Voted one of the Guardian's top 10 best crime books of all time
Shirley Pitts, the eldest of six children was born upside down on 24 november 1934. Her "career" began by thieving bread off doorsteps and coal from coalcarts. Her father's bungled attempts at blackmarketering and her dipsomaniac mother's inadequacies made Shirley resolve not only to be a first-class thief but also the best mother her six children could wish for. Before she died Shirley told her story to Lorraine - the story of a generous, brave and beautiful woman with a huge sense of fun and a love of life.