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

From Joe Bernstein:


It has come to my attention that women do not always want to read books about so-called gangsters. So I would like to make a special plea to the fairer sex to give The Purples a fair hearing. Do not pre-judge us, the way so many others have done.

To help plead my case, I have asked several of my female acquaintances to provide testimonials:

The Purples is, at its heart, a star-crossed love story between Joe and Rachel. It is at times heartbreaking but ultimately, even as it makes you cry, you also feel very warm inside. In many ways, it is not unlike a Nicholas Sparks book. There is even a scene involving a bottle floating on the water, although there is no message in the bottle.”
~Mary W.

“In the book, Joe Bernstein thinks he is so smart. But if you notice, he is constantly outsmarted by Rachel. And the same is true with the hero, Harry Riley—thinks he has all the clever answers. But who ends up being right most of the time? His wife, Nan, that’s who.”
~Sadie M.

The Purples is a lovely book, filled with scenes that, for example, take place in a boat out on a quiet lake, with trees swaying in the breeze. There is actually not that much violence and mayhem, and what there is has been rendered with utmost delicacy.

Now will you let me leave?”
~Joanie T.

Don’t miss the profile of Tennessee Jenkins and a great song on the Speakeasy Queen page


Free Purples EBook
Audiobook info

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.

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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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