Sly Cooper: To Catch a Thief is a book by Michael Anthony Steele. It takes place between the events of Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus and Sly 2: Band of Thieves, and is about Sly Cooper attempting to steal a valuable statue while Inspector Carmelita Fox attempts to prevent the crime.
It was published in 2006 by the Scholastic Corporation and has 74 pages.
Will a master crook succeed in his plot to steal a priceless work of art? Not if Sly Cooper can help it! He has other plans for this legendary treasure. There's just one problem for Sly - his longtime rival Inspector Carmelita Fox is on to his game. She's determined to capture the elusive raccoon once and for all. Can Inspector Fox succeed in her mission - or will Sly Cooper escape again?
― Plot synopsis
The novel starts as Sly Cooper sneaks through a building owned by Dimitri Lousteau. He avoids security before entering Dimitri's office, where his objective - Leo Rhino's painting the Mona Lizard - awaits. In the office is a vault, which contains an invitation to Dimitri and Madame D'Oinkeau's engagement party in Monaco.
Inspector Carmelita Fox paces around her office, thinking about leads on where Sly Cooper would show up next, when Detective Winthorp enters and gives Carmelita an invitation to an engagement party. Sure that Sly wouldn't be able to keep his hands off the engagement gift, a large statue called the Venus de Whalo, Carmelita prepares to leave for Monaco.
On the night of the party, Sly tries to enter the building without being seen. Inside, D'Oinkeau talks to Carmelita about the protection of the valuable statue. Sly steals the key to the venue's skylight from a guard, then enters the building through it. Exploring inside, Sly enters a room with three guards forging art. A battle ensues with Sly emerging as the victor. Murray then arrives wearing a guard uniform, with an extra for Sly.
Downstairs, Carmelita listens to D'Oinkeau relaying the story on her acquisition of the statue when two guards interrupt, saying that they've caught Sly Cooper upstairs. Carmelita jumps at the chance to throw him behind bars, while Dimitri escapes. Carmelita and D'Oinkeau find that Dimitri was a forger and that Sly was not captured, but by the time they get back downstairs, Dimitri, the "guards" (who Carmelita now knew were Sly and Murray) and the Venus de Whalo are gone.
Outside in an alley, Sly and Murray put the statue in the Cooper Van while Sly remembers the gang's first heist, the "Cooky-Steelin' Plan." This was a plan the trio set up to steal the jar of cookies from Mrs. Puffin's office. Sly waited in the garbage can in the office until she left for the night, after which he began to set up for stealing the cookies. By the time he had pushed the desk into the right position, "Scary" John the janitor was right outside the door. Not wanting to disappoint his friends, Sly ended up stuffing some cookies into his hat before Murray pulled him out of the office through the window with his tricycle. Sly shared the cookies and said that it was "the sweetest-tasting failed mission ever."
Back in the present, Bentley mentions that they are twelve minutes over schedule, and that the next boat out of Monaco wouldn't leave for another forty-five minutes. Sly promises to keep Carmelita distracted for that amount of time.
Carmelita, now outside the mansion, follows tire tracks to a cobblestone bridge before they disappear. She wonders out loud what it would be like if Sly, with his skills, was on the police force. Sly responds from atop a lamppost, answering that he and Carmelita are already on the same side. He asks her if she remembers the first time they met. They both then tell their own versions of the story.
According to Sly, he wasn't looking to steal anything, but was just out enjoying the Parisian architecture. Carmelita, in the Paris Opera House, was attempting to prove that she could be a worthy successor to Inspector Barkley by protecting the Diva Diamond. Sly was captured by Carmelita on the roof, who thought that he was there to steal the diamond. While she went to get Barkley, Sly escaped the closet she had put him in, then witnessed Pierre, the stage manager, stealing the diamond. He knocked out Pierre, then dropped him with the diamond on a necklace around his neck to the stage below. Barkley congratulated Carmelita for "catching" the thief and promoted her to Inspector on the spot.
In the present day, Carmelita calls for backup to catch Sly, who then proceeds to jump off the bridge. Fearing for his life, Carmelita peers over the edge and sees that Sly landed on a boat with the rest of his gang. Carmelita cries out that she'll catch him, to which Sly responds that he'll miss her. She may catch Sly someday, but for now "she would have to settle for capturing the heart of a thief."
- Sly Cooper
- Inspector Carmelita Fox
- Madame D'Oinkeau
- Inspector James Barkley
- Pachyderma Tuskinanny
- Detective Winthorp
- "Scary" John
- Mrs. Puffin
Differences from The Adventures of Sly Cooper
There are several small differences between Sly Cooper: To Catch a Thief and the first issue of The Adventures of Sly Cooper.
- Sly steals a painting at the beginning of the book, which leads to him finding the invitation to the engagement party.
- The janitor is given a name: "Scary" John.