A thriller about the exciting rise and fall of the Purple Gang in 1920s Detroit.

Arthur Nix was a 14-year-old kid who made the tragic mistake of innocently peeking inside one of our “cutting houses” (the warehouses where the gang “cut” or watered down liquor before bottling it). He was seen doing this by a Purple who reasonably assumed the kid was a spy. Then this Purple, who shall remain nameless, laid a trap for Arthur. I will only divulge that it involved a couple of wild animals and one movie camera. It all happened unbeknownst to me.

But it sure caused trouble. That, along with the later assassination of the Motormouth (radio star Jerry Barkley), led to calls for an end to gang violence in Detroit in the hot summer of 1930.

Young Arthur was the charge of Detroit speakeasy queen Tennessee Jenkins, who took care of the boy whilst insisting that he was “no kin.” If you ask me, the real culprit in this whole episode was Ten’s paramour, Barkley–who whispered in the boy’s ear and set this whole mess in motion.

Click below to explore more of the Purples’ world:
Back stabbings • Elvis Presley • Good old Detroit • Harry Riley • Henry Ford • Mazel tough • Rachel and the Palmer Raids • Saying bad things? • Speakeasy queen • The babies • Why purple? • WWJBD? • Buy the book
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Awards for The Purples

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Word on the street

I can only imagine what the Detroit papers will eventually have to say about us Purples, but these reviews will have to do for now.


Plot summary

Shunned by our community… locked up for helping an innocent girl… ambushed by rivals and left for dead in the Detroit River: Yeah, there are a few plots to summarize. Read more…

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Why purple?

People will always try to label you. We wore it like a badge of honor.

Elvis button

Jailhouse Rock

I could tell straight off that Presley was a hick and he was full of questions, two things I don’t like.

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Good old Detroit

Someone has to tell the truth about what happened in Detroit back in the days when it still mattered what happened in Detroit.


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