When the rich decide to arrange a wedding, they go big and the DeBleu/Banks is definitely a grand wedding fiesta. A week-long celebration in a fancy spa hotel, surrounded by friends and family, who can all seemingly afford to quaff champagne like most people drink water. Of course, that doesn’t mean there are no dramas and as with any good weddings, this one is certainly full of them.
One thing does become evident very quickly though. A man is dead and there seems to be a line of people queuing up to confess.
Lulu Franc is 68 and married to Pierce Banks, the uncle of the groom. Lulu is the first to confess to a man’s untimely death.
Is this because she senses there are issues in her marriage? Issues she cannot resolve and has a very real fear that her husband is about to leave her? After all, Lulu should be able to sense when a marriage is failing; she has already been married four times before settling down with Pierce. Perhaps it is Pierce she has murdered in a fit of rage?
Cindy Anderson is a bartender at the wedding and she does admit to believing that Lulu could be calculating enough to murder, not that she has met her before, but after 10 years in the job, she knows she can read people well.
It seems that during drunken conversations with not just Cindy but also others at the bar, Lulu confesses to the fact that she believes her husband no longer loves her and maybe planning to leave her. Did this cause anger to bubble under the surface enough to want to kill someone?
Ginger Holly Alder, mother of three, and married to Frank, is a friend of Whitney DeBleu from college.
Frazzled and bitter from a life as a hectic parent trying to keep their heads above water, it seems that Ginger is struggling at every hurdle. Her patience with both the kids and her husband seems to have run its cause and her unpleasant mood seems to run on a very short fuse.
Is she capable of murdering someone? It would appear she believes so.
Emily Brown, another friend of the bride and disliked by Ginger, then confesses to pulling the trigger that kills a man.
Emily seems like the secretive type. Perhaps that is why the mysterious man on the plane is drawn to her but then things get complicated when they find out they are both off to the same wedding function.
Did these complications add to Emily’s already unforgiving actions that caused her and Ginger to fall out years ago? Did this cause her to flip, become unstable and murder someone?
Lawyer, Kate Cross, is also claiming to have killed a man while staying at the Serenity Spa and Resort for the Debleu/Banks wedding.
Kate is rich and successful and to the outside world, she looks happy. Behind closed doors however, she is completely miserable. She is so desperate for a child that it is all she can think about and it is causing a rift between her and her boyfriend Max. It seems the saying; ‘money can’t buy you happiness’ is true for Kate at least.
Who however was killed still hasn’t been revealed, or whether in fact, it is just the one murder. You see, they all mention a man died but is it the same one?
Whitney DeBleu is meant to be getting married this week to the man of her dreams but it seems that things are not going quite to plan. Perhaps in an attempt to rekindle friendships she has invited her three closest friends from college – Emily, Kate, and Ginger – but was that a mistake?
There is an abundance of secrets floating around at this wedding making it difficult to keep up with who hates who, who is dating who, and who has been dumped by whom. Add into the mix a good dose of jealousy and the murderer could be absolutely anyone.
Someone is lying, but whom?
Something happened to cause someone to bubble over with enough rage to kill. Who however was killed remains a mystery until the very end which makes trying to guess the murderer impossible – a very clever way to write a novel though.
It seems that money can buy opulence and get you to leverage for the social pages of glossy magazines, but it cannot stop drama and death from knocking on the door.
For those that enjoyed Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, you will love this.
My Thoughts on Pretty Guilty Women
On the face of it, Pretty Guilty Women is a great read for those wanting to immerse themselves into a girly crime novel. At first glance, it’s the glamour of a big wedding that captures you at a wonderful sounding hotel but the further you read into the novel, the darker it becomes.
Gina Lamanna covers topics from infidelity, marital abuse, death of a child and alcoholism. These themes sit just below the surface of the narrative, hiding in plain sight and while some readers will see it as a story and no more, others will reflect on these things, noting that it doesn’t matter what your upbringing or career decisions, people all suffer difficulties.
It is a well-written story that because of the way it has been written, you have to wait until the very last chapters to uncover who both the murderer and the murdered man are.
Have you read Pretty Guilty Women or any of Gina Lamanna’s other novels? Would you recommend any to others?