Thursday, September 10, 2020

Three Single Wives - by Gina LaManna

©Gina LaManna
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Murder following a self-help book club?! Sign me up! "Three Single Wives" by Gina LaManna is the epitome of an edge-of-your-seat read! Welcome to a world where everyone's a suspect, and you're *almost* okay with said murder... I said, almost!  

If you're used to LaManna's writing style, you're probably guessing this is going to be another cleverly crafted cozy mystery, which I'll always love. Still, today I'm happy to tell you that she has branched out into women's fiction suspense for a second time! Domestic thriller? Yes, please! If her last and next are anything like this, then sign me up! No, seriously, sign me up!! From the author of "Pretty Guilty Women," Gina LaManna brings you "Three Single Wives" published by Sourcebooks Landmark! 

Eliza Tate is looking to amp up her newfound publishing PR company with a book club, featuring the author. She has planned to pepper the event with a few of her friends, aimed at making her sole client and over-night Instagram sensation, Marguerite Hill, look good for the publication of her second book, Be Free. Mom-of-four Anne Wilkes and her babysitter, aspiring actress, Penny Sands, are more than happy to lend a hand - even if they have their own reasons for doing so. What happens when you mix a little wine, friends, a few motives, and a book about empowering women together? Why, someone ends up dead, of course!

The ensemble of characters LaManna has put together is top-notch; throughout each of the three main narratives, there wasn't a single moment of character confusion. I knew exactly whose chapter I was on each and every time. The personalities of Eliza, Anne, and Penny flowed steadily and smoothly from start to finish. I loved them all, maybe not all of their choices, but rather the bits and pieces of them that I felt a connection. I could relate to Eliza's drive to create her own name in the publishing world, Anne's struggles with motherhood, and Penny's confidence and decisiveness to survive in a new location. Let me also take a moment to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the court transcript snippets between the chapters, so much so that I felt inclined to go back through and read only the transcripts after I had finished this book. It was fun revisiting my original theories knowing how it would ultimately end. Speaking of endings, I never saw this one coming! While I was able to guess WHO died early on, even though there was some pretty creative writing trying to shroud the victim's identity for the first part of this novel, everything else left me entirely surprised. Each of the misdirects led us on a winding path right up to the murderer. I daren't say much more as this is one gem you'll want to uncover for yourself - including the meaning behind the title!

I would recommend this title to thriller fans everywhere, especially those looking for a little something different to spice up their next read! I'm anxiously awaiting news of her next domestic thriller! Thank you, Sourcebooks Landmark, NetGalley, and the author, Gina LaManna, for providing me with a complimentary copy of "Three Single Wives." I have voluntarily and honestly reviewed this title.

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Book Blurb:

Three beautiful women. Two wedding bands. One dead husband.

When Anne Wilkes, Eliza Tate, and Penny Sands arrive at book club bearing bottles of wine, none of them are plotting to kill. But when the subject of a philandering husband arises, revenge is in the air. By the end of the night, someone is dead.

Two women with rings on their fingers and one with stars in her eyes. All of them are hiding something. All of them are lying.

What really happened that night? Only the guilty knows. Did one woman take everything too far, or is the truth really more twisted than fiction?

About the author, Gina LaManna:

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Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Gina LaManna graduated from St. Catherine's University with a degree in Actuarial Science and Mathematics. After deciding she didn't like statistics all that much, she moved across the world and called both Italy and Los Angeles home before returning to Minnesota. Gina and her husband now reside in St. Paul with lots of plants and too much chocolate. Gina writes mystery, suspense, and women's fiction, and when she's not writing, you can probably find her eating whipped cream from the can, hanging out in the garden, or spending time with her family.

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