Press "Enter" to skip to content

The Gardner Heist

Boston Globe Bestseller

National Independent Bookstore Bestseller

“A vivid portrait of the high-stakes world of art crime,” Associated Press

The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft

Shortly after midnight on March 18, 1990, two men dressed as police officers broke into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and stole 13 masterpieces including five Degas, three Rembrandts, and a Vermeer. The plundered works are worth an estimated $500 million, and the theft remains the largest unsolved art heist in history.

Detective Harold Smith worked the theft for years, and after his death, reporter Ulrich Boser decided to pick up where he left off. Traveling deep into the art underworld, Boser explored Smith’s unfinished leads and came across a remarkable cast of characters, including the brilliant rock ‘n’ roll art thief; the golden-boy gangster who professes his innocence in rhyming verse; and the Boston heiress Isabella Stewart Gardner, who stipulated in her will that nothing should ever be changed in her museum.

In The Gardner Heist, Boser describes how he uncovered new evidence about the identities of the men who robbed the museum nearly two decades ago. A tale of art and greed, of obsession and loss, The Gardner Heist is as compelling as the stolen masterpieces themselves.


“Boser has produced a captivating portrait of the world’s biggest unsolved art theft.”
— Wall Street Journal

“A vivid portrait of the high-stakes world of art crime.”

—Associated Press

“Boser has done a public service in exposing the real world of art theft: It isn’t about glamour and culture — it’s about greed, violence and irreparable, maddening loss.”

—USA Today

“Boser cracks the cold case of the art world’s greatest unsolved mystery.”

— Vanity Fair