Reports are circulating that a copy of EL James’ new Fifty Shades novel, titled “Grey” was stolen, but many are wondering if this is just a publicity stunt.

The book, which is set to be released on June 18, Christian Grey’s birthday, re-tells the first installment of the trilogy from billionaire Christian’s point of view.

Reports indicate that the theft was discovered by publisher Penguin Random House on Monday and was being investigated by the police.

However, several media outlets have spoken with the police, who say they are unaware of the theft and Penguin Random House has refused several requests from the media for comment.

The lack of police knowledge, combined with the no comment from the publishers, has led to speculation that this is a stunt to garner attention before the book’s release next week.

According to James, she wrote this version of the books (which have sold over $125 million worldwide) because it’s what the fans want

She said in an interview that: “Christian is a complex character and readers have always been fascinated by his desires and motivations, and his troubled past.”, hence this new book.

If it turns out to really be stolen James could have a problem on her hands: s similar situation occurred in 2007 when a copy of  J K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was stolen  leaked on the internet, revealing the deaths of major characters and ruining the ending for thousands of fans.

James has not commented on the theft as of this writing.

Do you think the new “Grey” book was stolen or is this a publicity stunt?  Tell us what you think below.