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Purgatory Gardens

A Novel

"Lust, murder, and secrets collide to create a perfect tale of just-past-their-prime connivers looking for one more second chance." —Paul Malmont, author of The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown

This hilarious noir romantic comedy set in Palm Springs introduces Sammy Dee, a mid-level Long Island mafioso in witness protection, and Didier Onyekachukwu, the corrupt ex-minister of finance of the former Upper Volta, who escaped twenty-four hours before the firing squad. Both find themselves in late middle age, living in the Southern California version of genteel poverty in a down-market condo called Paradise Gardens.

Enter Marcy Gray, a "mature" actress barely getting by on a meager Screen Actors Guild pension. She's looking for a guy to help through the duration, and at this point, she'd settle for someone who doesn't pick his teeth at the table and who drives at night. Her search has narrowed to two fellow residents: Sammy and Didier, who, being male, are mostly interested in getting into Marcy's pants—though a little of the money they mistakenly think she has wouldn't hurt either. Once both men realize that the other is the primary obstacle to Marcy's affections, each puts a hit out on the other. Inadvertently, they hire the same father-son demolition squad, and that's where the fun begins!

Peter Lefcourt is a refugee from the trenches of Hollywood, where he has distinguished himself as a writer and producer of film and television. Among his credits are “ Cagney and Lacey,” for which he won an Emmy. In 1991 Lefcourt published The Deal, a cult favorite in Hollywood, was one of the ten books that John Gotti reportedly ordered from jail, and was adapted into a movie — starring William H. Macy, Meg Ryan and LL Cool J — that premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. He was, until recently, a co-executive producer on ABC’ s “ Desperate Housewives.” Peter lives in Santa Monica Canyon. Purgatory Gardens is his eighth novel.

"Lefcourt is good about all the ways we are bad." —Diane Sawyer

"Elmore Leonard, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler are spreading the word in that celestial realm reserved for hard-boiled thriller writers. Peter Lefcourt's Purgatory Gardens is hilarious, touching, beautifully written, and engaging throughout. What's more, Purgatory Gardens is a hard-hitting but good-natured satire of just about everything that makes us Americans. Two thumbs up for this fine and very funny novel." —Howard Frank Mosher

"Wickedly clever and wildly entertaining, Purgatory Gardens is crime fiction raised to a high art. Murder, lust and intrigue have never been more engaging or more fun. I enjoyed every page. It simply doesn't get any better than this." —Peter Quinn, author of Dry Bones

"A hilarious dose of desert decadence! Peter Lefcourt's finely-etched characters manipulate and conspire against one another against the sun-drenched backdrop of Palm Springs. Lust, murder and secrets collide on golf courses, in condos and at 4PM dinners to create a perfect tale of a trio of just-past-their-prime connivers looking for one more second chance. Purgatory Gardens is the perfect pool-side book you've been looking for!" —Paul Malmont, author of The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown

"Lefcourt had me chuckling throughout . . . Purgatory Gardens is a light-hearted read that will both lift your spirits and make you hope that your own retirement will be nothing like the one portrayed." —Alan Jacobson, New York Journal of Books

"Lefcourt deftly plays this twisted tale of romance among senior citizens for laughs. . . . Emmy-winner Lefcourt, who has written and produced for both TV and film, delivers a novel ready-made for the movies." —Publisher's Weekly

Praise for Peter Lefcourt:
"Peter Lefcourt does for Hollywood what Christopher Buckley does for Washington: sticking pins in all the right places." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times, for The Manhattan Beach Project

"A cast of colorful, memorable characters and dexterous, witty writing make this a laugh-out-loud, thoroughly enjoyable novel." —Publishers Weekly, for The Deal

"An almost irresistible idea for a comic novel. In Lefcourt's deft hands, it becomes a thoroughly enjoyable send-up of professional baseball . . . pointed and poignant at the same time." —The Los Angeles Times, for The Dreyfus Affair

"Lefcourt is good about all the ways we are bad." —Diane Sawyer

"Elmore Leonard, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler are spreading the word in that celestial realm reserved for hard-boiled thriller writers. Peter Lefcourt's Purgatory Gardens is hilarious, touching, beautifully written, and engaging throughout. What's more, Purgatory Gardens is a hard-hitting but good-natured satire of just about everything that makes us Americans. Two thumbs up for this fine and very funny novel." —Howard Frank Mosher

"Wickedly clever and wildly entertaining, Purgatory Gardens is crime fiction raised to a high art. Murder, lust and intrigue have never been more engaging or more fun. I enjoyed every page. It simply doesn't get any better than this." —Peter Quinn, author of Dry Bones

"A hilarious dose of desert decadence! Peter Lefcourt's finely-etched characters manipulate and conspire against one another against the sun-drenched backdrop of Palm Springs. Lust, murder and secrets collide on golf courses, in condos and at 4PM dinners to create a perfect tale of a trio of just-past-their-prime connivers looking for one more second chance. Purgatory Gardens is the perfect pool-side book you've been looking for!" —Paul Malmont, author of The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown

"Lefcourt had me chuckling throughout . . . Purgatory Gardens is a light-hearted read that will both lift your spirits and make you hope that your own retirement will be nothing like the one portrayed." —Alan Jacobson, New York Journal of Books

"Lefcourt deftly plays this twisted tale of romance among senior citizens for laughs. . . . Emmy-winner Lefcourt, who has written and produced for both TV and film, delivers a novel ready-made for the movies." —Publisher's Weekly

Praise for Peter Lefcourt:
"Peter Lefcourt does for Hollywood what Christopher Buckley does for Washington: sticking pins in all the right places." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times, for The Manhattan Beach Project

"A cast of colorful, memorable characters and dexterous, witty writing make this a laugh-out-loud, thoroughly enjoyable novel." —Publishers Weekly, for The Deal

"An almost irresistible idea for a comic novel. In Lefcourt's deft hands, it becomes a thoroughly enjoyable send-up of professional baseball . . . pointed and poignant at the same time." —The Los Angeles Times, for The Dreyfus Affair