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Madness Under the Royal Palms
Love and Death Behind the Gates of Palm Beach
--The Washington Post
"Now, as unflinching as Dante, the irrepressible Laurence Leamer . . . has turned his attention to the society in which he luxuriates most winters. Social lepidopterist that he is, in the 300-plus pages of Madness Under the Royal Palms Leamer pins out that gaudy, conflicted community like cornered butterflies--fluttering, hectic, and doomed."
--St. Petersburg Times
"Leamer meticulously paints the kind of frenzied desire to belong to the club, literally and metaphorically, that led people to abandon most principles."
Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme devastated the eternally sunny world of Palm Beach, bringing down multimillionaires and destroying once wealthy widows. The South Florida island and its rarified life suddenly found itself at the epicenter of the scandal, with this strange universe of wealth and privilege under an unrelenting spotlight.
Now, in Madness Under the Royal Palms, Laurence Leamer shows us--as no one else has--this world of the megawealthy, which he calls "as hidden a place as I have ever resided." Digging deep, he hits a dark well of conflicting ambitions--right up to and including murder--much darker than the sky-blue weather and sunny Lily Pulitzer prints most of us associate with Palm Beach.