The Thefts of Nick Velvet by Edward D. Hoch

The Thefts of Nick Velvet by Edward D. Hoch

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Thirteen stories of outrageous heists starring one smooth thief

The dictator of the island of Jabali wants a baseball team, and he doesn’t care how he gets it. He has assembled nine of the finest players on the island, and is about to hire Nick Velvet to steal him some competition. Ordinary thieves might not be up to pinching a whole ball club, but Velvet specializes in lifting seemingly worthless items, and in this year’s National League, there is nothing more worthless than the hapless Beavers. He steals them easily—but will the island’s ruler be satisfied with a last-place team?

In these charming stories starring one of Edward D. Hoch’s most popular characters, everything is up for grabs. Velvet steals sea serpents, garbage, cats, and toy mice—all with his trademark low-key style. In Nick Velvet’s underworld, there is nothing he won’t steal, so long as it’s priceless, worthless, or just plain crazy.


“Edward D. Hoch is capable of writing a truly classic short story.” —Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine

“Satan himself would be proud of [Hoch’s] ingenuity.” —John Dickson Carr

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