Madness Under the Royal Palms
Love and Death Behind the Gates of Palm Beach
Publication Date: February 2009
List Price: $24.99*
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Thus begins "Madness Under the Royal Palms." Leave it to Laurence Leamer, the bestselling author known for getting the inside story on his elusive subjects, to take us behind the walls of America's most exclusive enclave of wealth and privilege. Here Leamer tells a braided story involving a socialite determined to make it to the top of Palm Beach society, two infamous murders, and a powerful society reporter. As a backdrop, Leamer tells the story of the clash between old money and new, religion and status, and the love, lust, and fatal hatreds that determine the shape of a fiercely protected society. The cast of characters include trophy wives, trophy husbands, purported gigolos, glamorous widows, a pioneering gay couple, a wildly irreverent event planner, a sociopathic multimillionaire, and an elegant society queen.
For 100 years, Palm Beach has been a fantasyland nurtured by, and maintained for, the megawealthy. In the end, Leamer's tale of money, murder, and mad pretension reveals a darker strain. Uncovering that strain, the author writes, "turned into as fascinating, in some cases as shocking, and always as unexpected a journey as I have ever taken.
Former radio broadcaster Todd McLaren has been heard on more than 5,000 TV and radio commercials; narrations for documentaries on such networks as A&E and the History Channel; and films. His book narrations have earned him a prestigious Audie Award as well as a "Publishers Weekly" Listen-Up Award.
"Madness offers buckets of heart-warmimg Schadenfreude for all." ---The Washington Post