The death of Don Tucci leaves the Detroit mob without a successor. His daughter-in-law craves the power, but in 1975 women didn't head crime families. His grandson doesn't want it but he's family; he'll think about it. Unfortunately, thinking about it means finishing the authorized hit on Jimmy Hoffa. Rounding out the field is the resurrection of the formerly Jewish Purple gang by a group of black hoods, their Jewish mob mentor, and a kangaroo. Though the story is entertaining, it lacks substance and cohesiveness. While never degenerating into a free-for-all, the novel is too short to support the number of factions introduced. The hit on Hoffa plays out as an afterthought to the other machinations. Nevertheless, Carl Hiaasen/ElmoreLeonard fans will likely be amused by this pseudonymous entry into the ranks. For larger collections. --Jodi L. Israel, Jamaica Plain, MA
Richly amusing variation on Prizzi's Honor and other mafia comedies, set in 1975 and focusing on the death of Jimmy Hoffa, by the pseudonymous Wolf, a journalist who insists that he knows absolutely nothing about the actual events surrounding the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. Really. Mario Puzo probably won't sue, but no reader will be deaf to the hoarse Brandoesque tones of don Corleone when cancer-ridden don Vittorio Tucci, Godfather of Detroit (who is dying to Frank Sinatra's "Music for Voting Lovers" album), tells his R&B guitar-playing grandson Bobby, at 21 a total innocent who is about to inherit a Family business he doesn't want, "These people who come to you? Don't trust any of them. Especially not your mother The only guy you can rely on is Mendy. He's an experienced man and he's got your interests at heart." Bobby shouldn't trust his mother? Definitely not since Annette Niccola Tucci, don Vittorio's steely stepdaughter and the widow of his late son Roberto, Bobby's father, wants to be the first female don. And the idea of a don Annette does not sit well with the National Commission of mafia chiefs, those Mustache Petes who still observe fading old Sicilian codes. As for Mendy the Pearl, a second-rate scam artist, hood, and owner of the Bull Pen diner who can neither read nor write but is a fountainhead of warmhearted mafia wisdom, yes, if don Vittorio's sissy, pot-puffing, college graduate son can trust anyone, he can trust Mendy Perlstein. Also jockeying for power are, among others, Annette's own father, Tommy "The Neck" Niccola, and don Vittorio's consigliere, Luigi Catello. How can Bobby show he's the right stuff? Well, if he makes his bones' by whacking Jimmy Hoffa.Laugh-out-loud fun.