Inherit The Mob
by Zev Chafets
Reviewed by Sue Feder
Pulitzer prize-winning journalist William Gordon is the nephew of
Max Grossman, a member of the Jewish Mafia. When Max dies he leaves a
goodly portion of his estate to William, who figures "Now all I have to do
is find a way to keep the dough from a group of bloodthirsty Sicilian
murderers and I'm all set." I didn't expect to like this book; I'm not even
sure I wanted to like it -- but the charm of the characters made a believer
out of me as the multiple machinations of the Sicilian and Jewish alter
kockers play out on the streets and in the media.
Chafets is at his funniest when portraying certain aspects of Jewish
culture and family relationships. I wouldn't, though, call this book
"sidesplitting", as the jacket copy would have us believe. Chafets does not
sustain the humor at a consistent level, which I think is all for the best
-- were this a complete burlesque it would be difficult to care about
whether and how Gordon will hang on to any portion of his uncle's legacy.
Although mystery readers should be advised that Inherit the Mob is not a
mystery, and is only very loosely in the category of crime fiction, it is
nevertheless an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.