Thank goodness @IrisBlasi sent me this book. 

I’m devouring Flawless, Union Square Press’ sparkling new non-fiction title. Within the pages, authors Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell (Blood Diamonds) detail the events surrounding the greatest diamond heist in history.

Half a billion dollars in gems boosted from an impenetrable underground vault within Antwerp’s locked down diamond district?

Oh yeah, Scarlet Whisper is all over this one.

What kind of Librarian/Rock Star/International Jewel Thief would I be if I didn’t do my homework on this dazzling book?

A rich veneer of history overlays the narrative. With focus and clarity, Flawless examines not only the oft politicized roots of diamond industry but also the origins of the gems themselves. As the world’s most liquid commodity, for centuries these  jewels have been mined and funneled into the pockets of tycoons and tyrants alike. 

Millions of dollars worth of carats are passed from hand to hand…and it all happens in Belgium, baby.  Antwerp rose to prominence over a century to become the center of world diamond trade. The book thoroughly explores the dichotomy between Antwerp’s moneyed diamond district and the surrounding tourist infested streets before transporting the reader to the backrooms and back alleys of Turin, Italy, a haven for mystics and thieves.

While the locales are in intriguing enough by themselves, the criminal masterminds responsible for the heist hijack the reader’s attention. Leonardo Notarbartolo and his gang of thieves are anything but the usual suspects; the “School of Turin” makes Danny Ocean’s crew look like small time crooks.

Flawless outshines most of the historical capers I’ve seen on the shelves. You’ll want to snag a copy. The execution of the premise is THAT good. Even though the loot has never been recovered, you’ll enjoy slipping into the shadows to follow the footsteps of the suspects.

Hungry for more? Then try these luscious lemon bars. While they aren’t sprinkled with diamond dust, the recipe is worth stealing.


  1. Jemi Fraser says:

    Jewel heists are always so much fun to read! I like living vicariously through the thieves (only vicariously, I promise!!) – sounds like a great book!

  2. jmartinlibrarian says:

    Glad you think so. This book was so easy to review, the caliber of writing and action kept me turning pages. That’s saying a lot–I read a LOT of books!

  3. Flawless says:

    Thank you so much for reading our book! If any of your readers want to learn more about Flawless, they can visit our site at
    Scott Andrew Selby

  4. jmartinlibrarian says:

    Thanks, Scott! Look forward to a follow Q & A post…

  5. moderndaystoryteller says:

    Lemon bars with diamond dust? Only you would think of that, Scarlet. Sounds like a great read. Will check it out for sure.

  6. jmartinlibrarian says:

    Karen: It really is terrific. Sometimes, truth is stranger (and more intriguing!) than fiction.

  7. Chantal Kirkland says:

    Wow-nice review. I’ll definitely have to pick up Flawless now.

  8. jmartinlibrarian says:

    Chantal: Favorite line– “Like winners in a game of Monopoly, they sorted and stacks of multicolored cash.”


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