Doris Payne, Zelda Lockhart – contributor – Diamond Doris


In the ebullient spirit of Oceans 8, The Heist, and Thelma & Louise, a sensational and entertaining memoir of the worlds most notorious jewel thief – a woman who defied societys prejudices and norms to carve her own path, stealing from elite jewelers to live her dreams.

Growing up during the Depression in the segregated coal town of Slab Fork, West Virginia, Doris Payne was told her dreams were unattainable for poor black girls like her. Surrounded by people who sought to limit her potential, Doris vowed to turn the tables after the owner of a jewelry store threw her out when a white customer arrived. Neither racism nor poverty would hold her back; she would get what she wanted and help her mother escape an abusive relationship.

Using her southern charm, quick wit, and fascination with magic as her tools, Payne began shoplifting small pieces of jewelry from local stores. Over the course of six decades, her talents grew with each heist. Becoming an expert world-class jewel thief, she daringly pulled off numerous diamond robberies and her Jewish boyfriend fenced the stolen gems to Hollywood celebrities.

Doris criminal exploits went unsolved well into the 1970s – partly because the stores did not want to admit that they were duped by a black woman. Eventually realizing Doris was using him, her boyfriend turned her in. She was arrested after stealing a diamond ring in Monte Carlo that was valued at more than half a million dollars. But even prison couldnt contain this larger-than-life personality, who cleverly used nuns as well as various ruses to help her break out. With her arrest in 2013 in San Diego, Doris fame skyrocketed when media coverage of her astonishing escapades exploded.

Today, at 87, Doris, as bold and vibrant as ever, lives in Atlanta, and is celebrated for her glamorous legacy. She sums up her adventurous career best: It beat being a teacher or a maid. A rip-roaringly fun and exciting story as captivating and audacious as Catch Me if You Can and Can You Ever Forgive Me? – Diamond Doris is the portrait of a captivating anti-hero who refused to be defined by the prejudices and mores of a hypocritical society.

Author: Doris Payne, Zelda Lockhart – contributor
Narrator: Robin Miles
Duration: 6 hours 50 minutes
Released: 19 Oct 2009
Publisher: HarperAudio
Language: English

User Review:

pram institutionalized

I loved this book. It is a new favorite. I loved the writing and the story. The storytelling was out of the world. It was so descriptive, I felt like I could see everything. The narrator was absolutely perfect! This book is truly a gem!