Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review - The Wicked Wives

The Wicked Wives
By: Gus Pelaggatti
Publisher: Mill City Press, Inc.
ASIN: B005784LB4
Pub. Date: July 22, 2011
Pages: 304

The Wicked Wives is based on true events that took place in Philadelphia during the year 1938, in which seventeen women murdered their husbands. Giorgio DiSipio, an Italian lothario, gave each of the women a deadly substance to give to their husbands, which resulted in their deaths. The women were conned into believing that Giorgio loved them and that he would runaway with them once their husbands were dead.

One of these husbands was Reggie Stoner, who's death is first ruled as pneumonia, but later the cause of death is changed to arsenic poisoning, but was never ruled as a homicide until the First Assistant DA Tom Rossi discovered that Mrs. Stoner was to receive a hefty insurance check. Soon the Rossi learns of Mrs. Stoner's affair with DiSipio, and he places murder charges against her, but there is a twist. Her uncle happens to be the Deputy Mayor Bill Evans, who interferes with the investigation. Evans is corrupted and has ties all over the city, even in the police department. Now here is another twist, Mrs. Stoner was fooling around with her uncle in exchange for money.

As the case seemed to be coming to a halt, Rossi learns about sixteen other widows filing for large amounts of insurance money. Before long, Rossi starts connecting all the pieces together.

The author had sent me a review copy a few months ago and I wished I had started reading it right away as it is a fast-paced thriller. The plot reminds me of an episode of Law & Order, but this murder sex scandal actually happened back in 1938. It is chilling to think of how these seventeen women all murdered their husbands for money. The author must have gone to great research before writing The Wicked Wives. I thoroughly enjoyed how they investigated and figured out who the murderers were without the help of computers, cell phones, etc. The Wicked Wives is a crime story with many twists and turns around every corner. I recommend the book to all readers.

About the Author:

Gus Pelagatti is a Philadelphia trial lawyer with almost 47 years of civil and criminal experience. His book, The Wicked Wives, is based on the true story of the 1938 Philadelphia poison scandals. 17 unfaithful wives were arrested with their lovers for poisoning their husbands to death for insurance money. The chief conspirator was a tailor whose shop and apartment were situated two blocks from his parents' home in South Philly. Gus interviewed Judges, lawyers, detectives, witnesses and neighbors all directly involved in prosecution of the wives.

More information about Gus Pelagatti can be found at http://www.guspelagatti.com/ and about his book, "The Wicked Wives" at http://www.thewickedwives.com/

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