THE UNRELIABLE LIFE OF HARRY THE VALET… by Duncan Hamilton

Harry the Valet became Europe’s most notorious jewel thief after stealing the
Dowager Duchess of Sutherland’s jewels from her train carriage at Paris Gare du
Nord in October 1898. He committed at least nine other crimes each planned with
meticulous detail. He became a celebrity as Scotland Yard and the national press
wrestled with his identity : Harry having had at least 12 aliases  to keep them
on their toes. He dressed impeccably wearing the best Saville Row suits although
he came from humble roots. He wanted to part of the High Society so began
stealing from the rich and privileged in order to enter their world: charming
with his charismatic wit and conversation, sitting beside the wealthiest
gamblers in Monte Carlo in the chicest hotels, betting against them (and
winning) with cash delicately fingered from their own pockets! Harry saw
thievery as an art he was almost addicted to and would study the gems he stole
to the point of obsession. Some regarded him as a genius…

 

The cast of characters in Harry’s life feel like they’ve been plucked straight
out of Dickens or Sherlock Holmes. His benefactor and mentor Abraham Mitchell,
an Artful Dodger who taught him the tricks of the trade; the Duchess of
Sutherland, an adulteress and possibly murderess who served time in Holloway;
The Gaeity Girl actress Harry fell for but who saw him to prison rather than the
altar, and many more.

THE UNRELIABLE LIFE OF HARRY THE VALET… by Duncan Hamilton
On behalf of
Fletcher & Company LLC
Published in the UK by
Century
5 May 2011
Published in the US by
Windmill
1 May 2012