Title: Please Kill My Husband
Author/Story: ONLYONE ENTERTAINMENT, CANNT WORKS
Genre: Josei, Mystery, Erotica, Fantasy, Thriller, Reverse Harem
Hosted On: Tappytoon (English) Naver Webtoon (Korean)
Brienne Lutengard knew that her parents were selling off their daughter and their status in exchange for money. Still, she thought she’d be able to live a relatively happy life with her husband, but it’s not long until the new duke of House Lutengard shatters her dreams. Eight years later, the duke is found murdered in his residence, and Brienne is named the main suspect, along with three potential accomplices. All three are skilled swordsmen, none have an alibi for the night of the murder, and they’re all young men recently caught up in a scandal with the duchess! Did the duchess really kill her husband? And if so, what could’ve been her motive?
First of all, how is this webtoon not on Tappytoon’s Adult/Mature tab? There’s a sex scene in every chapter, I feel – barring the first implied one which is explicitly assault – and the series doesn’t actually shy away from nudity. I guess because Gumul shies away from full frontal nudity and obscures the female lead’s nipples, it doesn’t come across as explicitly as something like My Teacher Has Chosen My Husband Candidates.
Anyway, Please Kill My Husband is an erotic mystery and thriller set in a fantasy/medieval world. The main character, Brienne thinks that she’s being set up for a happily ever after when she’s married off to a man who claims to love her deeply. But before the carriage even properly pulls away, her new husband reveals his true colors. Derick Astahelle is a louse and he doesn’t see Brienne as a person, much less a woman worthy of love. He assaults her in the carriage on the way down to the south, setting the stage for the rest of their relationship, one marked by emotional and sexual abuse, isolation, and deep cruelty.
At first, when I picked this webtoon up, I was like “wait why would she want people to kill her husband” and by the midpoint of the first chapter I was like “girl let me truck-kun my way into this, I’ll kill him for you”. Because Derick is that bad. I love a terrible male lead, but it’s made clear that Derick is a nasty cruel misogynist who sees Brienne as an object to own… not her own person. He doesn’t even treat the women he cheats her with that much better, mind you, but he saves his dismissive cruelty for his wife up to and including sharing details of their sex life publicly in what is a notoriously conservative society.
At the point I’m reading all three of Brienne’s love interests – and the men ultimately connected with Derick’s death in the first part of the first chapter – have been introduced. Most important to me are her childhood best friend and knight Alexander “Sasha” Calstein” and the mysterious white-haired spy “Chris”. (There’s also a crown prince, I think… but I honestly do not care about him. Sorry.) So far, where the English translation is at, Brienne has only been sexually intimate with Chris, but it’s clear that Sasha is next along with the early reveal of what’s actually going on in the North with Brienne’s parents and people.
The series “systemic misogyny is so toxic, one woman fights it” overarching plot loosely reminds me of Lady Evony except the empowerment is explicitly sexual too? Brienne’s growth involves her (re)claiming the sexuality that was denied to her by her husband assaulting her on their wedding day. Not so much for Lady Evony who is barely able to be alone with a man – even her actual love interest. Brienne learns that sex can feel good from hooking up with Chris, who becomes her muse with ulterior motives, and it evolves to a point where she even is able to have sex with her shitty husband… while picturing Chris’ face and body of course. It’s clear that sexual empowerment goes hand in hand with all of the rest of Brienne’s empowerment, but that she won’t let even the men she likes lead her as they wish.
(The recent tension between her and Chris in the English chapters says so much about Brienne’s moral core, honestly!)
This is an early and ongoing series that could top out at any point between 60-100 chapters. While R18/R19 webtoons don’t seem to go too far in terms of length (some webtoons have 100s of chapters, mind you), the deep plot makes me think that we’re going to get a heftier read. Right now, I’m rooting for Brienne and if I could, I’d kill her husband for her so she and her partners could live happily ever after.