Madness Under the Royal Palms

  • by Laurence Leamer
  • Narrated by Todd McLaren
  • 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In March 1999, a Palm Beach matron and her socially ambitious husband invited the elite of the island for a dinner dance honoring Prince Edward. Among those dancing to the string orchestra that evening would be those accused of murder and spousal abuse, and others who would suffer fates both unseemly and unspeakable. Among the outer circle there would be murders, suicides, and fatal fires. There would be those who would rise from the dust of obscurity to the heights of wealth and those who would fall to oblivion and disgrace.Thus begins Madness Under the Royal Palms. Leave it to Laurence Leamer, the best-selling 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."

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What the Critics Say

"Madness offers buckets of heart-warmimg Schadenfreude for all." (The Washington Post)
"The book's highly visual vignettes dominated by divorce, infidelity, excessive drinking and violence produce a depressing picture of sad, angry, insecure and frequently nasty people hiding behind empty smiles, luxury cars and socially invisible servants." - (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Just what I've been waiting for

For those of us who "havenot" a must read (listen) for anyone who loves the tabloid-esque scandals of the Palm Beach rich. I love that the stories are scandalously current, unlike the old recycled stories we've heard countless times. Fantastic! Keep 'em coming!! ten stars not five!!!!
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- kk

Madness under the royal palms

Very good, I found myself looking online while reading to look up the people and places being mentioned in the book. The author kept me wanting to hear more.
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- Diane

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-02-2009
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio