Happy Birthday Gus!! Book Review: The Wicked Wives by Gus Pelagatti

Happy Birthday to Mr. Gus Pelagatti!! May today and the year to come bring you much happiness, love and light!

  • Review: The Wicked Wives
  • Series: —
  • Author: Gus Pelagatti
  • No of Pages: 296
  • Release Date: Published July 1st 2008 by Mill City Press, Inc.


“Wicked Wives” is based on the true story of the 1938 Philadelphia murder scandals in which seventeen wives were arrested for murdering their husbands. Mastermind conspirator Giorgio DiSipio, a stunning lothario and local tailor who preys upon disenchanted and unfaithful wives, convinces twelve of them to kill their spouses for insurance money. The murder conspiracy is very successful until one lone assistant D.A., Tom Rossi, uncovers the plot and brings the perpetrators to justice. “Wicked Wives” is a story made for Hollywood, combining murder, corruption, treachery, love, lust and phenomenal detail as it vividly captures Depression-era Philadelphia.

My thoughts:

The Wicked Wives starts out wonderfully and doesn’t let go until the very end. Most of the time I was left curious about these wives and to a point sympathetic which shows the great writing of Gus Pelagatti! But never are you unaware of how dastardly these women really are.

The four women in this book, Lillian, Eva, Joanna and Sadie all have one thing in common, listening to Giorgio DiSipio. All have complicated situations for sure and there are so many twists and turns as these cases go through the court. At some points I was pulling for the women but the fact of the matter is, these ladies and some of the men are corrupt. They decided to do things that should never be ok to get out from underneath their husbands and for the money. Thinking back to the times and how hard it was to live then maybe the money helped their conscience ease a bit.

Now normally I would have to say, crime solving is definitely not my thing. I was a fan of Nancy Drew way back in the day but other than CSI, I typically do  not read crime or mysteries but this one really got me. It’s interesting, the characters seem so real and since this is based on the true story of wives offing their husbands for insurance money, it is real at least in part. The ending was my absolutely favorite. I love endings that I don’t see coming and this I didn’t see from a mile off.

If you like crime stories I would say give this a try, even if you don’t, this is a wickedly fun book! Very well written!

*Thank you to Gus Pelagatti for allowing me to review his book in return for an honest review.*

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/ — Amazon

Goodreads | Amazon | Website

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  1. […] The Wives Tales by Gus Pelagatti (Book Review) […]

  2. I love a crime story and the characters sound interesting. Lovely review!

    1. Thank you! This was definitely a fun read! And knowing it was based on true stories… whew!

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