This biography of George Manolesco, probably the most famous gentleman crook of the last century, is highly entertaining. George Manolesco, penniless refugee from the Rumanian navy, son of a profligate Army officer, and fired with a taste for the aut monde, found his entree into the world of the Grand Hotels through the favor of a Turkish countess at the age of fifteen. Once confident of his masculine appeal, dressed in natty clothes and with a purse to lavish on wine and women, and having developed a superior skill at gem lifting and cards, George was unconquerable. Among the stranger-than-fiction escapades of the progenitor of the Raffles and Jimmy Valentines were a jaunt around the world including chicanery in frontier America, ersatz titles, the theft of three million pounds of jewelry and cash mostly squandered, the lucrative recovery of a state ring belonging to a profligate prince, some Robin Hood gallantry, two marriages, several short terms in jail, high flown dialogue at a final trial, some ups and very low downs, and the last years writing his memoirs. The memoirs utilized here are racy and extravagant, and this is an enticing tale of inspired skullduggery.