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Purgatory Gardens

A Novel

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Sammy Dee is a mid-level Long Island mafioso in witness protection. Didier Onyekachukwu was the corrupt minister of finance of the former Upper Volta. Both men find themselves in middle age, living in the Southern California version of genteel poverty in a down-market condo complex called Paradise Gardens. Enter Marcy Gray, a “mature” actress barely getting by on a meager SAG pension. She is looking for a guy to help her through the duration and, frankly, at this point her standards are not as high as they should be; she’d settle for someone who doesn’t pick his teeth at the table and who drives at night. Occasional sex and some travel wouldn’t hurt. Her search has narrowed to two fellow residents: Sammy and Didier, who, being male, are mostly interested in getting into Marcy Gray’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 decides to put a hit on the other, and winds up unknowingly hiring the same father-son demolition squad.
As the contract killers play both of their clients against one another, Marcy manages to keep both men out of her bed until one or the other of her prospects passes muster. Poisoned pizza, blown-up cars, sex in the sauna, and media madness ensue. It’s Elmore Leonard meets Carl Hiaasen as directed by the Coen brothers.
With Purgatory Gardens, Lefcourt is back at the top of his game as one of America’s leading comedic writers.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

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.

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 (The Deal) deftly plays this twisted tale of romance among senior citizens for laughs. Sammy Dee, a retired Mafia man, and Didier Onyekachukwu, who served as finance minister for one of Burkino Faso's unelected presidents, vie for the affections of 60-something actress Marcy Gray. All of them live in Paradise Gardens, a Palm Springs, Calif., condo better known to residents as Purgatory Gardens. Both men, each of whom is running from his past (Sammy is in the witness protection program; Didier is a wanted man after a coup), are looking to Marcy for comfort and security. Marcy, who's looking for the same thing, is wise enough to hire investigator Evelyn Duboff to check out her mysterious suitors. Things heat up when first Sammy and then Didier decides to hire a killer to remove the competition, especially as they hire from the same outfit—Acme Exterminating and Patio Decks, which "redid your patio while they took out your enemies." Emmy-winner Lefcourt, who has written and produced for both TV and film, delivers a novel ready-made for the movies. (Aug.)

Publisher's Weekly

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 (The Deal) deftly plays this twisted tale of romance among senior citizens for laughs. Sammy Dee, a retired Mafia man, and Didier Onyekachukwu, who served as finance minister for one of Burkino Faso's unelected presidents, vie for the affections of 60-something actress Marcy Gray. All of them live in Paradise Gardens, a Palm Springs, Calif., condo better known to residents as Purgatory Gardens. Both men, each of whom is running from his past (Sammy is in the witness protection program; Didier is a wanted man after a coup), are looking to Marcy for comfort and security. Marcy, who's looking for the same thing, is wise enough to hire investigator Evelyn Duboff to check out her mysterious suitors. Things heat up when first Sammy and then Didier decides to hire a killer to remove the competition, especially as they hire from the same outfit—Acme Exterminating and Patio Decks, which "redid your patio while they took out your enemies." Emmy-winner Lefcourt, who has written and produced for both TV and film, delivers a novel ready-made for the movies. (Aug.)

Publisher's Weekly