Read of the Week 11/5-11/2012: Virgin Heat, by Laurence Shames

Meet Angelina Amaro, the star-crossed daughter of Mafia capo Paul Amaro. For ten long years virginal Angelina has been carrying a secret torch for the stool pigeon who betrayed her father to the cops in exchange for a spot in the Witness Protection Program. When she recognizes her beloved's hands mixing drinks in a relative's Key West vacation video, Angelina stops pining and starts planning her escape from her family and reunion with her man Sal, who now goes by the name of Ziggy Maxx. Naturally, the course of true love never did run smoothly, and it isn't long before Papa is on her trail with hilarious results.

Playing the Mafia for laughs is a novel idea, and it works quite well in Laurence Shames' fifth book, Virgin Heat. In Angelina, Mr. Shames has found a sympathetic heroine, and in his collection of undercover cops, cross-dressing mafiosi, vengeful hit men, and long-suffering wives, he has created a memorable cast of supporting characters.

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