This fascinating volume reveals the real men - and women - behind some of the most infamous London villains ever to appear in fiction. Fagin, Professor Moriarty, Moll Cutpurse and the notorious 'cracksman' A.J. Raffles were all rooted in the lives and deaths of a litany of real-life criminals, agitators and activists. With a special emphasis on the city that spawned them, this book brings together their stories for the first time, and shows how they were woven into fiction by some of Britain's greatest writers, including Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle. Containing prison escapes, sensational trials, daring art thefts, vicious attacks, roaring boys, black magicians and private detectives, Masters of Crime explores both the real underworld of British crime history, and its fictional counter-parts. It will delight fans of true crime and crime fiction alike.