• Historical Fiction
  • General Fiction and Women Writers
  • YA Fiction
  • Suspense and Thrillers
  • Memoirs and Non Fiction
  • Classics and Mashups

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"The Wicked Wives" by Gus Pelagatti~Novel of True Crime!

Summary:  The Wicked Wives is based on the true story of the 1938 Philadelphia poison scandals whereby 17 wives were arrested for poisoning their spouses to death for insurance money. 

Particulars of the Book :
Publisher:  Gustine Pelagatti
Pages:  298
Find the book for sale on:  Amazon  and Barnes & Noble

The Bookish Dame Brings You This Guest Post :

Hello, Gus.  Welcome to A Bookish Libraria!

I’m so delighted you’ve agreed to allow us to get to know you and your book better.  I have several questions!

First of all, please tell us a special something about what makes you “tick.”  When you aren’t writing, what are you doing?

After 47 years, I still practice trial law in Philadelphia

You chose a specific genre, a place and time to write about, what made you choose it?

In 1938, Philadelphia was rocked with scandal: 17 wives were arrested for poisoning their husbands for insurance.   Our family had a tiny row house in South Philadelphia where the poison ringleader operated a tailor shop located two blocks away.  Consequently, I grew up hearing gossip about the wives and their lovers.

Bronte or Austen?  Hemingway or Hawthorne?  Why?

Hemingway –Regarded as a master of the narrative.

In your opinion, what makes a book a great one?

When there isn’t a boring page in the novel.

Which author(s) most influenced your love of books from childhood? 

Harold Robbins-The Carpetbaggers, etc.  He was one of the first authors that made sex part of American literature.

Read any good books in the past 6 months?

I read, “A stone for Danny Fisher.” –Harold Robbins

Choose 4 guests from any era for dinner.  Who would they be and what would you choose for a topic of conversation?

Benito Mussolini – During World War II, did he have difficulty understanding reality or was he insane?

Fidel Castro -  Explain how he thought he could stimulate the Cuban economy in 1959  after electing to seize the assets of all foreign investors and appointing unqualified  Marxist fanatics to run the Cuban economy.


John F. Kennedy –Was he really prepared to start a nuclear war with Russia over the Cuban missile controversy in October, 1962

Which of your characters is most like you?

A little bit of me exists in all my characters.

If you could cast your book for a movie, who would you choose?

George Clooney- Tom Rossi

Cate Blanchette-Lillian

Paul Giamatti –Giorgio

Maria Bello –Eva

Halle Berry -Hope

Worst habit you have?


How much research did you do before and during writing?


Psychologists tell us the thing we think we’d most like to grow up to be when we’re ten years old is our avocation.  What did you want to be?

A cowboy

Interesting choice, Gus.  I think the rough and tumble, shoot-'em-up tone of a cowboy suits the type of lawyer you are very well!!  And the type of novel you've chosen to write!
You've become the cowboy you always wanted to be...

Thanks for joining us on The Bookish Libraria! I loved having you aboard today.

About Gus Pelagatti:

Gus Pelagatti is a practicing trial lawyer with over 47 years of experience trying civil and criminal cases including homicide.  He’s a member of the Million Dollar Advocate Forum, limited to attorneys who have been recognized as achieving a standard of excellence as a trial expert.  He has spent years researching the true story of the 1938 insurance scam murders, interviewing judges, lawyers, police and neighbors involved in the trials.

Gus was born and raised within blocks of the main conspirator’s tailor shop and the homes of many of the wives convicted of murdering their husbands.

His latest book is The Wicked Wives.

You can visit Gus’ website at www.guspelagatti.com.

To get your paperback copy of  THE WICKED WIVES by Gus Pelagatti: http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Wives-novel-based-story/dp/1936780631/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315865476&sr=1-1

To purchase an e-copy of THE WICKED WIVES for your Kindle for $2.99: http://www.amazon.com/The-Wicked-Wives-novel-ebook/dp/B005784LB4/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1315865476&sr=1-1

To purchase an e-copy of THE WICKED WIVES for your Nook for $3.99: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wicked-wives-gus-pelagatti/1013204282?ean=2940013218611

Follow Gus Pelagatti on Twitter: https://twitter.com/guspelagatti

Like Gus Pelagatti on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/guspelagattiauthor

About The Wicked Wives:

When I was an eight year old boy I overheard adults in my South Philadelphia neighborhood discussing 17 disenchanted and unfaithful neighborhood wives who murdered their husbands for insurance money, love and lust. This was a fascinating topic for an eight year old boy eavesdropping on adult conversation. The adults were discussing the true story of Philadelphia’s infamous 1938 murder scandals. My fascination led to obsession. I knew that I had to write about these wicked wives someday.

After I became a trial lawyer in 1964, I researched the poison murder cases in the law library and obtained newspaper accounts of the scandals dating back to October, 1938. 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. The poison gang’s colorful and hilarious characters helped to deep-six a minimum of 20 husbands. The supporting cast includes Giorgio, “The Don Juan of Passyunk Avenue. ” Aside from scheming Lillian, “the society wife”, the wives include Rose, the “Kiss of Death Widow, ” Eva “the nymphomaniac” and the “hopelessly in love, ” Joanna.

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 Wicked Wives” gleefully explores the sins of lust and greed, and the disappointments that love often brings. The characters, although they commit murder and adultery, are extremely likable, and often amusing. Writing “The Wicked Wives” was a true labor of love.

The Dame's Final Word :
"The Wicked Wives" is a book that reads as fluently and fascinatingly as a story about the New Jersey Housewives on a murderous roll!  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!"

This is a novel that will keep you up all night!  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 4.5 rating on Amazon at the moment...mostly 5 stars.  You won't regret purchasing it!

5 stars from The Dame in this genre...


Share your thoughts!

Blogaholic Designs”=