Queen of Thieves

The True Story of "Marm" Mandelbaum and Her Gangs of New York

LIST PRICE $15.99
About The Book

Queen of Thieves is the gritty, fast-paced story of Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum, a poor Jewish woman who rose to the top of her profession in organized crime during the Gilded Age in New York City. During her more than twenty-five-year reign as the country’s top receiver of stolen goods, she accumulated great wealth and power inconceivable for women engaged in business, legitimate or otherwise. The New York Times called Mandelbaum “the nucleus and center of the whole organization of crime in New York City.”

Having emigrated from Germany in 1850, she began her climb to the top of the crime world as a peddler on the rough-and-tumble, crowded streets of the city. By 1880, she had amassed a fortune estimated at more than $1 million. Mandelbaum was known for running an orderly criminal enterprise. She enlisted the services of an extensive network of criminals of every ilk and bribed police officials, politicians, and judges. If someone wanted to move stolen goods, needed protection from the law, or sought money to finance a caper, Marm was the person to see.

In 1884, Mandelbaum escaped from the clutches of Pinkerton detectives, who were casing her house, and fled to Canada. Mandelbaum lived out the rest of her life in luxury on a small farm with her family and ill-got fortune. Hundreds of people turned out for her funeral. Dozens of people later reported to police that they had their pockets picked at the service.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Skyhorse (September 2014)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781632200983

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Raves and Reviews

". . . a provocative read and a pleasing window into 19th-century crime with an unusual leader—an immigrant woman. Recommended for historical crime buffs, those interested in women's history, and the general reader." —Library Journal

“Queen of Thieves, like Conway’s previous books, paints a vivid and cinematic picture of New York City during the Gilded Age with its colorful cast of characters. This time, the story centers on one of America's first organized crime bosses, Fredericka Mandelbaum, a woman who gained enormous money and power during her rise as matriarch of the underworld.” —Will Staples, screenwriter

“Mr. Conway, true to his roots a newspaperman, has written a gripping, page-turning historical account of Fredericka Mandelbaum, making it as fresh and relevant as if it were ripped from today's headlines.” —Jesse Dubuc, coauthor, The Attack of the HMS Nimrod: Wareham and the War of 1812

Praise for King of Heists

“Engrossing . . . Conway skillfully paints a backdrop of fierce and flamboyant personalities who paraded across the Gilded Age . . . [H]e capably recounts his story against a background of glitter and greed.” —Publishers Weekly

“A page-turning account of one of the most brazen crimes of our time.” —Reader’s Digest

“Conway, a college prof and ex-newspaper man, covers this ancient tale in a way that makes it feel like a hot news story.” —New York Post

Praise for The Big Policeman:

“Conway portrays his subject’s cleverness and excesses with a flawed-hero flavor that should draw in true-crime fans.” —Booklist

“An essential read for those interested in police work, detective stories, and New York City history.” —Library Journal

“A fascinating, fast-moving account of one of the most polarizing and influential figures of 19th-century New York. ” —Daniel Stashower, author of The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder

“A treasure trove of information not only on larger-than-life pioneering detective Thomas Byrnes but also on law-and-order in wide-open nineteenth-century Manhattan.” —David Pietrusza, author of Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series

". . . a provocative read and a pleasing window into 19th-century crime with an unusual leader—an immigrant woman. Recommended for historical crime buffs, those interested in women's history, and the general reader." —Library Journal

“Queen of Thieves, like Conway’s previous books, paints a vivid and cinematic picture of New York City during the Gilded Age with its colorful cast of characters. This time, the story centers on one of America's first organized crime bosses, Fredericka Mandelbaum, a woman who gained enormous money and power during her rise as matriarch of the underworld.” —Will Staples, screenwriter

“Mr. Conway, true to his roots a newspaperman, has written a gripping, page-turning historical account of Fredericka Mandelbaum, making it as fresh and relevant as if it were ripped from today's headlines.” —Jesse Dubuc, coauthor, The Attack of the HMS Nimrod: Wareham and the War of 1812

Praise for King of Heists

“Engrossing . . . Conway skillfully paints a backdrop of fierce and flamboyant personalities who paraded across the Gilded Age . . . [H]e capably recounts his story against a background of glitter and greed.” —Publishers Weekly

“A page-turning account of one of the most brazen crimes of our time.” —Reader’s Digest

“Conway, a college prof and ex-newspaper man, covers this ancient tale in a way that makes it feel like a hot news story.” —New York Post

Praise for The Big Policeman:

“Conway portrays his subject’s cleverness and excesses with a flawed-hero flavor that should draw in true-crime fans.” —Booklist

“An essential read for those interested in police work, detective stories, and New York City history.” —Library Journal

“A fascinating, fast-moving account of one of the most polarizing and influential figures of 19th-century New York. ” —Daniel Stashower, author of The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder

“A treasure trove of information not only on larger-than-life pioneering detective Thomas Byrnes but also on law-and-order in wide-open nineteenth-century Manhattan.” —David Pietrusza, author of Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series

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