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Literature / Heist Society

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Like Oceans 11, but with teens!

The first rule of Katarina Bishop's family was simple: Don't get caught

The Heist Society series follows Katarina "Kat" Bishop, a 15-year old who has grown up in the world of cons and theft. After deciding to avoid the possibility of eventually getting caught, she schemes her way into boarding school, only to be expelled when her best friend and former partner in crime, Hale, drags her back into the family business. Kat must retrieve the five paintings stolen from the dangerous Arturo Taccone who suspects Kat's dad of the crime, and eventually comes to the realization that being a thief is in her blood though she is determined to steal on her own terms.

Her crew consists of her beautiful cousin Gabrielle, Lonely Rich Kid Hale, the Bagshaw brothers Angus and Hamish, computer genius Simon, and Nick, who may or may not be on their side. She is also being watched by a Phantom Thief called Visily Romani who seems to have taken an interest in her skills.

The books are written by Ally Carter, author of The Gallagher Girls but feature a "Nancy Drew style, where each plot is wrapped up in the course of the book", with no ongoing arc. The series currently consists of Heist Society and its sequels Uncommon Criminals and Perfect Scoundrels.

Tropes Include:

  • Adults Are Useless: While seemingly played straight at first, awesomely subverted in Uncommon Criminals as Kat's family comes into play in the finale and massively pulls one over on the mark after the kids had failed. Further subverted in Perfect Scoundrels when the entirety of Kat's family pitches in and helps her with her scheme. Generally the adults are off pulling bigger cons most of the time.
  • Affectionate Pickpocket: Occasionally Nick, but the titles applies to most of the main characters, who are all adept at slight of hand tricks.
  • Caper Rationalization: Kat accepts that she is a born thief and could be great, but she is determined to stick to stealing priceless artifacts that were wrongly taken from their rightful owners, specifically, works of art that were taken by the Nazis in World War II
  • Con Man: All the guys, but special mention goes to Uncle Eddie who is regarded as one of the best in the world
  • Chick Magnet: It's hard to find a scene where Hale is in public and women aren't openly ogling him. This is also true of Bobby Bishop.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar:
    • Kat is the embodiment of this trope, the author actually got the inspiration for the series after deciding she wanted to write a book about a girl named Kat who was a cat burglar.
    • Margaret, from Uncommon Criminals is implied to have been one of the best of these in her youth.
  • Clear Their Name: Kat can't convince Taccone her father didn't steal his paintings - she's forced to steal them back in order to keep her family safe from retribution.
  • Crossover: The novella "Double Cross" crosses over with The Gallagher Girls.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: At least once a book, guards/witnesses will be too distracted by Gabrielle's looks to notice the con going on around them.
  • Double Caper: The basic plot of Uncommon Criminals
  • Everyone Can See It: Between Kat and Hale. Actually, everyone just treats them like a couple anyway.
  • Gentleman Thief: Most of the guys, but especially Kat's dad, Bobby Bishop, and Hale.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Nick, the good-boy-turned-bad-turned-good.
  • It's Personal: The reason Kat is dragged back into the family business in Heist Society is to save her father who is suspected of stealing five paintings from the dangerous Arturo Taccone. Taccone is very clear on what will happen to him and to everyone else Kat loves if his paintings are not returned.
  • Last-Name Basis: Hale is simply Hale, though that doesn't stop Kat from trying to guess his first name.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Hale is implied to have been one of these before he met Kat and joined her world.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Cleopatra Emerald that Kat must steal in Uncommon Criminals - twice.
  • Noodle Implements: To complement the many cons that the characters pull. Some require peacocks, doves, and in a notable case, a monkey that wasn't as well-trained as they thought.
  • Noodle Incident: Too many to count, as Kat and co. constantly refer back to cons that they've pulled in the past.
    • Whatever the Bagshaws did to get them in trouble with the family in Heist Society. You just don't con nuns.
  • Parental Neglect: Wherever Hale's parents are (it's assumed they're off running a business empire) they fail to notice that their son is commandeering the family jet (or perhaps just one of them) to travel across the world pulling long cons and stealing priceless items. Also, the school he's attending is fictional, but they don't notice.
    • Perfect Scoundrels reveals that his parents only get interested in him when he's the sole inheritor of the main family fortune and business.
  • Phantom Thief: Visily Romani.
  • Shipper on Deck: Though she likes flirting with Hale, Gabrielle is very supportive of him and Kat finally admitting their feelings
  • Spy Catsuit: Gabrielle gets one in the second book, albeit very briefly, as does Kat in the third book.
  • The Caper: Really, the whole series is about capers.
  • The Charmer: Hale
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Kat and Gabrielle respectively.