to. She had her flaws and limits, but it was cool to see her be a strong businesswoman during the 1950s and her deep knowledge of jewelry design.

Jerome, I liked…significantly less. For an insurance investigator, he was pretty obtuse and made careless assumptions that were obviously false. And his arrogance wasn’t really absolved nor did he grow all that much by the end, at least not significantly.

Being a novella, several plot points felt rushed and some information that felt important was brushed over too quickly. The two characters also went from enemies to lovers WAY too quickly. Like, you’ve known each other for TWO DAYS😳

Overall, if you’re looking for a vintage mystery that’s a PG-13 version of Nancy Drew, you might like this book!
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I received a free copy of “ The Steal” from Goodreads in consideration of an honest review..

 This is a relatively short book, a novella, really. It is a story about a jewel heist  with romantic overtones, set in the 1950’s . It has a tiny of the   Movie  “ To Catch a Thief” with a mysterious burglar , an icy cool blonde and a wily insurance investigator set in Cannes France. The story is told in alternating viewpoints which allows the another’s to give the reader some insight into the characters. 
There were two things I left me cold, this novella is part of a long story arc, that is, a series, so the story is confined in future installments, and second, the fact that the two writers do not ,in my opinion, meld together seamlessly. 
 The book was an easy, quick read,  but not a satisfying or compelling one. I will not read any of the upcoming installments.
Rating: Nothing either objectionable or sparkling in this case.
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Set in the 1950s and a Cannes Film Festival, the specialized jewelry Ania has painstakingly created for the movie stars has been stolen, supposedly by  a sly jewel thief nicknamed "The Leopard."  Jerome, an investigator from the  insurance company, has crossed paths with the Leopard before and has yet to catch him.  What has caught his eye, though, is Ania and his desire to avenge the missed opportunities of bringing the Leopard to justice all while fighting demons from his past war experiences.  

I liked the 1950s setting, and the premise of the story.  I also liked the cliff hanger ending which promises a sequel.  I had a hard time, though, engaging with this book.  The book is told from both Jerome and Ania's perspectives, and for some reason was very jarring.  I feel like the two authors each wrote from one of the character's perspectives and I had a hard time making the two differing writing voices jive.  At the end of the book, though, everything clicked together and I found myself wanting to read the sequel to see what happens from here.  Ania and Jerome are such differentcharacters - I am interested to see how the authors find common ground for them to believably continue the romance.
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Due to a family illness, and unexpected events, I am very far behind in writing my reviews.I found my self reading one book after another without writing the review -- that was a big mistake. I did enjoy this book very much. I give it 4 stars, but I was very disappointed in the abrupt ending. I hope there is a sequel.
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Charming! I will say from the start that I hesitated reading this book as I am in fact not a fan of old movies & stories.  There was something about this one, however, that called to me. Perhaps it was the setting-Cannes, Paris-places that at the moment are not available for many of us to visit in person.   I liked the background on the characters-it set the tone of the book right from the start.  A great ending even being a cliffhanger.  I can’t wait for the next installment!
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This was a fun romantic mystery set in the 1950s.  An exclusive and expensive set of designer jewels are stolen and must be found.  Enter the detective Jerome Curtis.  He must help the designer of the jewels find them & return them.  This was a fun book set in Paris that is sure to please.
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This was written like a film noir and is takes place in the 1950’s. The action begins in Cannes during the Cannes Film Festival. A thief has just stolen the jewels from a jewelry company that outfits the stars of the festival. Ania Throne is the CEO of that successful and internationally-recognized jewelry company. Jerome Curtis is an insurance investigator employed to find the thief. He suspects it is the infamous jewel thief, called the Leopard. Anita and Jerome team up to try and uncover the identity of the Leopard and possibly get the jewels back. This book takes its cues from old Hitchcock movies including the glamour of the rich and famous in the south of France. The dialogue and the description of the settings all read like an old film noir, too. I liked the story but the style of writing was very cold and detached which made the characters one dimensional. This story was told in a way that lacked any warmth at all so I really didn’t get invested in the characters. In the final reveal, I just didn’t care.  Overall, the aloofness of the writing style was a big put off for me. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Thanks to the authors for the arc of this title!

One sentence review: An enjoyable post World War II mystery involving a jewel heist, a world famous jewelry maker and an ex military insurance investigator both determined to find those jewels.⁣
⁣
The above summary actually does a pretty good job of summing up the plot on this one. The book is post WW II so there are discussions of the Nazis and war crimes that might be triggering. ⁣
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My thoughts:⁣
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- This was a quick read for me that caught my interest from the very beginning and had me flipping the pages to figure out what happened.⁣
- I enjoyed that hint of nostalgia that came with this book and the mix of historical fiction, mystery and romance.⁣
- This book actually has a fair amount of steam, which kind of took me by surprise. I'm not bothered by the steam but thought it warranted a mention.⁣
⁣
If you are looking for an interesting mystery with some history thrown in for good measure - this would be a great choice!
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Delightful. An art theft from renown jewelers. A daughter determined to guard the reputation of her family’s company. Jerome Curtis helps Anita in this caper. Set amid the lavishly appointed Cannes in the 50’s it is indeed a caper with great landscapes, fabulous people and a mastermind hot on their tail. Such a fun read.
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What a great historical mystery!! The Steal set in the 1950s has a great storyline and well-crafted characters.

We have stolen diamonds, Ania and Jerome racing against time to catch the thief. Once I started reading The Steal I could not put it down until the very end. Hope to read more from this author in the future.
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This is like "To Catch a Thief," but a little different. Instead of trying to catch the thief, the story is about a woman Aria who is in charged of the company and creates her own jewelry. After her one of a kind jewelry is stolen during the Cannes festival, she collaborates with a Insurance investigator to find her jewel and find out who did it. There is a slow build up of who the thief is and protecting the remaining jewelry, but alas it came to a complete halt when they revealed who the thief was before it was necessary. Once I found out who the thief was I felt sad for Aria because she was losing the illusion of a real life.

Even though, the story is predictable I still found it a exciting read. I like the collaboration of Aria and the Insurance investigator and I also liked the other characters that are involved in the story. I would like another book that catches the thief.

I want to thank Blue Box Press, AuthorBuzz and NetGalley for a copy of this book
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Ania Throne is the CEO of a successful and internationally-recognized jewelry company. Jerome Curtis is an investigator who works for the firm that insures Ania’s company. These two people become unlikely partners when they try to ferret out the master-mind who has committed the brazen robbery of Ania’s company.  The trail takes them from the Cannes Film Festival to Paris and then on to New York City. Set in the late 1950s, The Steal is reminiscent of old Hollywood, the glamour of the wealthy, and the films of Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren.

The Steal was a fun read and an enjoyable romantic caper that moved along at a nice pace. It is easy to imagine it re-created on the big screen, with 1950s mega-stars like Grace Kelly as Ania and William Holden or Gary Cooper in the male lead. The Steal is a short book but, even so, it is well-written, with good descriptions and characters. However, it has an unexpectedly abrupt ending with a cliff-hanger. This might be off-putting for some readers. I know I would have preferred the story to end a bit differently.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.
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The year is 1957 and the Cannes Film Festival is about to start. Ania Thorne, a young jeweler from a famous jewelry company has arrived with the new collection to decorate the high and mighty in Hollywood. But before she can do that, her collection is stolen and a notorious thief known as Leopard is suspected.  
Jerome Curtis is sent to investigate by the insurance company and Curtys has his own history with the Leopard. 
From Canne Ania and Curtis rush to Paris to protect the replacement jewelry that has been sent from New York. Along the way they also try to figure out who Leopard is and why he has targeted Ania and why he sent her back one of the stolen necklaces.
This would be a wonderful graphic novel with all the stylish places, persons, clothes, cars, planes, emotions. The story is quick, so quick that frequently it loses its believability when contradictions appear, but it is written by two authors. But the story is still fascinating even if an observant reader figures out the ending fairly easily. Captivating story and entertaining characters.
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What a refreshing book! I have never read a 1950s mystery, but I would absolutely read more books like this. The characters were enjoyable, the plot moved quickly without causing whiplash, and the writing styles between the two authors blended seamlessly. I would actively seek out more books by these authors, as well as more books in this style. I would definitely recommend this book to other readers looking for a new writing style or genre.
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