From jewels collected to jewels stolen: next up, a deal for a book by perhaps the greatest jewel thief of all time, Bill Mason, which was preempted by senior editor Susanna Porter at Random for publication by Villard. She took it off the table with a "very significant" six-figure offer as agent Nick Ellison was preparing to auction it, with seven publishers interested. It's called Grand Theft: Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief , and in it Mason tells, with the aid of novelist Lee Gruenfeld, of a life of crime in which he is estimated to have stolen $35 million worth of gems from wealthy and famous people. He never used a gun or weapon of any kind, and when he was not doing his second-story work (after weeks of preparation), he lived a sober life as a family man, married to a Cleveland socialite. He served a small amount of jail time, but now, because the statute of limitations has run out on most of his thefts, is free to talk about them. Porter plans to publish early in 2003.