Cover Image: Queen of Thieves

Queen of Thieves

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Member Reviews

Gritty, gutsy and electrifying, fans of Kimberley Chambers and Sam Michaels will be completely gripped by Beezy Marsh’s 1940s gangland saga, Queen of Thieves.

When slum girl Nell found herself pregnant and alone, the future looked bleak and lonely for her. With nowhere to go and nobody to turn to, Nell’s prospects were getting darker with each passing day – until she met Alice Diamond, the Queen of the Forty Thieves, known for ruling her gang of hoisters with an iron fist. Nell believed that she had found a friend in Alice, who had opened doors for her and pulled her out of the dark hole she had been trapped in – or so she thought. Nell was only a means to an end for Alice, who had planned to use her innocence and lack of guile for her own nefarious ends. However, what the Queen of Thieves didn’t realise was that innocent Nell was not to be underestimated…

Nell soon finds herself wrapped up in the glamorous trappings of the underworld. Working for Alice has enabled Nell to unshackle herself from the drudgery of poverty and despair and made her determined to have it all. Nell is not about to let anything or anyone stand in her way – not even the ruthless Alice Diamond. Power and riches will be hers and Nell will not stop until she herself is crowned Queen of Thieves. But her ascendance to the throne is going to be fraught with danger, jeopardy and revenge. With Alice’s arch nemesis Billy Sullivan sniffing around determined to make trouble for her, Nell has to keep her eyes on the prize and trust her instincts because in the criminal underworld mistakes cost dear and one cruel twist of fate could end up costing her everything – even her life.

Guaranteed to keep readers riveted to the page from beginning to end, Beezy Marsh’s Queen of Thieves is a jaw-dropping gangland saga that pulls no punches and brilliantly recreates the violence, peril and ruthlessness of the criminal underworld. Her protagonists are larger than life, vividly drawn and so memorable readers will still be thinking about them long after they’ve finished reading the book.

Beezy Marsh’s Queen of Thieves is a shocking, exhilarating and compelling gangland saga that grips from the start and is impossible to forget.
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Nell, born and bred in London falls for Jimmy who's a bit of a player and finds herself in the family way. Her dad kicks her out and she meets Alice, the Queen of the forty thieves who teaches her how to hoist all sorts. 
She gives Nell a job, to find out information on Billy, the King of Soho. But what? What is so special about Billy?
Nell ends up with her own game plan and fools everyone. 
This is the first book I've read by Beezy but it certainly won't be my last. A cracking read, couldn't put it down!
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Even though I liked the characters and plot of the story it just didn't grip me.I do enjoy these gangland type of books but this just lacked that spark for me.
Thanks to Netgalley and Orion Dash for the ARC
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They say women are the fairer sex but never mistake this for weakness. Especially when you meet the women of the Forty Thieves gang…

Oh my days! How much did I love this story? I was completely blown away. So much so, that I have tried countless times to write a review and have ended up with a load of gobbledygook to show for it due to an abundance of word vomit aka a thousand and one thoughts trying (read: screaming) to come out at the same time. Hmph, reviewer’s block is a thing!

My poor mother was treated (tongue firmly in cheek) to in-depth character and storyline de-briefs as I was reading Nell, Alice, et al’s story. I had a burning need to talk about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Including casting characters which I never do *shakes head*. Honestly, I was one step away from bringing out a whiteboard, markers, pins, and string… *palms face*

*coughs*

Queen of Thieves is a gritty, dark, and suspenseful crime noir. WWII may be over, but the struggle to survive continues as these women can attest. When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose, and some people will do anything (anything!) to protect what power they have. 

Full of intrigue and double-dealing, QoT will keep you on your toes as you piece together all the threads of the story (see why I wanted that whiteboard?). I was reaching for my metaphorical cushion on more than one occasion afraid to look then forgetting to breath towards the end as the tension started to ramp up! 

That ending though *gasps*. It was the perfect ‘I KNEW IT!’ ending whilst also leaving the door open for a possible sequel. Puh-lease tell me there is going to be more!

Beezy Marsh has gained a new fan with her strong female (albeit morally grey) characters and rich storytelling.
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In “Queen of Thieves”, by Beezy Marsh, World War II is over, and life is supposed to be getting better. But for the poor of London life is as bad as it was during the war years; everyday essentials like food and clothes are still rationed, luxuries are unheard of, and fathers, husbands and boyfriends have returned changed from the things they have seen. 

For slum girl Nell, things are about to get even worse - she’s pregnant, and the father is nowhere to be found. Drowning her sorrows one evening, she meets the glamorous Alice Diamond, self-styled Queen of the Forty Thieves –  an all-female gang making the most of their skills for thievery, or hoisting as they prefer to call it, in London’s West End. When Alice offers to take Nell under her wing, she jumps at the chance to get away from her factory job and make a life for herself on her own terms - after all, “…what with the prices of things in the shops these days, it’s hard to say who’s robbing who when you pay for things at the till.”

But before long, things go badly wrong for Nell, and she finds herself caught up in a conflict between Alice and rival gang leader the King of Soho. And Nell has a new target of her own - the Queen of Thieves crown for herself. 

Although I’ve seen several series and films set in the immediate post-war period in London, I’ve tended not to read many novels set then – in fact, I’m more likely to read almost anything else; earlier historical, inter-war, contemporary or futuristic! But having read this, it’s certainly a period I’ll look out for more in the future, as it provided a fascinating setting for the struggles the characters were contending with. 

Something I particularly liked about this book is that the characters are not black and white; our ‘heroine’ Nell certainly makes some questionable decisions, and her target for revenge, the mighty Alice Diamond, has had her fair share of trauma in the past. Both women are actually very similar; making what they can of their circumstances in the best way they know how. This is very much a book about women and their relationships with one another, and the lengths they’re pushed to in order to keep some sort of control of their lives. I found this a great read about a community I’ve not read about before – it plunged me into the heart of gangland London in the 40s amidst some really memorable characters. I look forward to more books in this series in the future, as I’m sure these characters have many more stories to tell.

“Queen of Thieves” was released in the UK on 22nd August 2021. Many thanks to NetGalley, the publishers Orion Dash, and of course the author for providing an ebook copy.
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Set in London just after World War II, when times were tough and rationing was the order of the day, this story tells of the dark underbelly of the city. Gangs operated in the city – robbing from stores and godowns to sell things on the black-market.

Alice Diamond was the much feared Queen of the Forty Thieves gang, that she ran with an iron fist. I like how the story moved from her, the reigning Queen of Thieves to Nell, the young girl whose circumstances draw her to start working for Alice.

Alice sensing Nell’s vulnerabilities as well as her capabilities uses her. When Nell is thrown into prison for shoplifting, there is no help from Alice. In prison, Nell has to give up her baby for adoption and she comes out a hard woman and determined to get even with Alice some day.

Will Nell be able to seize the title of Queen of Thieves from Alice? She sees a chance when she starts to work for Billy Sullivan and spy on him for Alice.

I can’t give more details without giving away the story, but suffice to say it’s an interesting read that I enjoyed.
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This was a bit of a different read for me, as I don't usually read gangland stories, but I love a good heist so I was fairly sure I'd enjoy this one. And I'm really glad I did! Queen of Thieves is a captivating read, as our protagonists play in the high-stakes game of post-WWII London gangland. Only one will emerge as the Queen of Thieves, and the future is far from rosy for the loser...

I had a lot of fun with this book, despite it touching on some tough topics and including some pretty explicit violent scenes. The characters were far from likeable, but they were certainly interesting, complex and resourceful and as morally grey as they come. I enjoyed the double narration from Nell's and Alice's POVs and getting to know both of them better. They were both extremely interesting as MCs, highly resilient and ready to do whatever it takes to not only survive but thrive in a brutal, male-led environment. I love the recent trend that centres women's experiences in traditionally male stories, and Queen of Thieves does a great job of that.

The plot itself was interesting enough, although I had foreseen the main twists and reveals quite early on, so I wasn't particularly wowed by anything. It still flowed smoothly though and kept me interested to see who would crown herself the Queen of Thieves. The setting was also great, as post-war London and its seedy underbelly really came alive and played a key role in all the characters' actions.

What I really struggled with was the writing. The style just didn't work for me: I found it too simplistic and, often, confusing. There was also some major spelling, grammar and coherence issues, which I hope will have been fixed in the final version, but really dampened my enjoyment of this ARC. Now, this is entirely personal taste, and this writing and I didn't click but that doesn't mean it will be the same for you!

Overall, Queen of Thieves is an entertaining read, perfect if you're looking for a quick read to keep you engaged without an overly complex plot. Fans of heists, gangland and crime will particularly appreciate this work in centering female characters in what has been an overwhelmingly male trend.
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I just loved the synopsis of this book but I don't find it enjoyable to read.

The sentences and paragraphs run on and there's nothing to really keep me engaged and interested.

Maybe I need to re-read this book at another time, or maybe I just don't like the gangland premise. The setting is absolutely fabulous and I love the dark and dreary descriptions of the rundown streets.

I've heard good things about the research done for this book and that it's all spot on and does a great job. Unfortunately, I'm just not the right audience.
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Wow what a good book.

London, Elephant and castle. Alice Diamond is "the queen of thieves".  With her gang of female hoisters (shoplifters)  she's the department stores nightmare.  She takes girls off the streets trains them up and looks after them.  They become the best dressed women in the area and they are all beauties, below their elaborate costumes are the big knickers to hide the goods they thieve.
 
Nell Kane lives in slums, when she becomes pregnant by Jimmy, her father finds out and throws her out.  Alone and wandering the streets she is soon picked up by Alice where she is started learning the trade to becoming a hoister.

When Nell is taken out for her first job she is caught nicking a pair of nylons, where she ends up in court, the judge sentences her to Holloway prison, she is pregnant and frightened. When she is serving her sentance she discovers that Alice stitched her up by testing her loyalty , this infuriates Nell who vows to seek revenge on Alice.

I loved this book it comes alive before your eyes and doesn't disappoint.
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this excellent book.
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Absolutely loved this book! Fantastic storyline set post World War II and bursting with characters full of life. I really hope there's a sequel to this book.
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Set just after the second world war this gritty gangland story was a brilliant read. When Nell is thrown out by her father shes left homeless and pregnant. When Alice Diamond takes her in to work for her, Nells life is turned upside down.  She ends up in prison, her child is adopted and once out, shes looking for revenge. This is the first book in this saga and im looking forward to reading more
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Perhaps something a little different from my normal reading in regards the actual period the book is set in, but nevertheless, it was an easy story to get into and an easy and enjoyable read. I imagine that this is the first of a series and I will certainly read the continuing story. of the Queen of Thieves.
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Firstly thank you Netgalley for giving me the opportunity for this ARC.
Now the book all I can say author is brilliant, gangland at its best. 
Martine Cole move over this is up in your league only joking but definitely an author to follow
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Oooh this book was so good. I won’t go into the plot too much because it’s one that should be enjoyed without knowing too much beforehand. It completely captured the era with all the talk of rationing, which went on for some time even after the war had ended. For the ordinary working class of a London inner city area like Waterloo times were hard for everyone. They had to make a living which ever way they could and family life living in a tenement slum was a hard slog. Men who spent their spare time and not so spare money in the pub, leaving their wives and children to barely get by meant young girls like Nell couldn’t wait to get away. Once she found herself pregnant, Nell didn’t have much choice but to find somewhere else to live after her father threw her out.

I loved the characterisation. No matter whether the characters were good or bad, they had so much to offer the reader. Young Nell who had to learn to toughen up very quickly once she left home, Alice Diamond and her side kick Molly who take Nell into their shoplifting gang, to some of the kinder characters like Gypsy who Nell meets later on in the book at the club in Soho run by Alice’s arch rival Billy Sullivan.

There are some gritty moments throughout, and I found myself flying through the pages to see what would happen next. The atmosphere is palpable, with vivid descriptions of all the locations, from the expensive department stores where the 40 thieves carried out their hoists to the miserably squalid living conditions and the club in Soho which attracted so many undesirables.

It all culminates in a tense ending which leaves you wondering what next? This will be the first book in a saga series so perhaps we’re not done with these characters yet. I hope not because once I finished this book I found I really missed the tension and the thrill, making it hard to move on to a new book, with anything else seeming tame in comparison.

I am hooked now and can’t wait to see how this series develops.
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London 1946 and the war has been over a year.
Alice Diamond is the queen of forty thieves at the elephant and castle, she is the shoplifters queens and hoister thieves, she has a knack of taking her girls off the streets one of them is Nell Kane, the new girl is pregnant so this is perfect for Alice and sends her out to learn the trade. 
Alice with her best minx and been driven around in her Chrysler and is looked up by all around her.
Nell is picked up and sent to Holloway for six months for nicking a pair of stockings its her first time in court and she wont forgive Alice for this she could have bend and got her away with a warning and she leaves there with a sentence of her own that she will carry with her for life. she despises Alice and wants her crown. Alice welcomes her back with open arms and sends her up to the Windsor club in Soho undercover singing for the big man Billy Sullivan.
This is a proper bang on London saga and I loved the characters, and all the history after the war years their still black market, rations and bombed out sites, I just couldn't put this book down. The author is spot on with all her research that makes this book such a unique read. It's something different and the main character is Nell and she wants the crown and will go all to get it. 
I loved it and hopefully with that ending we are going to be getting more from this author hopefully. 5*****
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First I’ve reading this author WOW totally pulled into the storyline from the start. Loved the characters and how they developed throughout the book. Hopping this will be a series and if so can’t wait to see he next instalment.
Gangs of London after ww2 is the setting for this book, it’s a real page Turner and devoured in one sitting.
Highly recommend read
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I wasn't sure if this was going to be a book I would enjoy but was proven wrong, gangland London and Alice diamond is the queen of the forty thieves all of whom work for her stealing clothes, furs and anything that isn't nailed down, down on her luck Nell gets lured into this life and sadly pregnant it doesn't go well as Alice likes to test her girls to prove their loyalty, Nell ends up getting caught and does jail time and while there has her baby adopted and vows to seek revenge on Alice once she's free, twists and turns keep you reading to see if Nell does what she set out to do 
Really enjoyed this book
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Queen of Thieves by Beezy Marsh.

Set in London , just after the war, Alice Diamond has a group of women who go out shoplifting for her , and a very good job they make of it as well !
I enjoyed the plot , and the characters ,  but for me it didn't quite take off. It somehow lacked the excitement  and felt a little flat . This genre of book is usually right up my street but sadly, this one wasn't for me.
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