Queens of the Underworld was launched at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel – on the site of the original headquarters of the Metropolitan Police.
This is where the Detective Department was based in late Victorian times, and its officers were very familiar with some of the queens – including Emily Lawrence, the diamond thief who was tracked down by Inspector Jack Whicher, and Mary Carr, the leader of the Forty Thieves.
Several of the queens’ relatives came to the launch, including the daughter of Zoe Progl, Britain’s No.1 Woman Burglar in the 1960s, and the niece of Elsie Carey, the 1930s bandit.
The hotel’s 40 Elephants Bar pays glamorous tribute to Alice Diamond and other members of the gang, as well as Lilian Goldstein, the Bobbed Haired Bandit.
Even the cisterns in the toilets remind visitors of the links with Scotland Yard….