Cover image for No questions asked : the secret life of women in the Mob
Title:
No questions asked : the secret life of women in the Mob
Author:
Longrigg, Clare.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Miramax Books/Hyperion, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
xvi, 270 pages, 8 leaves of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781401351854
Format :
Book

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HV6046 .L66 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

In this eye-opening expose of the women at the deadly heart of the Mafia, reporter Claire Longrigg uncovers a fascinating subculture of American females - and their strategies for survival. Longrigg persuaded these women to break the code of silence with astonishing results. Based on in-depth interviews with the mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and girlfriends of notorious mobsters, we are offered an unprecedented glimpse into a fiercely private and frightening world.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Longrigg deflates the popular image of the mob moll as a platinum-haired, bejeweled ditz with no idea how her husband makes his money. She interviewed daughters and wives of mobsters, and they reveal the complex, chancy reality of life among the wise guys. Stories like those of Brenda Coletti, an active participant in crime, and Virginia Hill, self-designated best cocksucker in America and possessor of an independent power base within the Syndicate belie the view that women in the American Mafia . . . played no part in organized crime. So do those of Victoria Gotti, daughter of the Teflon Don; Camille Serpico, who married her mobster husband's killer; and recently deposed Cicero, Illinois, mayor Betty Loren-Maltese. Hill and Antoinette Giancana (author of Mafia Princess, 1984) may especially interest readers of Gus Russo's The Outfit (2002), in which the former's sometime paramour, Bugsy Siegel, and the latter's father, occasional James Ellroy supporting character Sam Giancana, figure prominently. An engrossing and fresh look at life in the criminal underworld. --Mike Tribby Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

The legions of fans of the character of conflicted mob wife Carmela Soprano on the popular HBO series will eagerly devour British journalist Longrigg's second look at the role of women in traditional organized crime, after 1997's Mafia Women, which focused on the Mafia in Italy. Here the author moves beyond popular stereotypes to present a number of fascinating portraits drawn from America's experience of La Cosa Nostra. Some, like the Dapper Don's daughter, Victoria Gotti, are familiar figures, but some of the more obscure women prove even more interesting. Surprisingly, Longrigg has even managed to find a heroic character among the more typical victims of domestic violence and the pampered, superficial individuals who gladly indulged in an affluent lifestyle that their criminal relatives made possible. Betty Tocco, wife of a mob boss, bravely chose to cooperate with the FBI to protect her young son from his father's vicious way of life and became the first mob spouse to testify against her husband at trial. Despite the essential grimness of the world of the Mafia, Longrigg's ear for the humanity of those she describes and the rare moments of humor elevate this book beyond the usual self-serving mob tell-alls. Agent, Derek Johns. (July 14) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

The latest in what seems to be a flood of books written by or about women associated with the American Mafia, this collection of vignettes gives the reader a peek into the lives of several women born or married into "this thing of ours." Some, like occasional novelist Victoria Gotti, have been extremely high profile, actively seeking the limelight. Others are lesser-known daughters, wives, girlfriends, mothers, or sisters of mobsters. Drawing on her own interviews, Longrigg, the author of a similar portrait of women in the Italian Mafia, gives the reader the story behind each one, focusing on the women themselves rather than the notorious men in their lives. Interestingly, the women do not all fit a stereotypical image of a "Mafia princess." Some have rebelled against Mob life (even turning evidence on their gangster husbands); some have had an unprecedented role themselves in Mob activities; some have sought recognition by using an infamous name as an advantage. The book's only flaw is that each woman's story seems a bit too brief; the reader may be left wanting more. Of particular interest to public libraries with large true-crime collections.-Sarah Jent, Univ. of Louisville Lib., KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.