""Mama"" Cass Elliot is often remembered jokingly as the fat female singer from 1960s pop group the Mamas and the Papas who choked to death on a ham sandwich. Through an impressive array of interviews with friends, family and musicians, Fiegel sets out to show Elliot was much more: a role model for obese women, a talented performer and a queen socialite among the elite songwriters of her time who, had it not been for her death at the age of 32 (which was from a heart attack, not the fabled ham sandwich), would have reached further echelons of fame. At times slow and repetitive, this is best suited for die-hard Mamas and the Papas fans. Fiegel has done her homework; she speaks with seemingly everybody who knew Elliot and examines nearly every step of her personal life and career, from her displaced childhood to her years as a star musician with insecurities about her weight and appearance. The bulk of the book concentrates on Elliot's life after gaining success, thankfully, since much of her childhood was uneventful. Written in a straight-forward, journalistic style, the book is both comprehensive and accessible. Photos.