The best books about robbery

1 authors have picked their favorite books about robbery and why they recommend each book.

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Barn 8

By Deb Olin Unferth,

Book cover of Barn 8

What I love about Barn 8 is that it focuses as much, if not more, on the animals as on their human rescuers. The novel’s portrayal of chickens—their history, heritage, tortured present, and imagined future—is a celebration of them as individual beings rather than merely egg makers (“Chickens gossip, summon, play, flirt, teach, warn, mourn, fight, praise, and promise”). And, along with the chicken characters—including the individual bird that inspired the rescue—the human characters are engaging and relatable, with their own complex stories. The myriad points of view (including interview-style chapters) keep the pages turning in a novel that is both edifying and inspiring.


Who am I?

When I first visited Antarctica, I not only fell in love with penguins but saw firsthand how high the stakes are regarding climate change—not only for humans but especially for animals, who are suffering horribly due to our actions. Being in Antarctica, the most rapidly warming place on earth, highlighted how important it is to tackle climate change, which includes protecting animals. When we lose one species, the entire ecosystem changes. I’ve embraced protecting domestic animals as well, from companion animals to farmed animals, having learned just how much human and non-human animals have in common—so much more than you’d think! And I love reading and writing about the ways in which we’re all connected.


I wrote...

My Last Continent

By Midge Raymond,

Book cover of My Last Continent

What is my book about?

It is only at the end of the world—among the glacial mountains and icy waters of Antarctica—where Deb Gardner and Keller Sullivan feel at home. For the few weeks they spend each year studying penguins, Deb and Keller escape their separate lives and find solace in their work and in each other. As a new travel and research season begins, Deb prepares to play tour guide on the small expedition ship that ferries her to her research destinations—but Keller fails to appear on board. Then Deb’s ship receives an emergency signal from a ship that has hit desperate trouble in the ice-choked waters of the Southern Ocean—and among the crew of that sinking ship is Keller.

My Last Continent is a harrowing novel of love and loss in one of the most remote places on earth, a land of harsh beauty where even the smallest missteps have tragic consequences.

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant

By Nizrana Farook,

Book cover of The Girl Who Stole an Elephant

Stolen jewels. A girl Robin Hood figure. Friendship. And an escape into the jungle with an elephant. Full of adventure and heart, The Girl Who Stole an Elephant provides a window into the lush setting of ancient Sri Lanka, and carried me along with its fast pace. Nizrana Farook’s descriptions are teeming with sensory details, and I thoroughly enjoyed them.


Who am I?

There’s something truly magical about our ability to perceive the world through our senses. Our abilities to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch are like superpowers that we take for granted. Because of many amazing sensory experiences—like viewing the world from the top of a tower, feeling the pull of ocean waves at my feet, comparing flavors within chocolate, hearing wood thrushes in the forest—I find myself drawn to the beauty that our senses add to life. So, I’ve written two middle-grade novels (The Splintered Light and The Other Side of Luck) with an eye (and an ear) on sensory perception. I hope you enjoy these books!


I wrote...

The Splintered Light

By Ginger Johnson,

Book cover of The Splintered Light

What is my book about?

The day Ishmael sees color for the first time, his life changes forever. This unique ability leads him to the Hall of Hue, one of seven creative workshops at a mysterious, magical place called the Commons. As a novice Color Keeper, Ishmael begins his training: helping to create landscapes that become glorious new worlds he and his friends shape and build, filling them with color, scent, sound, and taste. But when the rules of creation are threatened and the bonds of brotherhood are tested, Ishmael must learn when to let go of the past, when to trust the path ahead, and when to believe in himself. Original and gorgeously crafted, this middle-grade fantasy will enliven readers’ every sense. 

Red Seas Under Red Skies

By Scott Lynch,

Book cover of Red Seas Under Red Skies

If there’s anything I like as much as pirates, it’s heist stories. The excellent follow-up to the amazing Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas rang every one of my bells by taking our favorite thieving bastards Locke and Jean to sea, under the command of a strong, brilliant female captain, Zamira Drakasha. And she’s not just a woman pirate – she’s a middle-aged, Black single mother, running her ship and being the best pirate any denizen of the high seas could aspire to be. Lynch caught a good bit of flack for this character, but I was delighted. You will be, too.

Who am I?

I grew up on the coast of South Carolina, where many of the Golden Age pirates were welcomed as business associates and charming guests by some of the most influential people of the day. They are, to this day, considered local heroes. I read everything I could lay hands on about them, fiction and histories, and I knew my first book would have to be about the pirate I always pretended I could be, if I’d only been born two hundred years ago.


I wrote...

Mad Kestrel

By Misty Massey,

Book cover of Mad Kestrel

What is my book about?

In a world where infants with magical powers are torn from their parents to be raised by the mysterious and powerful Danisoba, who have a monopoly on magic, Kestrel has managed to keep her abilities concealed―and herself free.

As the quartermaster of a pirate ship, Kestrel loves the freedom of living on the seas. But her way of life could end if anyone on board learns her closely guarded secret. When Kestrel's captain is led into a trap and is arrested, she gathers her crew and sets sail in relentless pursuit, even knowing that revealing her own magic ability may be her only means to save him.

Other People's Things

By Kerry Anne King,

Book cover of Other People's Things

I recently finished my first Kerry King novel, and I’ll definitely read more. I adored the flawed, quirky characters, the tentative, heart-fluttering romance between Nicole and Hawk, and her unusual ability. Though she views it as a curse, Nickle, as her family calls her, has overwhelming compulsions to “relocate” items. Not steal and keep. Just move them where they cry out to be. Her actions have landed her in plenty of trouble, especially now that she’s stolen money from her estranged lawyer husband. The test of a good book for me: I look forward to reading it each day, find myself whipping through many more pages than intended, and am compelled to tell my fiancé about it. This novel engaged and delighted me in all those ways. 


Who am I?

Besides a passion for vintage fashion, in writing Divine Vintage I was influenced by mixed-genre books wrapping around “soft” paranormal elements. No vampires, demons, or shifters. Just dashes of ghosts, magic, witches, and special abilities entwined with romance, history, and mystery. These books are meant to charm and enchant with a lyrical touch. I’ve listed a few faves below, ranging from bestsellers I read years ago, to a sister 2022 debut, to an author I just discovered and loved. One of the novels even encompasses my vintage fashion muse. My collection fills a small bedroom, and I always deck out in fun garments for my book presentations and signings. 


I wrote...

Divine Vintage

By Sandra L. Young,

Book cover of Divine Vintage

What is my book about?

Tess Burton is always up for an adventure, and she’s risked her inheritance to open Divine Vintage boutique. While modeling an elegant gown from an Edwardian trousseau, her mind is opened to a century-old crime of passion. Visions—seen through the eyes of the murdered bride—dispute local lore claiming the bridegroom committed the crime. 

Trey Dunmore doesn’t share her enthusiasm for mind-blowing visions, yet the appeal to clear his family’s tainted legacy compels him to join her in exploring the past. Aided by the dead woman’s clothing and diary, they discover pursuing love in 1913 was just as thorny as modern day. As the list of murder suspects grows, the couple fears past emotions are influencing, and may ultimately derail, their own blossoming intimacy.

The Bobbed Haired Bandit

By Stephen Duncombe, Andrew Mattson,

Book cover of The Bobbed Haired Bandit: A True Story of Crime and Celebrity in 1920s New York

In 1924 husband and wife team Celia and Ed Cooney, with a new baby on the way and not enough money, turned stick-up artists, with meek-looking, bobbed-hair Celia wielding the gun. The tabloids couldn’t get enough of the “flapper turned bad” storyline and for a time every bobbed-hair flapper and her swain in New York was under suspicion.

Who am I?

The author, editor, or ghostwriter of more than 100 book titles, Glenn Stout loves to mine microfilmed newspaper archives and specializes in deeply reported historical narrative non-fiction that brings the past to life.  Many of his titles have intersected with the Roaring Twenties, including Young Woman and the Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Changed the World, now in development for Disney+ as a major motion picture starring Daisy Ridley.  A long-time aficionado of noir and true crime, Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid was the culmination of more than fifteen years of dogged research, a story The Wall Street Journal called “a hell of a yarn--worthy of an HBO hoodlum epic like Boardwalk Empire.”


I wrote...

Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid: America's Original Gangster Couple

By Glenn Stout,

Book cover of Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid: America's Original Gangster Couple

What is my book about?

Before Bonnie and Clyde there was Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid - smarter, more successful, and better looking. In the wake of war, a pandemic, and an economic depression, Margaret and Richard Whittemore, two love-struck working-class kids from Baltimore reached for the dream of a better life. In the heart of the Jazz Age, they headed up a gang that in less than a year stole over one million dollars' worth of diamonds and precious gems - over fifteen million dollars today.

Set against the backdrop of the excesses of the Roaring Twenties, their story takes the reader from the jailhouse to the speakeasy, from the cabarets where they celebrated good times to the gallows where their story finally came to an end... and left Tiger Girl pining for a final kiss. Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid is a tale of rags to riches, tragedy, and infamy.

Brief Thief

By Michaël Escoffier, Kris Di Giacomo (illustrator),

Book cover of Brief Thief

This book has so many things going for it, including the inimitable pairing of Escoffier and Di Giacomo (see their other book collaborations). Brief Thief is full of wit, charmingly illustrated, and deliciously fun to read aloud using the voices of a lizard and his conscience. Yes, there is potty humor, but it is arguably more about problem-solving and doing the right thing. Even the title is clever – the lizard was a thief briefly, and it was briefs that he stole. The last two wordless spreads are priceless.


Who am I?

I was born where the sun rose in the prairies and set behind the Rockies. Now I live on the West Coast of Canada. I am a picture bookmaker, and from my recommendations, you might think that I also have a thing for thieves: cupcake thieves, underwear thieves, hat thieves, chicken thieves, pie thieves. But I’m really here for the element of surprise and well-earned laughs in children’s picture books. They say comedy is hard, but comedy in picture books is even harder. These five picks are a great place to start if you like smartly silly picture books with a bit of off-kilter humor and a sense of irony. Bonus points for puns.


I wrote...

Boobies

By Nancy Vo,

Book cover of Boobies

What is my book about?

A cheeky celebration of boobies!

Meet the Blue-footed Booby, who does not have boobies at all, since only mammals have boobies. We learn that mammals have boobies to feed babies -- even though milk can also come from plants. And did you know that boobies, or breasts, vary from person to person, that boobies change over time, and that different animals have different numbers of boobies? Witty and wide-ranging, this eye-opening picture book goes on to explore connections between boobies and mountains, boobies and ancient art, and, of course, boobies and you!

Heresy

By Melissa Lenhardt,

Book cover of Heresy

Margaret Parker and Hattie LaCour never intended to turn outlaw,” but sometimes life just hands you a rough deal. Especially if you are a woman in the Wild West. This novel is an interesting journey of strong women choosing to take fate into their own hands. They don’t want to end up on their backs to make money, and decide they rather take the money they feel the world owes them. Heresy is a classical Wild West tale with a bit of a female twist. A good read for any lover of this genre.


Who am I?

My love for both the Weird and the Wild West started somewhere in the 90s. I watched many movies and adored playing Deadlands (TTRPG) with my friends. I picked this theme because most Western-themed books and movies were very male-orientated, yet I always found myself drawn to the heroines in these stories. While I loved characters like Billy the Kid and Wild Bill Hickok, I could better relate to Calamity Jayne or Belle Starr. During our Role Play game nights, I often played female gunslingers. That’s how I ended up creating Coyote, who inspired me to write her story in a series of novels. 


I wrote...

Coyote: The Outlander

By Chantal Noordeloos,

Book cover of Coyote: The Outlander

What is my book about?

No one knows where or when the mysterious rips will appear, but from them, Outlanders walk the earth, leaving chaos in their wake.

Coyote, a charismatic bounty hunter, travels the land with her enigmatic partner, Caesar. Together – with the help of magic and technology the unlikely duo tracks down these dangerous criminals from different worlds. Along the way, Coyote discovers a secret that threatens to shatter everything she believes about herself, her father, and her sworn enemy, James Westwood. Whether Outlander or inner demons, some things can't be solved with a six-shooter.

The Plot

By Jean Hanff Korelitz,

Book cover of The Plot

I love books that make me question what I would do in a similar situation. As an author, I especially related to the moral dilemmas faced by the main character of this page-turner. The Plot transports the reader into the shoes of Jacob Finch Bonner, a struggling writer and MFA professor who steals the plot of the century from one of his former students, Evan, who has since died. Jacob’s newly published novel quickly becomes a massively successful bestseller. But someone knows what Jacob has done and is threatening to expose him. Living in a state of paranoia, Jacob sets out to discover who knows his dark secret, and where the plot from Evan’s story really originated. Eek! I’m still thinking about this one many months after reading it!


Who am I?

My fascination with things that go bump in the night probably stems from having read too many scary books in my younger years, when I devoured anything that made me want to hide under the blankets. My love of reading followed me into college, where I earned a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan and later a law degree from DePaul University in Chicago. My passion for reading—and, later, writingpsychological thrillers remained. Today, I write full-time and have five psychological thriller and suspense novels published with Bookouture–Hachette UK, including several that have made it into the Top 100 Books in the Amazon US, UK, and AU Kindle stores!  


I wrote...

The Girl Before Me

By Laura Wolfe,

Book cover of The Girl Before Me

What is my book about?

I switched on the bedroom light, casting a glow across the apartment. No one was there. I thought I’d locked both locks on my door, but now one was open… When I moved into the apartment with my daughter Lily, it was meant to be a new beginning. But just as we settle into our new lives, a letter arrives for someone called Annie, warning her to get out. The neighbors say Annie was the woman who lived here before me, who moved out one night without a word. Now, I can’t escape the idea that someone is watching us. I can’t help but think something bad happened to Annie. And Lily and I are not nearly as safe here as I thought we were.

The Violin Conspiracy

By Brendan Slocumb,

Book cover of The Violin Conspiracy

The Violin Conspiracy is about a talented young violinist, determined to become a world-class professional musician—despite all the obstacles, including poverty and racism. The plot centers around a do-or-die competition that will not only prove Ray’s worth to the world, but also to himself. With its intense depiction of the cutthroat musical world and an underdog the reader will root for, along with the high-stakes drama of a priceless stolen Stradivarius, The Violin Conspiracy blends the best of multiple genres. 


Who am I?

I’m often asked: “Are you a musician? You must be, in order to write so beautifully and convincingly, through the eyes of a musician!” Actually, I’m what’s known as a “serious amateur”—which means that I study the piano “seriously” but not professionally, purely for the love of it. In fact, my understanding of the piano deepened tremendously as I worked on this book, as if my protagonist required that of me, in order to bring her to life the way she needed.  The piano has become more and more vital to me, as a writer, because it allows me to explore and express in ways that don’t depend on words. 


I wrote...

The Sound Between the Notes

By Barbara Linn Probst,

Book cover of The Sound Between the Notes

What is my book about?

What if you had a second chance at the very thing you thought you’d renounced forever? How high a price would you be willing to pay?

Susannah put her career as a pianist on hold for sixteen years and didn’t look back. But now, suddenly, she has a chance to vault into that elite tier of “chosen” musicians. There’s just one problem: somewhere along the way, she lost the power and the magic that used to be hers at the keyboard. She needs to get them back—fast. As her now-or-never concert draws near, Susannah is catapulted back to memories she’s never been able to purge—and forward, to the country-and-western sister she’s never known, and choices she never thought she’d have to make. 

Facets of Death

By Michael Stanley,

Book cover of Facets of Death

Michael Stanley is an author comprised of two writers: Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Their novels, set in Botswana and Zimbabwe, and featuring the enigmatic, Detective Kubu, have enjoyed much success in the UK and the US. Their latest story acts as a prequel, featuring Kubu just as he leaves university and joins Botswana’s CID. As a first case, Kubu is confronted with the theft of millions of dollars of diamonds, the execution of the robbers, a conniving witch doctor, and his son, and a case with international ramifications. Dark and thrilling.

Who am I?

Africa can easily become an obsession: an extraordinary continent, blessed with breath-taking beauty and wonderful people, yet cursed by climate, corruption, war, and… crime. This continent is the most incredible setting for stories about people driven to crime, victims of crime, the detection of crime. Based in the UK, but a frequent visitor to Southern Africa, having written many non-fiction books, South Africa (and Cape Town in particular) was always going to be my choice of setting for my crime novels. For me, a good novel – within any genre – transports the reader into an unfamiliar world, absorbs them in the lives of the characters, and reveals insights which touch on their own lives.


I wrote...

The First Rule Of Survival

By Paul Mendelson,

Book cover of The First Rule Of Survival

What is my book about?

Seven years ago, three schoolboys disappear from the streets of Cape Town in broad daylight. They were never seen again.

Now, a new case for Colonel Vaughn de Vries threatens to re-open the case, laying bare, not only his own failures, but an institutional conspiracy of silence and cover-up. Struggling in a mire of departmental and racial rivalry, De Vries seeks the whole truth and an absolute end to the case that has haunted him for all the intervening years. Battling media personalities and vested interests, he turns to a friend - former British intelligence agent, John Marantz – but what motives does he have, and what price must be paid for the keys can he turn?

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