The Vintage Caper
Peter Mayle’s most recent novel, The Vintage Caper, combines a heist, wine and fine dining. We meet Sam Levitt, former lawyer and thief turned crime solver, at least in this novel (I’m hoping Mayle will write a second novel featuring Sam since the last page of this novel left me wanting to know more.). We travel from Hollywood, California, where the rare and expensive wines were stolen from a private cellar, to France — Paris and Marseille, among other haunts. Sam joins forces with a French insurance company investigator and her cousin, and together, they dine, drink and speculate their way across France, unraveling the who, what and when along the way.
We learn of storied vineyards and landmark restaurants. We can taste the blinis with caviar, the rognons served with an exceptional Pomerol, sea bass with fennel, fresh goat cheese with tapenade and the local white wine from Cassis. We see Marseille as a local. We race through the streets on a motorbike. We feel the rush of a successful swindle. We have a lot of fun.
I admire Peter Mayle as a writer. The first book of his that I read was A Year in Provence and he took me to a France I’d never experienced, even though I’d visited many years ago. His writing is clean and crisp. You can see his world.
Let me know if you’ve read any of his books (11; 5 novels). Tell me what you think. I’m curious. Bien sûr.