The Gardner Heist, Part IV: Fact and Fiction

gardner courtyard

The FBI has made a lot of claims about the Gardner heist in recent years: that the thieves are both dead, that there have been “confirmed sightings” of the stolen art in recent years, and that they believe “with a high degree of confidence that in the years after the theft, the art was transported to Connecticut and the Philadelphia region, and some of the art was taken to Philadelphia, where it was offered for sale by those responsible for the theft. With that same confidence, we have identified the thieves, who are members of a criminal organization with a base in the mid-Atlantic states and New England.” All of that may be true, but the fact remains that no arrests were ever made, none of the art has been recovered by the museum, and no one has ever claimed the reward that now stands at $10 million.

But…what if? Continue reading

The Gardner Heist, Part II: The Night of the Theft


Isabella Stewart Gardner‘s collection remained in place and untouched until the early hours of March 18, 1990. The heist was no elaborate Ocean’s 11 affair; there was no need for that given the light security at the Gardner Museum at the time. Two men dressed as police officers simply rang the buzzer at the employee entrance. The security guard on duty answered, and the men standing outside claimed to be Boston police responding to a disturbance. He buzzed them into the building, simple as that. Continue reading

The Gardner Heist, Part I: Isabella


On March 18, 1990, two thieves disguised as police officers stole 13 works of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, including Rembrandt’s Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee and Vermeer’s The Concert. Over the next week or so, I’ll be recounting the true story of the Gardner heist, a fictionalized version of which is featured in my upcoming novel Charlesgate Confidential. Continue reading

Berkeley Beacon previews “Charlesgate Confidential”


Hello! I am in the process of overhauling this blog, which has been neglected for years now, because I have a novel coming out in September and my understanding is that some form of “promotion” on the author’s part is generally considered to be a good idea! In the coming months, I plan to bring you background information on some of the real-life places and events that inform Charlesgate Confidential, as well as my musings on literary and cinematic influences on the novel and thoughts on any contemporary crime fiction and cinema I may consume in the meantime. Of course, I’ll also be linking to reviews, interviews, information on signings or podcast appearances and any other events I may be fortunate enough to participate in as the publication date approaches.

Having said all that, here is a link to an article in my alma mater’s newspaper, The Berkeley Beacon, previewing the novel and including a few word salad quotes from me and some much better ones from a couple of the great editors I’ve worked with.