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Diamond Doris: The True Story of the World's Most Notorious Jewel Thief
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Diamond Doris: The True Story of the World's Most Notorious Jewel Thief

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Soon to be a Major Motion Picture


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 VirPicture
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ebook, 288 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Amistad (first published September 10th 2019)
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Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  119 ratings  ·  37 reviews


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Lauren Stoolfire
I had never heard of Doris Payne the notorious life-long jewel thief until I just happened to spot this at the library. She's a fascinating woman that's for sure. If you liked Ocean's, you're going to have to pick up this memoir. I have to say that I'm looking forward to the movie of her life featuring Tessa Thompson as Doris.
Jen
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't planning on it, but I finished this book in one sitting. All I knew about Doris Payne going into this story was a blurb I had read online. The whole story I was gripped with what was going to happen next. While it is a memoir, it almost reads like a suspense book.

My one wish is that they had polished this Diamond up a bit more. It wasn't well written even with a co-author. I spent many paragraphs needing to reread because I was a bit lost in the context. But overall a fun story of the
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Fredrick Danysh
Doris Paker was an international jewel thief. With the assistance of Zelda Lockhart she tells her life's story. The quality of writing varies with the autobiography part reading like it was writtrn by someone with a very limited education while the sidebars regarding the quality of diamonds is much better written. Diamond Doris gives a detailed look into the mind of a person who has chosen a life of crime This was a free proof copy obtained through Goodreads.com.
Temika
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This will be one of the most entertaining memoirs you ever read! I could not put this down.

This book is divided into 4 parts:

Color: It’s fascinating how childhood and media can shape how we view ourselves and what decisions we make. Representation matters!

Clarity: Doris realized she had the communication skills necessary to make store clerks forget they gave her jewelry to try on. Confusion and familiarity.

Cut: The Cartier heist! She breaks down the history and process
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Crystal Zavala
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: instagram, publisher
Diamond Doris is a true crime memoir. I do believe her to be an unreliable narrator, so I took a lot of what she said with a grain of salt.

I do not question that Doris had a horrific upbringing and childhood. Her father was controlling and abusive. Doris made a choice at a young age and decided that she would not be dependent on a man to support her. I do not condone how Doris chose to support herself, but I am fascinated with her story. She has a big ego and does not seem to have an
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Paula Pergament
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Doris Payne is a genius; armed with a keen sense of observation into human behavior, Ms. Payne shares her story of her long and prolific career as a jewel thief. Her methods were simple, her planning tight. Readers gain insight into her motivations, as well as the pressures and fears she conquered in executing her plans and escapes. Brought down in part by modern technology as well as her reputation, Ms. Payne tells her story without shame. Most compelling is her attempt to justify her actions t ...more
Beverly
This was a 3.5 read for me
thoughts coming shortly
Lisa
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading about Doris' life as a daughter, a mother and a jewel thief. I liked her candid, plucky way of telling her story.
Claudia
This is the kind of story where you have to go to outside sources to confirm it really happened. Doris Payne was - or rather is since she is still alive - a jewel thief that specialized in diamonds. She not only could talk the talk, but she could walk the walk. Dressed in expensive name-brand clothing in the most fashionable sense, wearing real diamonds that she purchased with money received from previous heists, talked with the friendly and courteous staff while trying on numerous rings and whe ...more
Kevin
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At age 88, Doris Payne (assisted by Zelda Lockhart) looks back at her six decades as an international jewel thief. Diamond Doris is the first time Payne has revealed all aspects of her remarkable life, including the techniques she used to walk out of world-famous jewelry stores with rings worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

She and her five siblings were raised in a poor, segregated coal mining town in West Virginia by her boorish black father and doting Native American mother. Early on, Pay
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Susan
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
While Doris may have led an exciting and adventurous life, the poor writing style of this book made it very hard to enjoy. My assumption is that they author(s) decided to have the style reflect Doris' upbringing, education, and how she spoke. However, combine that with a narrative that jumped around and it made for a messy read. Other things that decreased my enjoyment of what should have been a fascinating read were Doris' need to ethnically identify every single person she interacted with. The ...more
Sharon
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookclub, aahm
For over six decades, Doris Marie Payne was one of the world’s most notorious jewel thieves. Her memoir takes the reader on a journey that starts with her upbringing in the segregated coalmines of West Virginia in the late 1950s to her prison sentence in 2013. This single, African American mother of two explains how she used her charm, wit, and beauty to get away with some of the most prominent jewelry heists in history. She traveled all around the world, stealing valuable pieces from high-end j ...more
Victoria Law
A riveting read by a Black woman who became the world's most wanted diamond thief. I was intrigued by her justification for stealing diamonds (that they had initially been stolen from Africa just as her people had been stolen from Africa), but I did wonder if that was her rationale at the time or if this was something that came to her in hindsight.

I also loved reading about her unconventional relationships, first with Babe (the married Jewish man who fenced her diamonds) and then her
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SuperWendy
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This was a really good listen on audio with the narrator making me laugh out loud several times when the narration went into what I call "child, please - gossiping with your best girlfriend"-mode. Payne's story is definitely stranger than fiction, and illustrates that people see what they want to see - which made Doris very, very good at her "job." Unfortunately, that's kind of how the book comes off at times, like Payne is only showing readers what she wants us to see. Especially towards the cl ...more
BMR, LCSW
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doris Payne is a baaaaad b!tch.

She grew up in West Virginia, the daughter of a wife-beating coal miner. She decided at an early age that no man was gonna control her. She also decided she wanted a life of travel and fine things. She fell into a life of jewelry theft and fencing (though when you're dealing with big ticket items, you "resell" it, it's not fencing). She got caught a few times but served very little time in prisons. Doris never forgot where she came from, and always took
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Judy
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Growing up poor and listening to her father beat her mother, Doris started preparing for her adulthood as a child. She dreamed and reached her dreams and more. Her world became one of travel, luxury, and, yes, lots of money as she stole diamonds all over the world.

"Diamond Doris" is a fascinating read. Her writing skills are superb. She introduces you to her life in total. It's a book you will enjoy time and time again.
Judy
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Growing up poor and listening to her father beat her mother, Doris started preparing for her adulthood as a child. She dreamed and reached her dreams and more. Her world became one of travel, luxury, and, yes, lots of money as she stole diamonds all over the world.

"Diamond Doris" is a fascinating read. Her writing skills are superb. She introduces you to her life in total. It's a book you will enjoy time and time again.
Matt
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doris is badass, no question about that. My only "complaint" is when books like this recollect such EXACT detail about someone's past. I can't remember what I did last Tuesday, let alone the street I was on or what my friend was wearing. So I always have to wonder how factual (or relevant) certain passages might actually be. That's just me though. The book's quick and engaging, and her story's worth knowing.
Christa Van
Oh my gosh, this book is one heck of a good read. Doris didn't want to "wipe people's butts" for a living so she became a jewel thief. She was good enough to support herself and her family. The adventures she reveals in this book are amazing and her salty language and attitude refreshing. What a life! Robin Miles does a good job narrating this amazing story.
Chelsea
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Doris

I do admire this woman. The life chose to live was not the best . It worked for her. Her life did not seem like it was a struggle but I know in the eras she lives it was. The flash of the clothes and the travel made it seem like the best life ever. But the fear of the police and the politics of the mafia are something else entirely and she was a black woman.
Janet
Sep 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: people, 2019
I received a free ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The author’s writing style is simple and I felt a more clear timeline would have been helpful. Doris led an interesting life as a jewel thief. I’m surprised she wasn’t caught on security cameras more often. I would be interested in seeing the movie whenever it comes out.
Ella
Interesting woman, though I had a little bit of trouble knowing what to believe because she doesn't seem to give up on her criminal life for any reason beyond getting too old to continue. Her life would make great fiction, and this story kept my interest. I'm always interested in true crime, and from the pen of the person stealing jewels? Couldn't pass it up. But it's not a must-read for me.
Shannan Harper
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this story. And i felt it ended the smart way. The author also gave us an education on Diamonds at the beginning of each chapter. This was an entertaining read.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All Thoughts and opinions are my own.
Elisabeth
Sep 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Very entertaining. I was amused by her goal of becoming the world's greatest jewel thief. I always assumed people fell into that sort of thing, not aspired to it. An interesting read. I recommend it to fans of The Queen, a memoir about Linda Taylor, 'the queen' of welfare fraud.
Tabitha
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Diamond Doris

It was okay but I was expecting more. It would of been better if she would of gave insight on how she stole the jewels without getting caught and who she sold them too. I felt like something was missing in this story.
Annetherese Biesiada
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I can’t believe this happened in Cleveland.
Monica St. Dennis
One-and-a-half stars.

The writing was pretty bad but I stuck with it because I thought the story sounded so interesting, but it never quite got there.
Chery
Sep 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Not a favorite book but it is really interesting.
Miriam
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Fascinating glimpse into the life of an international jewel thief from her humble beginning to her harrowing career end...in her own words.
Sarena
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fascinating! I read it in one sitting. If you enjoyed Catch Me if you Can or the Ocean's movies, you'll enjoy reading about the heists Doris pulled off for over SIX decades!
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