First published in the December 1951 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, To Catch A Thief is the romantic tale of an ex-American jewel thief living in retirement on the French Riviera.
Randal S. Brandt, who penned the introduction to the recently published Bruin Books paperbook edition, points out that the novel was inspired by real life events!
If any of this is ringing any bells it’s probably a recognize of To Catch A Thief‘s more famous incarnation, the 1955 film staring Carey Grant and Grace Kelly.
With the very first line of the novel our wily protagonist, John Robie, is on the run – the police think he’s returned to his old profession, cat burglary, and the maquisards (his old comrades in the French Resistance) are under suspicion too – Robie’s only option is to track down the real cat burglar before the police can catch up with him! This will of course mean a disguise, regular visits to the casinos of Monte Carlo and endless days spent in the company of gorgeous young women. C’est la vie.
This is all apropos of a terrific new radio dramatization of To Catch A Thief recently broadcast on BBC Radio 4. I cottoned on to it on a recent visit RadioArchive.cc (where you can get it too!).
To Catch A Thief
Based on the novel by David Dodge; Adapted by Jean Buchanan; Performed by a full cast
1 Broadcast – Approx. 1 Hour [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4 / Saturday Play
Broadcast: January 8, 2011
David Dodge’s novel is a fast-paced, entertaining page-turner that was subsequently turned into a memorable film by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Now, Jean Buchanan’s dramatisation brings it to radio. American John Robie is living quietly in the South of France, trying to put his career as a notorious jewel thief behind him. However, when a series of huge jewel thefts begins on the Riviera, targeting rich Americans, the police immediately suspect he’s returned to his old ways. To prove his innocence, and trap the real thief, Robie must resort to subterfuge. But his plans go awry when the daughter of one of the rich American tourists takes rather too close an interest in him – and his past.
John Robie……….Jeff Harding
Francie Stevens……Jennifer Lee Jellicorse
Mrs. Stevens………..Laura Brook
French Extras……….Martin Sorrell
Director: Sara Davies
And, if you’re up for more on David Dodge and To Catch A Thief, be sure to check out Randal S. Brandt’s wonderful tribute site!
Posted by Jesse Willis