All tagged Heists and Capers

Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

I trace my love of mysteries back to my pre-teen years when I discovered the oh-so clever Nancy Drew. She brought the world of imagination and adventure into a mind ripe and ready for a gutsy, vibrant detective who had her own sports car and didn’t have space in her life for punks, aka criminals.

So, when I read the synopsis of Ally Carter’s Heist Society I thought,

All right! This one’s perfect for me.

Unfortunately, Heist Society didn’t satify my craving for a fun teen mystery/caper, although it was somewhat entertaining.

I admit I’m giving a bare-bones plot here, but it goes like this: Katrina aka “Kat” Bishop enters the world of high stakes theft at the age of three when her parents take her to the Louvre. This trip is not for cultural reasons, unless casing a place comes under the designation of art appreciation—instead, it’s to case the joint. A few years pass and her seventh birthday comes around. This bright and felonious fingered kid travels with her uncle to steal the Crown Jewels.

By the time she’s fifteen, she wants out. She pulls off an impressive, hopefully last, scam to turn her life into something like normal. She schemes her way into the best boarding school in the country. All right then. It’s time to leave the legacy of her family’s business behind. 

The setting: Colgan School, with its perfect grounds and finely manicured world is a place where most of the senior class has its sights set on Ivy league schools.  

{List-O-Rama} My Sucker List

I know everyone’s got them—those elements of books that you just can’t say no to. For instance, Laura just can’t say no to body switching plots. I call this my “Sucker List.” 

Sometimes my Sucker List works out and leads me to beloved reads, a lot of the time… not so much. Here are five elements guaranteed to seduce me every single time, for better or worse. 

#1 Capers

I love caper flicks. Love. Them. (I own the DVD of The Italian Job.) And, I keep hoping I can find books that translate the awesomeness of my beloved caper movies into the pages of a fantastic novel. I am yet to find this between the pages of a book. But, I keep on trying and I keep getting disappointing. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is just about the only one that’s worked for me. (Related: Wouldn’t Frankie make a kick-ass movie?)

Gentlemen Prefer Nerds by Joan Kilby
I should’ve listened to my instincts that a book titled, Gentlemen Prefer Nerds wouldn’t work for me. 

However, I was compelled to hit the “request” button on Net Galley when I saw that, 

  1. It was published by Carina Press, the massively cool e-publisher that’s doing a lot of creative things both in what they’re publishing and their marketing and DRM-free books;
  2. It promised a heist/caper sort of scenario and I am a giant sucker for heists and/or capers; and
  3. It’s set in Australia.

Unfortunately, those positives didn’t cancel out the numerous problems I had with the premise and characters in this novel. 

The basic plot of Gentlemen Prefer Nerds is that nerdy (more on that later) girl gemologist Maddie Maloney is charged with caring for a pricey diamond known as The Rose (she also discovered the diamond in a mine in Western Australia). As part of her effort to find a nice man, she ends up being conned by a jewel thief known as The Chameleon into allowing him access to the stone, which is then—shocker!—stolen. Maddie is, obviously, suspected for the crime and winds up hooking up with a mysterious English dude who promises to help her recover the diamond and helps her escape from the police while they pursue the thief. 

Okay, so the premise is pretty silly—but I’m often okay with silly premises!