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

The Purples were known for stabbing people in the back. That sounds bad, but there is a good reason why we did this. We started as a very small group and since we did not have a lot of numbers nor much firepower, we had to be stealthy.

We came to power by stalking and preying on other gangsters—specifically Buster Weintraub and the other leaders of the Sugar House Gang. We had to get these people when they were alone and unguarded. Oftentimes, that was when they went to the movies. Abie the Agent was particularly adept at taking a long blade and quietly working it through the back of a movie theater seat. For the final thrust, he sometimes waited for a big laugh line in the movie. Abie also snuck up on people whilst they were alone taking a piss in a public john. He taped padding to the bottom of his shoes. You never knew he was coming until suddenly, a heartfelt surprise.

In 1930, movie theaters in Detroit started attaching metal plates to the back of all the seats—as if we were going to start stabbing everybody who went to the movies! We only did it to the Sugars because they deserved it, after what they did to me. When you learn what they did to me, I think you will agree that the ones who departed whilst having a laugh at the movies actually got off easy, especially compared to those who were eaten by the babies.

Click below to explore more of the Purples’ world:
Arthur Nix 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…

Why purple? button

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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Now that you’re curious about the Purples, isn’t it time to lift up your butt cheek and get out your wallet? Don’t worry: we promise the book won’t bore you.

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