Cover Image: The Steal

The Steal

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Member Reviews

I received this ARC and this is my review. I loved this book! It is set in post-World War Ii France and England and is stylish and smart and reads like a screenplay. The characters are excellently flawed and the story is loaded with twists. I totally recommend this book to readers who enjoy a good mystery with plenty of suspense and numerous pitfalls.
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I really enjoyed The Steal! I was immediately drawn in by the description of the story, It made me think of the old caper movies with Cary Grant. It’s a fun read.
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M.J.Rose books have always been some of my favorites. Her collaboration with C.W. Gortner is a slight departure from her normal novels. But having said that I enjoyed this book. This was a mid-century story with a male insurance investigator and a CEO of a jewelry design company. These two are polar opposites that must learn how to work together to solve a theft. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.
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I’ve read several books by MJ Rose before but hadn’t come across CW Gortner before. I’m so glad I did. This book was fantastic. I can’t wait to read the next one!
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This is a fast,fun read. I so enjoyed the 1950s time period as this decade is seldom chosen for new fiction. The plot may not be super original, but it takes you away to travel, romance and glamour of days past.
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I really enjoyed The Steal! I was immediately drawn in by the cover. It reminded me of a Nancy Drew book, which was irresistible to me since I devoured as many as I could get my hands on as a kid. The story itself reminded me of the old caper movies of the 1950s with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn, which was really fun to read. The story was engaging, and the characters had enough depth to keep me interested. It’s a short book, so it’s a great option for a fun summer read or a day when you’re curled up inside. I can’t wait to read The Bait, the next book in the To Catch A Leopard series, to see what happens next! Thanks to NetGalley and Blue Box Press for my advanced copy!
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A fast-paced, tightly written novella with strong character development. It also provided an interesting reminder of the ongoing impact of war on those who fight. Look forward to reading more about Ania and Jerome.
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You know those film noirs set in the 50’s? Like Double Indemnity and The Maltese Falcon? This is a book noir. Grabbed my attention immediately with damaged hero, Jerome Curtis, a private insurance investigator who served in a secret group following WWII.  He is sent to “THE” film festival in Cannes following the heist of the entire collection of jewels  designed by Ania Thorne, daughter and artistic heir of a legendary jewelry designer. These jewels were to have adorned the most beautiful actresses of the day, including Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hepburn, and Sophia Loren. This is just the latest in a series of jewelry robberies performed by “The Leopard”. Jerome has a personal stake in catching this thief. Alternating points of view between Ania and Jerome reveal their growing attraction to each other. The ending is a cliff-hanger, which is ok by me.  I can’t wait to read the next installment in this ongoing saga!  
I received the ARC of this delightful book at no charge from NetGalley and the authors M.J. Rose and C.W. Gortner, but all opinions are my own.  This book will be available for purchase on August 10, 2021.
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A mystery with some romance set in the 50's. The dialogue certainly sounds like that era, and the writing is good, but unfortunately the story - about the investigation of a jewellery robbery in Cannes - wasn't really to my taste. It reminded me of some of the detective TV shows or movies from that era though. Lots of characters and information loading in a short period of time and heaps of internal narration. I really didn't connect with either  Ania or Jerome and the story wasn't concluded in this book, so be aware of that. My thanks go to NetGalley and the publisher for gifting me the eArc in return for my opinion.
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It's not quite summer yet, but it's close enough for me to call The Steal a definite summer beach read. It's not terribly long - which is disappointing, if only because I wanted to wallow in 1950s jet-setting luxury a bit longer - but that's what makes it perfect for a day at the beach or lake.

We start in Cannes, shortly before the world-renowned film festival, and are thrown into the action immediately after a daring heist. Here the reader meets Jerome Curtis, a World War II veteran turned insurance private detective, as he tries to piece together how the unthinkable happened in a bustling, exclusive hotel. The book switches narratives back and forth between him and the woman in the eye of this high stakes hurricane, Ania Thorne. Ania is the one who designed the jewelry that was just stolen from under her nose; she is someone who lives and breathes gems and their precious metal settings and doesn't really know what to do with herself when she's away from her jeweler's bench.

From there, we follow Jerome and Ania to Paris and eventually to New York, and trouble is never far behind them. Their lives are at stake, Ania's reputation and family business are at stake, and there are even hints that Jerome's dark past, the past between the end of the war and where we pick up with him at the beginning of the novel, may be exposed as well. 

The Steal piqued my curiosity and gave me a solid few hours of entertainment before I had burned through the whole story. Will we have more?
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THE STEAL - C.W. Gortner and M. J. Rose
Blue Box Press
ISBN: 978-1-952457-53-1
August 2021

France - 1957

Jerome Curtis is in the magical city of Cannes, but not for fun or for the film festival. He's an investigator for an insurance company, and one of their clients was just robbed of millions of dollars of priceless jewelry. Jerome is almost positive that he knows who committed the heist. It's been six years, but it's most likely the notorious Leopard who has taken off with the jewels specifically designed for certain stars at the film festival. First of all, Jerome must interview the director of the jewelry company, and hopefully, he can get some clues to work with.

Ania Thorne, who took over the family business, Thorne & Company, from her father, turning the company around, is sickened by the stunning loss of the jewelry she, herself, designed for Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, and other major stars. She's angry, too. How dare someone steal from her? And now she has the insurance investigator plying her with very personal questions. 

To Jerome's shock, the man assigned to guard the jewels is a former soldier that he worked with after the war. The assignment they had was highly secretive, and no one, even today, knows about it. But now here is John Darcy, and Ania Thorne's assistant, Sylvia, in the room where the heist took place. Darcy had been knocked out with chloroform, so he wasn't much help. Sylvia, however, reports that the culprit, forced her into the corner waving a gun, and took the cases. What isn't explained is how he managed to get the jewels out of the boxes so quickly without the codes to get into them. The empty boxes were found just outside. Sylvia is unable to help much with the identification. She does report that that the thief wore black gloves - the only hint to Jerome that the Leopard has changed his tactics. He usually wears leopard-print gloves. 

From this point on, it's non-stop excitement as Ania and Jerome try to outwit the Leopard. Racing to Paris to intercept the replacement jewels being flown in from New York, they must cover their tracks, and find a way to draw the thief out into the open before he strikes again.

With a fabulously stunning ending, THE STEAL is a must read collaboration by two terrific authors.
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A quick and fast read. It’s very well written with interesting and fun characters that reads like a movie. I really enjoyed all the jewelry heist details.  The mystery itself is full of twists and turns and leaves the reader guessing until the very end. Highly recommend!
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