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Diamond Doris

The True Story of the World's Most Notorious Jewel Thief
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
Categories: Bios & Memoirs, Criminals
4.5 out of 5 stars (62 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the ebullient spirit of Ocean’s 8, The Heist, and Thelma & Louise, a sensational and entertaining memoir of the world’s most notorious jewel thief - a woman who defied society’s 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 couldn’t 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.

©2019 Doris Payne (P)2019 HarperAudio

What members say

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  • Overall
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I loved it!

I loved how she recounted all of her heists and how classy she was! Doris Payne you were a ‘Smooth Criminal’!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Throw up your Diamonds!

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!

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Diamonds are forever

This was an epic tale of America's #1 bad ass. Doris Payne is a brilliant as the diamonds she stole.

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  • Mary
  • North Carolina
  • 10-10-19

Amazing Tale. Perfect performance!!!

Loved it. the story of this little girl who grows up to be notorious is one I will never forget. I couldn't stop listening to this fantastic story. The voice over is one of the best I've ever heard. it was like watching an international thriller. 5 stars all around!

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"Great Story!!

I love this woman even though she did what she did, I find her fascinating, classy, smart and overly interesting! I can wait to see the documentary on her life story. I give the story 5 thumbs up!!

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Interesting story

Enjoyed Doris Payne story. The narrator did very well. You almost thought Doris was narrating her own story. Two thumbs up

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What a great story!

Doris day's story is full of history, adventure, and alot of theft. This story should be turned into a show or a movie. In our society you hear about all these notorious mob bosses or killers. She is a legend in her own right! Was she wrong for stealing? Absolutely but no one was killed in doing so.

Make way for Diamond Doris!!!

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GREAT BOOK!!

This is my first ever audiobook and it was AWESOME! The narrator was great and kept the flow interesting! This one is worth it!