The longtime series editor of The Best American Sports Writing turns his eye toward the Jazz Age, unpacking the little-known tale of America's first gangster couple and tabloid darlings, Margaret and Richard Whittemore, who in less than a year stole diamonds and precious gems worth over ten million dollars today.
... entertaining ... It’s reasonable to ask why anybody should bother to disinter these century-old characters and chronicle their heedless exploits. But Mr. Stout, who specializes in sports histories, has embedded their story in a deft social history of the 1920s—the days of flappers and bootleggers, hot jazz and hot stocks, bloodthirsty thugs and corrupt cops and pols all careening toward the Great Crash. The reader gets taken along for the ride ... even allowing for embellishments, Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid is a hell of a yarn—worthy of an HBO hoodlum epic like Boardwalk Empire ... Mr. Stout’s meticulous re-creations of those robberies are among the pleasures of the book ... Their spirits can thank Mr. Stout for stylishly rescuing them from obscurity.
In his entertaining, zippy chronicle of the Whittemores’ lives and crimes, Glenn Stout argues that their story 'is the torrid romance of an entire era' ... The argument isn’t quite definitive, but making the Whittemores avatars for several seasons of massive change, and an example of early tabloid true-crime coverage, is a compelling narrative through line nonetheless ... To his credit, Stout doesn’t ignore the brutality or merciless nature of the Whittemores’ multi-state crime spree. But there is a trap in recounting old crime stories, where one ends up trying to imitate or emulate an earlier style, and he can’t quite avoid it, partly because of a penchant for ending chapters and sections with excessively snappy sentences ... Underneath the zip and zing, Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid is a story about petty behavior, poor decisions, and tragic mistakes—a story as much rooted in its own time as it is timeless.
It is a gripping story about a Bonnie and Clyde couple way before Bonnie and Clyde ever made the scene ... One of the more intriguing aspects of the story is the treatment by the press and the resulting admiration by the public ... And yet Stout brings the story to its obvious and expected conclusion with the reporting of several trials—the one Richard basically won in Buffalo, and the one he definitely lost in Baltimore ... Stout...ties up the loose ends nicely ... definitely worth spending time with a couple who, for just a short time, lived their wild dreams.