Gus Pelagatti’s The Wicked Wives
Publisher: Mill City Press
Copyright: 2008, 2011
46 Chapters; 292 pages
I. Murder Book Summary
It’s 1937 and Giorgio DiSipio is having the time of his life. He’s married to a disabled woman but that isn’t stopping him from having all the wild, crazy sex he could ever hope for.
He’s the owner of a tailor shop in South Philadelphia, but that’s not the source of his considerable wealth. He’s a small-time gangster, but he doesn’t need the local “rackets” to pad his growing bank account.
You see, Mr. DiSipio has a secret “racket” all his own. It’s a highly profitable and murderous scam that is steadily making him and his “partners” a small fortune.
Giorgio is a self-styled “ladies man” with a taste for unhappily married women. His “partners” are in fact, a small army of disgruntled women who have taken out phony life insurance policies in their husband’s names.
Later, the trusting husbands begin dying off tragically and mysteriously. Their deaths would leave the “grieving” widows (and Giorgio) healthy, wealthy, but not very wise.
Not wise? Well, of course you know what they say about “the best laid plans of mice and men”?
When Lillian Stoner’s husband Reggie falls ill and dies, his mother Nancy Stoner demands an autopsy. This is the very last thing the “bereaved” Lillian desires.
Lillian is more than your average murderer. She is a force to be reckoned with and has a powerful ally in Deputy Mayor Bill Evans. Deputy Mayor Evans is willing to do whatever is necessary to see to it that an autopsy never happens.
But Nancy Stoner has powerful allies of her own. The most dedicated of these is Tom Rossi, Assistant District Attorney. Rossi believes that Reggie Stoner’s death is suspicious enough to warrant an immediate investigation.
And that is how this hot, sexy, crime thriller begins. In most good murder books, the motive is usually greed, spiced with a little illicit lust. This crime drama delivers both in spades.
The book is based on the true story of the 1938 Philadelphia murder Scandals. This fast-paced novel quickly captivated me within the first 4 pages and held my attention for most of its 46 chapters.
Husbands are dropping like flies while Tom Rossi and his men are running around Philadelphia searching for elusive clues. It seems like Deputy Mayor Bill Evans influence is everywhere, even in the coroner’s office.
Pelagatti’s work runs the gauntlet of all the negative human emotions you can think of. It has greed, lies, political corruption, and some of the most treacherous and deceitful behavior ever perpetrated upon a spouse.
But there are many admiral human qualities here as well.
Most noteworthy is Rossi’s bravery and uncompromising determination to get to the truth and bring the killers to justice. Unfortunately for Rossi, it might cost him his career and the love of a woman he cares about.
Please don’t think that this story, which takes place during the low-tech depression era, will not feel relevant in today’s world. After all, not much has changed in the course of 75 years.
There are still people out there in the “new” millennium that will do absolutely anything for money.
This is Gus Pelagatti’s first novel. If you ask me I think he’s off to a very good start. Hopefully it will not be his last.
If you’d like to know more about Gus Pelagatti, you can go to the page that I’ve created for that purpose. You can also reach him at the Gus Pelagatti home page.