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A man named Giorgio Disipio is running an insurance fraud scheme that involves assisting wives in killing their husbands in order to collect on their life insurance policies. The author has done a great job of bringing the story to life. The main characters are well developed and you can just feel the tension between the conspirators as the circle of wives grows and the law starts to get closer.

This one get a 4 out of 4 star rating from me. Due to the fact that this fictional novel is based on the true events of 17 wives, living in Philadelphia in to , who murdered their husbands to cash in on insurance money makes this an extremely attention-grabbing read. The author has woven these true life events into a story that will grab your attention and keep you fascinated.

The story takes place during the Depression where times were extremely hard and money and jobs were few and far between. It centers around four women who are bored with their marriages and in need of money. They all seem to share one common thread, Giorgio DiSipio. He is a tailor in south Philadelphia who has quite the reputation with the married women and is also the inspiration for the poisoning of their husbands after an insurance policy is obtained under false pretenses.

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Prosecutor Tom Rossi has the unenviable task of conducting an investigation where clues and information are scarce. His investigation leads to a confrontation with Deputy Mayor Evans which jeopardizes his future political dreams. This investigation will lead Tom on a path of murder and corruption that will prove to be a challenging and dangerous endeavor.

The characters in the story were portrayed in a way that kept the suspense building throughout. The dialogue and interaction amongst the characters was accomplished in a fashion that blended their own personal stories together in a convincing way. Gus Pelagatti has put a story together that reflects the amount of research involved and succeeded in making it very authentic.

His writing style kept me interested and anxious while painting me a picture of the people and places contained in the story. The fact that this is based on a true story makes this a very engaging book that I would recommend to all readers. Pelagatti has a keen eye and sense of psychology as he delves into the personalities and characters of the women involved in this true crime put to a novel. While we can't help feeling sympathy for them, these wives are blood thirsty and greedy during a time when the better road would have been loyalty and love for their husbands. Gus shines a light on the human spirit's darkest side, and sets a warning for those who would think that "crime pays!

I loved it and highly recommend it for those who love to sink their teeth into true crime at its best. It's running an average of 4. You won't regret purchasing it! The Wicked Wives is based on true events that took place in Philadelphia during the year , 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.

The methodology behind the killings and the brutality of the process leaves you wondering how this could have happened. Pelagatti not only tells us a story of the times he is able to set some strange red herrings and give us a surprise that you do not see coming. This would be a great book for your true crime library, full of history and real life. I believe it would also be a great find for a reading group, a way to discuss how little is can take to make someone step over the edge.

This book was received free from the author. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material. Mar 06, Rhonda rated it really liked it. Can't believe all the murders for money. This is based on a true story it also has a suspenseful question of who was the lady dressed in black.

I had never heard of this Poison murder case of all the wives who worked together to kill their husband for insurance money, till I was contacted by Gus Pelagatti to read his book. It is not a uplifting story. The wives are having affairs with more than one partner. Most of them had an affair with the tailor. They knew he had lots of lovers. He was even married himself. He convinced them to kill their husbands for money.

He would help them get insurance on their husbands without them knowing and they would split the money. The story is laid out in away that showed how the proscuter figured out his cases. In fact it even showed some of court cases. Their even showed some of the outcomes some guilty and some innocent.

I enjoyed the story and could not believe the outcome. I was given this ebook to read by the author and asked to give honest review of it when done. This was a fascinating topic for an eight year old boy eavesdropping on adult conversation. My fascination led to obsession. I knew that I had to write about these wicked wives someday. After I became a trial lawyer in , I researched the poison murder cases in the law library and obtained newspaper accounts of the scandals dating back to October, Thereafter I conducted interviews with judges, lawyers, police, witnesses, sheriff deputies and neighbors who knew the defendants.

One of the chief conspirators was a tailor who seduced, then persuaded at least twelve wives to poison their husbands for insurance. The setting for his seductions was the couch in the rear of his tailor shop, located two blocks from our family home. A fascinating conspiracy unfolded in these murder cases. After many comical episodes, intriguing detective work and two suspense filled high profile trials, 12 wives plead or are found guilty of murdering their husbands.

Two male conspirators were executed in the electric chair. The characters, although they commit murder and adultery May 29, Diane rated it really liked it. The book The Wicked Wives is written as fiction based on true events. The book is well written and held my interest! The setting is Philadelphia in an area where money and political status carries a lot of power. The common bond for these women is one man, Giorgio DiSipio, a tailor in south Philly.

Is Lillian slowly poisoning her husband, Reggie, each time she brings his brandy? After his agonizing death, which is thought to be pneumonia, his mother Nancy demands an autopsy. Deputy Mayor Evans is involved with Lillian and he needs to protect her from the suspicion of murdering Reggie Eva Bell Fitzpatrick had a lot of problems. She loved to gamble, was not afraid of a bit of danger, and she wanted Giorgio. After losing a huge bet on Seabiscuit at the races, she is desperate for Giorgio to help dispose of the bookie she is indebted to, and arrange an accident for her husband Dennis.

She had taken out accidental insurance on her husbands life. Eva is a bad girl, Dennis is not her only victim! Joanna thinks she is in love with Giorgio and he will be her answer to freedom and sex. So how will Antonio actually die? Sadie Lamb ran a boarding house with benefits for her male renters. She has taken insurance policies out on her husband Robert who has a history of heart trouble.

When Robert does not die soon enough for her plans, what accident will befall him? As the story unfolds, there is more criminal activity other than the murders. Insurance fraud, mob connections, and political motives are intertwined. Who is this Lady in Black with a giant sized body-guard? Giorgio is beginning to fear the Woman in Black and her giant size friend..

How will Tom Rossi prove his suspicions about motives and methods of these murders? Read the book, it is a very entertaining crime story! Jan 13, Erin rated it liked it. Find this and other reviews at: I couldn't have been more excited when author Gus Pelagetti asked me to review his book The Wicked Wives. I love true crime novels and the very idea of a bunch of women poisoning their husbands was more than a little provocative.

I eagerly agreed to take on the book in exchange for an honest review. Overall I liked the book but I particularly enjoyed the obvious effort Pelagetti put into making sure the complex web of intrigu Find this and other reviews at: Overall I liked the book but I particularly enjoyed the obvious effort Pelagetti put into making sure the complex web of intrigue didn't overwhelm his readers.

Each part of the conspiracy evolves naturally, moving from one event to the next with fluidity I am unused to seeing in the work of first time authors. Still, for all that I applaud this effort; I also feel the cast is rather shallowly characterized. Take Tom for example. We know he is the First Assistant D. I wanted to know what made him tick, to get into his head, to understand why he is the way he is especially since he is the primary lead. There are so many characters that one could hardly expect to get to know them all, but still, I would have liked to see a lot more depth to characters like Tom, Hope and Giorgio.

Ultimately my rating came down to a single factor: I called who did it and nothing kills the ending of a whodunit so much realizing the hunch you've been sitting on most of the book is correct. Though I think Pelagatti's mystery has excellent movement, I can't say it kept me guessing and in the end that is what makes a mystery in my eyes.

I want to be hanging on the author's every word, to be blown away by the reveal and that just didn't happen here. Definitely interesting and worth looking into, especially to those who enjoy true crime novels. Jul 24, Sheila rated it really liked it Shelves: A wealth of background detail introduces new characters and locations, from the derivation of racial epithets to the plight of immigrant Jews and colored Americans. Carefully described histories help readers keep the many different characters separated as the complex plot unfolds.

And occasional short love scenes add intensity. Different stories are layered throughout this book, with the viewpoint switching from investigation to intrigue to plot. Some memorable characters leap from the page while others hide in the background, and the whole is filled with the sort of scenes that would make a great TV series.

While the intricate details make this a slow read, the book becomes hard to put down as the story progresses, revelation piling on revelation, and mysteries always just on the brink of being solved. A fascinating read, a powerful glimpse into political and social corruption, a haunting depiction of the Depression, and a satisfying crime drama, The Wicked Wives might not be my favorite book, but I certainly enjoyed it. I received a free ecopy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review. Apr 04, iamjenai rated it it was amazing. The Wicked Wives tells the story of a secret circle of wives murdering their husbands for insurance money.

This novel is based on a true story and that made the book more interesting to read. This is a page-turner book, I had sleepless nights reading this. There were times I was tempted to skim the book because I can't wait to find out the head of the poison group. While reading the story, I had to do a little research on the book as I can't believe that this is indeed based on a true story espe The Wicked Wives tells the story of a secret circle of wives murdering their husbands for insurance money.

While reading the story, I had to do a little research on the book as I can't believe that this is indeed based on a true story especially after reading last chapter. I wonder why this story has not been adapted on the big screen, I believe this would be a great Hollywood movie. I really enjoyed reading this book. You will not be disappointed, that's a promise. Feb 27, Sarah rated it it was amazing. The author has written this novel in such a way that it comes across as almost perfect.

It was like I was sitting there with all the evidence lying in front of me. The authors background as a lawyer has only helped him create a true crime masterpiece. Throughout the novel there was never a moment that I did not enjoy. There was a lot of characters present throughout however I never lost track of who was who. Overall a brilliant true crime novel and I look forward to seeing what the author does nex The author has written this novel in such a way that it comes across as almost perfect.

Overall a brilliant true crime novel and I look forward to seeing what the author does next. A copy of this book was received for free and all opinions expressed are my own through reading it. This review was first published on http: My Thoughts My first exposure to the depravity, the sheer desperate evil perpetrated by these women came fairly soon in the beginning of the story. I was appalled at the lengths to which these women went to ensure their own desires were catered to and the ultimate sacrifice made by the men whose every whim these women had was honored to the best of their ability.

Gus Pelagatti Introduces His Novel "The Wicked Wives"

As a matter of fact the further into the narrative I read the uglier the revelations were as to the lengths took to insure life for the women was made easier at the expense of the lives of men they took vows to love and cherish, guess the 'till death do us part' clause was the only vow the women took seriously! I guess when you are accustomed to a certain standard of living; when prestige and appearance mean more than good moral behavior much less honesty, fidelity or self-sacrifice for the good of another; than one can understand a little better what motivated the women to conspire to and then commit multiple murders.

I will be honest, my first thought was how thankful I was not to know anyone as cold-hearted or calculating as the women portrayed in the pages of this story. For my own peace of mind that made it easier to keep reading and keep shaking my head at just how twisted and shockingly brutal these women were in their pursuit of greed, lust and love! Have you ever watched a news broadcast that repulsed you at the same time your curiosity was aroused to the point you had to continue watching to see what actually happened and learn why it happened?

This tale has the same fascination, it makes you feel ill that there are people motivated so much by greed or lust that they would go to such extremes to get what they want. In todays world we see things on the news and read about things in newspapers that are much worse than what we read about in this story, however what kept running through my mind is why the women ever really believed their actions would go unpunished when the crimes they committed were so readily apparent to anyone who looked at the evidence of the death's.

For someone who does not read a lot of stories based on true accounts this was really interesting, it read somewhat like a good old-fashioned who-done-it with enough spice, gallows humor and drama mixed in to keep one flipping those pages to see how everything turned out. What really kept me inspired was despite earlier roadblocks put in his way Tom Rossi kept hammering out a case, during his investigations into one of the women he found out that he had stumbled upon a widespread conspiracy which included up to a dozen women who had participated in murdering their husbands for insurance money.

This case spanned four years, it was sensationalized by the press at the time in the book and if it had happened today am sure it would have even more news coverage which played up the more salacious angles to the public. When readers compare forensic investigation methods today, that are far superior to those in the 's time period when the murders took place, they should be glad that we have the knowledge, manpower and technology available otherwise quite obviously there would be more criminals get off scot free just like some of the people in this book did.

All in all can truly say though that along with the totally unforeseen twist at the end, when the mastermind of the crimes is committed, the way the author took fact mixed with fiction made for a pretty compelling read. This one could indeed be made into a movie easily as it has all the qualities Hollywood looks for to grab audiences attention and keep them watching!

Aug 15, Kathleen rated it it was amazing. Seventeen dissatisfied, unfaithful, greedy wives and their male conspirators use poison to murder their husbands for the insurance money. Based on a true story, author Gus Pelagatti weaves a tale of deceit, lust, adultery, c "Oh, what a tangled web we weave Based on a true story, author Gus Pelagatti weaves a tale of deceit, lust, adultery, conspiracy and murder in a highly publicized sensational poison murder scandal involving seventeen Wicked Wives, with a sizzling courtroom drama that rocked the citizens of Philadelphia!

Tom Rossi investigates the suspicious murder of Reggie Stoner, despite opposition and threats to his political career. What starts out as a murder investigation quickly spirals into one that uncovers an elaborate plan that included adultery, drugs, murder, blackmail and insurance fraud. Seventeen disgruntled wives are manipulated by a charismatic womanizing tailor, Giorgio DiSipio, who seduces the women and convinces them to take out life insurance policies on their husbands, and poison them for the insurance money. Giorgio is aided in the murder plot by a "friend" who is an undertaker, who performs autopsies on the victims, claiming that they all died from various forms of pneumonia.

Rossi bring these devious murderers to justice, or will The Wicked Wives and their conspirators get away with the perfect murder? The Wicked Wives is an intriguing historical fiction based on a true story of the scandalous poison murder case in Philadelphia. The author has cleverly weaved a fascinating tale of deceit, lust, conspiracy and murder that keeps the reader sitting on the edge of their seat. The reader is transported back to the Depression era of Philadelphia, a time period of flappers, gangsters, corruption and hard times. Rich in detail and vivid descriptions, the reader goes along for a captivating thrill ride as the scandalous conspiracy unfolds and what could have been a perfect murder culminates in a riveting courtroom drama that will keep you guessing and holding your breath until the conclusion.

The author has created an intriguingly complex cast of characters who are a fascinating study of different personalities. The interweaving of the characters is seamless with clever dialogue and interactions that make this a powerful and compelling story. I have to admit that I was fascinated by these clever women and by the mastermind, Giorgio, but I absolutely loved following Assistant D. As a diehard fan of legal thrillers, I think that the author's professional experience as a trial attorney enabled him to masterfully weave a tale that packs a powerful punch.

The Wicked Wives is a fascinating story that is a must read for true crime fans. This tangled web of deceit, conspiracy, adultery, murder and courtroom drama would make one hell of a Hollywood movie!

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I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours. Jul 10, Aimee Jodoin rated it really liked it. When Reggie Stoner is found dead in Great Depression era Philadelphia, his death is ruled as caused by pneumonia.

Ready to swoop in and arrest her, When Reggie Stoner is found dead in Great Depression era Philadelphia, his death is ruled as caused by pneumonia. Ready to swoop in and arrest her, Rossi is stopped by her uncle, the corrupt Deputy Mayor Bill Evans, who Rossi suspects is exchanging sex for money with his niece. Giorgio DiSipio, Rossi realizes, is more than just a wannabe mobster and petty criminal; he has supplied seventeen women with poison, leading them to believe that if they murder their husbands, he will run away and be with them.

Each one believes DiSipio is their one true love, and each is unaware of the other lovers. With excellent dialogue, this deeply-researched and well-written novel offers both a gritty crime conspiracy and an intriguing look into the minds of the desperate people living in Philadelphia during the Great Depression.

While the novel explores dark topics such as lust, greed, infidelity, and incest, its tone is light, never disturbing the reader too much. The characters are fully developed, the protagonists likeable, and the antagonists menacing. It is the characters in particular that keep the reader hooked. Rossi is a typical good guy, though he is willing to go to the edge of the law in order to solve the serial murders, and Evans and DiSipio are both gritty antagonists in their own right.

DiSipio is fairly light-hearted, almost playful in his love affairs, while Evans is a darker creature who elicits a deeper hatred from readers and illuminates the corruption of greedy higher-ups in government systems. The women are at the heart of the story, their lust and cunning both making the reader cringe and intriguing them, making them want to know more about their motives. Only a few grammatical and punctuation errors appear throughout the book, but they rarely distract. A novel of time and place, those who enjoy either historical fiction or true crime books will surely devour this novel.

Oct 30, Shelleyrae at Book'd Out rated it liked it.

The Wicked Wives

I used to read quite a lot of true crime so when Gus Pelagatti contacted me requesting a review of Wicked Wives my interest was piqued. The case the author has based his novel on is quite sensational, particularly for the times, though a similar case in modern times would be no less so. Based on a true story that occurred in Philadelphia, Gus Pelagatti's fictionalised account of a complex murder conspiracy is an interesting and entertaining read. When DA Tom Rossi, despite venomous oppositi I used to read quite a lot of true crime so when Gus Pelagatti contacted me requesting a review of Wicked Wives my interest was piqued.

When DA Tom Rossi, despite venomous opposition and threats, persisted in his investigation into the suspicious death of Reggie Stoner, he had no idea he would eventually uncover an elaborate scheme that involved murder, adultery, drugs, insurance fraud and blackmail. Manipulated by charismatic tailor, Giorgio DiSipio, desperate wives agreed to take out life insurance policies on their husbands and then stood by, or actively participated, in their murders. Successfully negotiating political corruption, deceit and threats, Tom Rossi would eventually bring more than twenty people to trial on charges of murder and conspiracy to murder.

I found the story of the case quite fascinating, it's an elaborate web of conspiracy aided by corruption, with unlikely criminal suspects and victims. Yet it took just one loose thread, and a determined prosecutor to unravel, what could have been considered the perfect crime. In fact I would think there were probably wives and their victims who were never identified.

Pelagatii builds the story not unlike the way a trial lawyer might sum up a case to a jury, providing background on the people involved and ensuring the facts are unambiguous. The twist, when it comes, is unexpected, proof that sometimes, real life is stranger than fiction. Pelagatti's experience as a trial lawyer is evident in the novel, though there is little of the actual court proceedings, it is structured not unlike a brief with facts and details carefully laid out to reach an unassailable conclusion.

The author, who grew up in just a few streets away from the infamous tailor shop, interviewed many of the original lawyers, detectives and witnesses in the case. It's not clear how much of the personalities of the conspirators are gleaned from known facts, or to what extent the author has added his own interpretation to the emotions and motivations of the men and women involved, but it reads as genuine. It is easy to forget that part of this tale is fictionalised, as the tone is closer to a true life crime recount than a novel.

It matters little though for Wicked Wives is an intriguing story of a scandalous and unique crime. Jan 24, Mardel rated it liked it. Wicked Wives is based on true events that took place in Philadelphia in the 30's and 40's. Gus Pelagatti took some events that happened years ago, in the 30's and fictionalized them producing a story with two parts. The second part is the investigation and trials of the characters involved. This was a sometimes dry, sometimes humorous, fact based story; I could ima Wicked Wives is based on true events that took place in Philadelphia in the 30's and 40's.

This was a sometimes dry, sometimes humorous, fact based story; I could imagine that I was sitting in a lecture hall, learning the story of a group of people who took to poisoning their husbands to get insurance money. They all had slightly differing reasons, but they all had one thing in common. They were involved with a certain individual who made things happen, either supplying poison, helping to administer poison or even planning out murder in other ways. As long as he received a cut of the insurance money, this guy was happy to help.

In fact, he made sure there were policies out on these hapless husbands. Each woman also seemed to have a basic lack of regard or compassion, as well as an obsession with this man - a tailor who considered himself quite the ladies' man. The dialogue reminded me of dialogue in old black and white crime films I used to see when I was little - those films that were always on t. Props on the realistic dialogue that fit the time era. The attitudes the characters' displayed also fit the times - this is set way before women's liberation was came around, when women and men had double standards.

As I mentioned earlier, the narration was interesting - a mix of a report like fiction and procedural. During the story itself, it seemed that there was no mystery - Pelagatti lays everything out, the murders, the participants, the investigations and the trial. Except for the one very huge twist at the end.

I was surprised - it was a good plot twist. Didn't see it coming. Interesting to me is the fact that Pelagatti is an attorney, and grew up hearing stories of the true life crime ring he writes about. More info at his website. As a debut crime novel, not a bad job. I have a habit of giving up reading books that bore me, and this novel kept me interested, especially for a book that isn't in my normal reading interest.

If it keeps my interest it's a plus for me. Anyone who likes true crime. A Novel Based on a True Story is a story set in Depression-Era Philadelphia and filled with murder, corruption, treachery, love and lust written about in vivid detail. Giorgio DiSipio - a local tailor known as the 'Don Juan of Passyunk Avenue' - preyed upon disenchanted and unfaithful wives - eventually convincing twelve of them to kill their spouses for the insurance money. The murder conspiracy is very successful, until one lone assistant District Attorney, Tom Rossi, uncovers the plot and brings the perpetrators to justice.

All in all, seventeen wives were arrested and charged with the murders of their husbands. First among them being Lillian Stoner, who murders her husband Reggie and depends on her lover Giorgio to feed her opium habit. There was Eva Bell Fitzpatrick, a risque redhead who loves sex and gambling, and whose gambling debts lead her in to the worst kind of trouble - murder.

Rose Grady was known as the 'Kiss of Death Widow' - married four times, she was thrice a widow - looking for affection and support for herself and her two young daughters, she finds both in Giorgio DiSipio.

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Joanna Napoli was the full-figured gift shop owner - the only 'Wicked Wife' to be 'blinded by love' - and her obsession with Giorgio leads her to do the unthinkable. Assigned to arrest and prosecute all the conspirators including the wives for the poison murders, assistant District Attorney Tom Rossi incurs the wrath of the corrupt Deputy Mayor Bill Evans after he refuses to protect Bill Evans' niece Lillan Stoner from murder charges.

The Deputy Mayor sets the political machinery in motion to get Tom Rossi disbarred, using the only ammunition he is able to find, Tom's relationship with nurse Hope Daniels. Part Negro, Hope has successfully lived her life as a white woman, but Bill Evans uses the bigotry of Philadelphia voters to derail Tom Rossi's campaign to be elected District Attorney. To be completely honest, while I enjoyed the underlying murder mystery, and appreciated how well-researched the book was, there were so many characters involved that I had trouble keeping them all straight in my mind.

I certainly don't recommend this book for 'faint-of-heart' or squeamish readers. I give The Wicked Wives: Are you a fan of True Crime stories? Made your way through Ann Rule's collection and is looking for a new author to discover? Sick of hearing that it's just the men that do the killing? In history, when it comes to murder -it is said that women tend to kill in a more subtle way like poisioning rather than chopping into little bits , though of course that's not to say women throughout history in the world of murderers haven't done that.

The Wicked Wives takes us into the heart of Philadephia in the year , a time when Gangs and Outlaws still roamed the city - flappers etc. It was a scandal of a time I tell you , a time when women who were disenchanted by their husbands - left home alone to cater for the house , cook their meals while they went out and worked and many of them had mistresses. For those women who were'nt weak minded , they were unfaithful to their husbands - figuring an eye for an eye , a tooth for a tooth as the saying goes.

In The Wicked Wives , it only took one man to set the ball rolling which sounds familiar as we look at all the crimes committed in the past - one man to lead and others follow like sheep. Giorgio DiSipio was a mastermind and a stunning lothario - just what these seventeen women needed - somebody who was hunky and paid attention to them , made them feel like the centre of attention. He convinced these women to kill their husbands for their insurance money and the murders were going very successful and money was rolling in until one assistant DA -Tom Rossi started to unravel the plot which as the book The Wicked Wives progress we see the wives brought to justice.

The Wicked Wives puts all of the other murderous women's tales like Eileen - Monster to shame as these women were clever , manipulative and cunning as each page turns you read and discover ways to kill your husbands. The author Gus Pelagatti has written The Wicked wives in such a way that you feel like you are sitting there with all the evidence in front of you and you can see that his career as a lawyer has helped shape his novel to a level of perfection that you do not see in most Crime Novels - fiction and non-fiction.

I look forward to reading more True Crime by Gus Pelagatti , if he decides to spotlight any other true crime novels that occured in Philadelphia or the greater American States. Oct 30, TMDG rated it liked it.

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Wicked Wives is an interesting journey through a seedy crime story based on a true story of insurance fraud and murder in Southern Philadelphia in the 's. This brings him into the cross hairs of Mayor Bill Evans, Lillian's rich uncle, whom she has been involved in a scandalous affair with, trading sex for money and protection against prosecution. Evans battles Wicked Wives is an interesting journey through a seedy crime story based on a true story of insurance fraud and murder in Southern Philadelphia in the 's.

Evans battles it out with Tom using any defamatory information he can dig up, and threats against his future in the D. He even goes as far as getting Tom's girlfriend fired from her job because she is of colored decent. Tom refuses to bend to the will of the crooked members of the political system and forges ahead. The line of suspected wives keeps getting longer, and number of deaths suspected for fraudulent insurance claims steadily increases. This leads Tom to wonder how large a conspiracy he is dealing with, and who is the Lady in Black and her giant that he believes are the leaders of the whole sordid operation.

I did enjoy this book. The fact that it was based on a true story fascinated me. I couldn't believe how many men and women were engaging in sexual affairs with each other, and that most were involved in murder plots. I found it very disturbing how easy it was to insure someone, claim you were their relative to benefit from the insurance policy, and actually get away with it.

I found some of the characters quite funny, like Bertha, the neighbor who testifies against Lillian about the games of "squirrel" played in the car in front of her house. It was a little hard to believe how many women fell in love with Giorgio, even when they knew he was with so many other women, and had caught him red handed doing the deed, not to mention he was not the brightest crayon in the box.

I know it was based on a true story, but either those women were really stupid, or Giorgio's charm may have been embellished. The ending was a real twist, that I don't think you'll see coming. I enjoyed this book more as a reference to that era, and learning about something that actually happened.