#BookReview: Queen of the Burglars

Elizabeth Gauffreau

The image shows author Shayne Davidson holding a copy of her book Queen of the Burglars. Shayne Davidson

My Review

The image shows the front cover of Queen of the Burglars: The Scanalous Life of Sophie Lyons. Click on the book cover to purchase from Amazon.

This will probably sound silly, but my immediate reaction to Shayne Davidson’s biography of 19th-century pickpocket extraordinaire Sophie Lyons was excitement over the citations. Every fact had a superscripted number with a corresponding endnote!!

In all seriousness, though, those citations represent Davidson’s extensive research into the life of Sophie Lyons and meticulous attention to documentation of sources. This is history scholarship you can trust.

At the same time, the writing is very engaging. I would go so far as to say conversational, which made for a smooth and enjoyable read. I also appreciated the interior layout of the book with plenty of boldface headings to keep the complexities of Sophie’s life and times from getting confusing.

Sophie Lyons was born in 1848 in Bavaria. She emigrated to the United States at the age of eight. Although she…

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