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  • Published: 24 January 2023
  • ISBN: 9781529113211
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99

The Godmother

Murder, Vengeance, and the Bloody Struggle of Mafia Women



An explosive true crime exposé of women's involvement in the mafia through the life of the ruthless Pupetta Maresca ('Lady Camorra') who rose to the very top of the Italian criminal underworld

The killing took place outside a busy coffee bar in Naples in broad daylight.

Pupetta was eighteen years old and six months pregnant when she pulled the gun from her bag.
The victim?

A man known as Big Tony who had ordered the hit on her husband just months earlier...

In this unputdownable exposé of women in the Mafia, investigative journalist Barbie Latza Nadeau tells the stories of the women who have risen to prominence in the Italian mob, beginning with the first documented female boss, the infamous Pupetta Maresca. Through personal interviews and groundbreaking research, Nadeau gives us a jaw-dropping 360-degree view of the dark underbelly of Italian society, taking us deeper into the Mafia and its complex realities than ever before.

'Takes the reader into the little-known role of the women that underpin Italy's most ruthless mob families' Sara Gay Forden, author of House of Gucci

'An unflinching portrait of one the original divas of organised crime' Clare Longrigg, author of Mafia Women

'A must for true-crime fans' Publishers Weekly

  • Published: 24 January 2023
  • ISBN: 9781529113211
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Barbie Latza Nadeau

Barbie Latza Nadeau is an American journalist and author, who has lived in Italy since 1996. She has worked as the Rome bureau chief for Newsweek Magazine and currently holds that position for The Daily Beast. She is an on-air contributor for CNN and a writer for Scientifc American. Barbie’s first book Angel Face about the murder of Meredith Kercher and the criminal trials of Amanda Knox was adapted for film in 2011. Her second book Roadmap to Hell: Sex, Drugs and Guns on the Mafia Coast chronicles the tragic journeys of Nigerian women trafficked for sex in Italy.

Praise for The Godmother

Meet 'Lady Camorra', one of the first female mafia bosses, as she sips coffee and drums her black-lacquered fingernails on her kitchen table. The Godmother takes the reader into the little-known role of the women that underpin Italy's most ruthless mob families and are forced to reckon with the social and sexual codes governing the violent reality of mafioso rule

Sara Gay Forden, author HOUSE OF GUCCI

An unflinching portrait of one the original divas of organised crime

Clare Longrigg, author of Mafia Women

Nuanced and skillfully reported, Barbie Latza Nadeau's work brilliantly reveals the unique prism of gender that both disenfranchises and facilitates women in the mafia

Koa Beck, author of White Feminism

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