Pretty Guilty Women: A Novel

Pretty Guilty Women: A Novel

by Gina LaManna

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Four Women. Four Confessions. One Murder.

Something has gone terribly wrong at the Banks wedding. A man is dead. Four different women rush to offer confessions, each insisting that they committed the crime — alone.

Ginger is holding her family together by a thread, and this wedding weekend is not the fabulous getaway she anticipated.

Kate has enough money to buy her way out of anything. Well, almost anything.

Emily can't shake her reputation or her memories, and she's planning to drown this whole vacation in a bottle.

Lulu's got ex-husbands to spare, and another on the way — as soon as she figures out what the devil the current husband is up to behind her back.

Why would they confess to the same murder? Only they know — and they're not telling. This page-turning novel explores the depths of friendship and the truths we love to ignore.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492694083
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 09/03/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,276
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

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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Pretty Guilty Women: A Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
GraceJReviewerlady 20 days ago
The description for this is spot on! Sharp, twisty and very different - and I completely loved it! Four women arrive to attend a wedding; not just any wedding - this one is in a luxury spa resort and features a full week of celebrations. Three of them went to college with the bride, and this will be a good opportunity to catch up with each other. They soon make the acquaintance of the fourth and end up entangled in the discovery of a body . . . This is a stunning read! Completely different to any other I have read lately and there is no way of knowing who is being truthful and who isn't. Beginning with the detective in charge asking question of each of them separately, we find out their backgrounds as the book progresses. All of them have very different lives and it's a well-planned story which drew me in from the beginning; it's also written in such an easy style that I just seemed to race through the pages, eager to find out what happened next. There are several genres in this one, and the author does each and every one of them justice and I have definitely added Gina LaManna to my list of authors to watch out for. A cracking story and a book I savoured all the way through. It brought no disappointments and everything was beautifully finished off by the final page. An awesome read which I'm very happy to recommend, and also give a full five stars!
jnmegan 21 days ago
Detective Ramone is faced with a unique dilemma as he seeks to uncover a murderer-he has too many confessors to the crime and each insist they acted alone. Gina Lamanna's newest offering, Pretty Guilty Women, is buoyed by the wake of other popular thrillers that feature wealthy but troubled women fighting back against oppressive partners. Lamanna's version consists of a series of police interviews with the copious witnesses, followed by short chapters containing that character's contribution to the unspooling storyline. The women in the book are portrayed as angry and powerful in dealing with the men that they are paired who are presented as either completely ineffectual or dangerous. The action takes place in a "closed room" set-up: an elite spa hosting a lavish destination wedding weekend where the murder inconveniently occurs. The main characters are connected by family ties and/or college friendships, all rife with conflict and resentment. Themes include domestic violence, infertility struggles, parental challenges, substance abuse, and resistance to female oppression. These topics have been extensively explored recently in a variety of ways, and it would be a challenge for anyone seeking to present a fresh perspective in an overcrowded and talented field. Lamanna's prior well-loved mystery series are typically more cozy and romance-infused, and that sensibility is apparent here, but it doesn't quite fit the weighty topics she is trying to address. Pretty Guilty Women contains some pulse-raising moments that make it worth the quick time it takes to read, but other contemporary works have already covered this ground-and have done so to greater effect. Thanks to the author and Sourcebooks for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
Fredreeca2001 23 days ago
Well! There has been a murder at a wedding. What is really odd…is four women have confessed to the murder. Why? Only they know the truth! These four women each have their own issues and problems. So why add to their long list of complications? You will have to read this to find out. I did not figure this out until the author wanted me to. That is unusual for me. I am very good at solving the mysteries! You know there is a cover up….but you don’t know the ins and outs or the whys and what fors. This is an unusual premise for a book. Very unique. I just thought there were too many characters and too much nonsense which did not relate to the story. I received this novel from Sourcebooks for a honest review.
LoriKB 25 days ago
Quick, fast paced read about 4 college friends that reunite for one of the groups over the top wedding week at an exclusive spa. These Friends haven’t seen each other in years, after life and a falling out put distance between them. While at the spa, they meet an older woman and a young single mother with secrets. Then a murder! Told in 4 voices with police interviews thrown in add to the page turning mystery. An easy, not very complicated read. Characters are whiney and not necessarily likable. But if you are looking for a fun escape murder mystery, or a quick read for a fall weekend, this book could be for you. I received an ARC of this book. Opinion is mine alone!
JenLaRowe 25 days ago
Four women all confess to the murder that occurred during the rehearsal dinner. The detective is trying to figure out who actually killed this man and why all four women would confess. Kate, Ginger, Lulu, and Emily all have a motivation to confess, but why would they lie? Pretty Guilty Women was full of entertainment value and deeper meaning. While it has its light hearted moments and some even comedic relief, it really dives into the depths of four women trying to get the most out of their lives while not comparing their lives to others. It explores love, relationships, friendships, motherhood, infertility, loss, and heartache. It is much deeper than I expected going into it. 4 stars
Shelley-S-Reviewer 29 days ago
I really enjoyed the format of this book. Each chapter is from one characters point of view and beginning or ending with a police interview. It made it easy to get to know each character and to be honest I didn't like many of them, but in a good way. In the a way that made them interesting and leaving me wanting more. Excellent, multi-layered characters and multi-layered plot. Without spoilers, I can say that this book is engrossing and will not give you the whole story until the very end. You think you know where the story is going and the next few paragraphs will tell you that you're wrong. I absolutely recommend this book as I couldn't put it down. The many different characters were fun to follow and very realistic in what went on in their individual lives. This book addressed many different issues but brought them to the forefront perfectly. I was enthralled until the very last page.
Anonymous 3 months ago
There are no words to describe the Banks wedding. A full week of events at a fantastic resort and spa. No expense has been sparred and the event will bring four college friends that have lost touch back together whether they like it or not. But now a man is dead during the rehearsal dinner and three of the friends, plus Lulu have all confessed to having killed him. Who is the dead man? Why are there four women confessing? What actually happened? This book was a super quick and fun read. You know someone is dead and the detective interviews are interspersed with all the ladies individual life stories. I loved each woman’s story and finding out how everything played into the overall story. I did not see the ending coming which is always a great book in my mind!
Alfoster 3 months ago
I love books about women and their friendships so of course this one appealed to me! When Whitney plans her wedding, she invites several friends from college. Each has gone her separate way; one has a family, one is still single and childless, and one is basking in self-pity and remorse for events that happened in her past. They all convene in a lovely resort and spa and, of course, things never go as planned. They meet Sydney, a young single mother, and Lulu an elderly woman convinced her husband is planning to leave her. You see where things could go south? Reminiscent of Big, Little, Lies, the novel opens with four women admitting to the murder of one man and goes on to reveal secrets and the backstories of each of them. It's a fun beach read so snatch it up when it publishes in early September! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
wvteddy 3 months ago
The setting is the Serenity Spa & Resort, the plush California location of the DeBleu-Banks wedding where the guests are pampered the minute they set foot on the lush grounds. Into this tropical paradise come 5 women. Wealthy Kate, troubled Emily, and harried Ginger were roommates of the bride 15 years earlier in college. Lulu is an older woman whose fourth husband is a relative of the groom. Sydney is a very young single mother also related to the groom. These women meet in the bar where each is drowning her sorrows. Each chapter opens with Detective Ramone questioning these women and others about a murder they all admit to but we don't know who died until the end. This keeps the pace moving rapidly. I stayed up late into the night finishing this one. I can't say I particularly related to any of the women but their stories interested me enough to want to know what brought them to this place. I loved the author's style of writing and her character development. The storyline and ending were plausible. This was a very enjoyable book that I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review. I hope to read more by Ms.LaManna
3900980 3 months ago
When old college friends reunite after being estranged for years for one of their own's wedding, it should be a very joyous, happy occasion. But that certainly was not in the cards. A murder has been committed and it seems they have all confessed. But it can only be one of them. These college friends who are now somewhat strangers to each other all believe the other's lives are perfect. But all is not as it seems. The gathering includes Kate, who is fashion model beautiful, wealthy and does not have a care in the world, but unbeknownst to her friends is in the middle of a horrific mid-life crisis. Emily is a preschool teacher who drinks a bit. She had a falling out years ago with one of her college roommates which she has regretted for years. She also regrets the secrets she has been keeping and how they have been eating away at her. Ginger is now a harried mother of three. She and her husband whom she met in college barely make ends meet. Her teenage daughter will be the death of her if her two younger children don't kill each other first. Then there is Lula an elderly woman they meet and befriend at the wedding who has been married "a few" times. She thinks her latest husband is cheating on her and she will go to great lengths to figure out if this is true. So, back to the murder...why would they each risk all they have to go to prison. How did this situation get so out of control? Who really committed the crime and why? Some friendships, both old and new can be meaningful, dependable and supportive regardless of their length or their history. But when push comes to shove these women will do anything and everything to protect each other. This is the lesson they learned. Quite the page turner, Pretty Guilty Women is cleverly told via the detective's interrogation's of the women and then we have the women's back story chapters. There is comic relief as well with of course a few shocking twists at the end.
bookluvr35SL 3 months ago
4 women confess to killing the same man, at a wedding rehearsal dinner at a luxurious resort. The book alternates between police interviews after the murder and the events leading up to the murder. Three of the suspects were best friends with the bride in college and they all went separate ways for various reasons. There was a rift between two of them and there were still hard feelings there. Oh, and one of them gets dumped at the the checkout desk. Yes, you read that right. And no I will not tell you who. You will just have to read the book for that one. This is a definite must -read for any mystery, chick-lit, or even just plain old fiction fans.
Laurensbookishlife 3 months ago
Pretty Guilty Women by Gina LaManna Everyone who is anyone has come together to celebrate the union of Arthur Banks and Whitney DeBlu in a week long affair at an exclusive resort/spa. The only problem, on the night of the rehearsal dinner a man is found dead. Now four very different women are confessing to his murder, each telling a different version of how it happened. The question remains who really committed the crime and why? I really enjoyed this fast paced, action packed story. There was drama at every turn as each woman dealt with their current life, and revisited secrets from her past. Pretty Guilty Women is told from multiple viewpoints, which I loved! It makes for a very speedy read. I also enjoyed how the story was action packed right from the get-go. No a slow start here, it just jumps right in. I also couldn’t tell where the story was going even at the end. I had no idea who the actual killer was and why until I was told. There was also some side drama happening with each of the individual characters that I couldn’t predict conclusions for either. Even at the end there were questions that needed answering. I wasn’t fully satisfied until the epilogue was over. The fact that I couldn’t figure anything out made for a great read!
lee2staes 3 months ago
Pretty Guilty Women is a brilliant suspense fiction novel about four women, each confessing to the same murder. This book was a real page turner; a fast paced murder mystery that explores secrets, mistakes, forgiveness, friendships, infertility, heartache and much more. I couldn’t determine who had died and which of the women was responsible for the murder until the end. This was a Intense, powerful, and wholly original novel that I absolutely loved and highly recommend. An advance reader copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
KimHeniadis 3 months ago
Gina LaManna really knows how to write about female friendships. I could see myself or at least one friend in each of the female characters. The idea of college friends falling out of touch with each other, only to come together for a wedding, and have all the young adult feelings come to the surface once again, is something that happens every day. And LaManna captures it perfectly. The insecurities, drama, competitiveness, and more comes to light under LaManna’s wonderful character portrayals. And LaMana doesn’t just write about middle aged women well. She also does a fantastic job with children, teens, and older women. I don’t know if she meant to do this, but the way she incorporated the maiden, mother, and crone aspects into the book was wonderful. Every stage of a woman’s life is magical and has its own problems which LaManna demonstrates perfectly. As for the thriller part of the story it was not as intense as others that I’ve read, but it still had me turning the page to see what would happen next. Although I was interested to find out who the killer was, and how the murder came about, I found myself drawn more to the drama that was playing out between the women. In ways I feel like this could just as easily be classified as Woman’s Fiction as a Thriller. I was content with how the conclusion came together. Although I guessed at parts of it, there were still a few surprises. I will say the epilogue is where the ending of this book really shined. It left me with various emotions that I had to sort through, and made me wonder if I would have handled the situation the same way. Pretty Guilty Women is the first book I’ve read by LaManna, and when I went to her website to read about her other books, I was happy to find four more series of hers that I am going to be checking out. The Lola Pink Mysteries, The Hex Files, Magic & Mixology, and The Lacey Luzzi series all look likes books I would really enjoy.
DebbieLTD 3 months ago
Great mystery. Three college friends gather for the wedding of their fourth friend. The women were best friends all through college, but had a falling out and have not spoken in ten years. When they are all gathered together, old hurts are hashed out, jealousies are overcome, and new bonds begin to form. When a man is found killed the night before the wedding, three of the college friends, and a new friend, all confess to the murder. The book is told in part as interviews by the detective to the woman involved, to try to untangle the lies and cover ups surrounding the murder. All the twists and turns kept me guessing through till the end. This is a great mystery, a real page turner. I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Zach_B 3 months ago
3.5 Stars. I really enjoyed Pretty Guilty Women by Gina LaManna. The writing and storyline was very similar to Liane Moriarty, a favorite of mine. The premise was very simple: four women meet at a very posh resort for the wedding of a college friend (the only woman in the book who is never introduced to the reader). During the rehearsal dinner, a man is killed and all the women confess to the murder. There are twists and turns galore throughout this story which I love! I also enjoyed that the story was told through narrative, and also through the police interrogations. There were a lot of characters in this story but once I was thoroughly engaged they were all very easy to keep track of. Thank you to the publisher and Nergalley for the advanced e-copy for an honest review. #netgalley #prettyguiltywomen
Jypsylynn 3 months ago
Pretty Guilty Women is a unique story. Four old friends are in attendance at a wedding when a man is found murdered. Shockingly, all four women claim to have committed the murder. Why would four women confess to one murder? It's so bizarre! I liked the format of the narrative, told in police interviews and the perspective of each woman. Every woman had a distinct voice, and I liked all of them. It was fascinating to see the different threads weave together to the end. This story is different and fun to read. I highly recommend!
Anonymous 3 months ago
#PrettyGuiltyWomen #NetGalley Three women, Emily, Ginger, and Kate, who were college roommates reunite at the lavish wedding of the fourth roommate, Whitney. The “wedding week” is held at a very exclusive and expensive spa and resort that caters to the wealthy. Although all the friends don’t fit into this category, they all manage to attend. Lu Lu, an older women meets the group and they share a camaraderie by revealing secrets and hidden fears to each other. This begins at the bar with several bottles of wine and champagne shared among the newly formed group. Sounds perfect, right? But then how does a murder during the Rehearsal Dinner fit in? And who is the victim? All we know is that each woman in the group confesses to the murder! The story unfolds with each woman’s point of view, and is moved along by the interviews held by the police detective assigned the confusing case. The novel invoked differing emotions as I turned the pages. Humor was mixed in with raw emotions as the secrets, fears and lives of the women were unveiled. The characters are finely drawn and the story is told in an easy to read style. For fans of Big Little Lies, you will enjoy the complex friendships developed among the women, the secrets that get laid bare and the changes that occur in the lives of those involved during the wedding extravaganza. I loved this book and highly recommend it with a five star rating. The ending left me with my mouth open! Be sure and add this new novel, Pretty Guilty Women to your TBR won’t be sorry! A big thanks to the author, Gina LaManna, to NetGalley, and to the publishers, Sourcebook Landmark, for my advanced copy of this great book! All opinions expressed are my own.
jjthor 3 months ago
Pretty Guilty Women is a very well written book. Itis a fast read. It caught me up from the beginning and kept my attention throughout trying to figure out who really Killed the man and why the four women each claimed to do it. the women are friends from collage that haven't seen each other in a long time they come together for a wedding where a man is found murdered. Each women has their own reasons for claiming they killed him but the fun is following along and trying to figure it all out. the characters and settings are done good you can see something like this actually happening so it makes it more intense to read. would definately say it is worth reading.
MKF 3 months ago
Who is dead? And who did it? Three friends from college- Emily, Ginger and Kate- have come to a resort to celebrate a fourth's- Whitney- wedding into a big wealthy family. Lulu, an older woman, is also there with her fourth husband Pierce, an uncle of the groom. So is Sydney, the young mother of Lydia. Each of the women (save Syndey) has their own perspective and each has their own problems, which they share over the course of several days which are meant to be relaxing but really aren't. Each chapter is framed by a police interview with one of the women as well as the hotel staff about the murder of a man who was either shot or hit with a wine bottle or both but you don't know who it is and you definitely don't know who did it or why. No spoilers because you should be as surprised as I was. La Manna's a good storyteller- this one kept me turning pages. Several of the men (with the exception, really, of Ginger's husband) clearly have a darkness in their background that has hurt their respective partner so this was less obvious than it might have been. BTW- there is one steamy scene early on which seemed out of character with the rest of the book. My only quibble- I'm pretty sure the resort staff was offering coconut water NOT coconut milk as a refreshing drink; this might have been caught in the final copy. Stick with it for what happens a year later. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A fun read.