Thursday, December 13, 2012

Book Review-Marseille Caper





And now for something completely different...

After reading the lengthy and invovled Game of Thrones, I decided to read something short and light hearted.  Peter Mayle writes delightful, funny books and his latest was ready for me at the library.  Mayle has been writing books that take place in the south of France for quite a while now.  They are always light, funny, and full of descriptions of food and wine.  The Marseille Caper, the latest book, is no exception.

Sam and Elena, who we met in The Vintage Caper, are back.  Sam is hired by Francis Raboul, the man Sam tricked in the last book, to be a front for him in a development venture.  Apparently Francis has a great idea for a housing development in Marseille, but the chairman of the committee that will choose the winning design hates him.  Sam will got to Marseille and present the idea.  Francis will step in after construction has started.

Sam and Elena are charmed by the south of France, but have some obstacles to maneuver around in order to even be able to make the presentation.  They have to outwit thugs who will stop just short of murder to get their own way.  Meanwhile, Sam and Elena enjoy the sun and food of the Marseille area. 

The Marseille Caper
The Marseille Caper
By Mayle, Peter
2012-11 - Knopf Publishing Group
9780307594198 Check Our Catalog BookPage Notable Title

Lovable rogue and sleuth extraordinaire Sam Levitt is back in another beguiling, as-only-Peter-Mayle-can-write-it romp through the South of France. …More


Other books by the same author.
The Vintage Caper
The Vintage Caper
By Mayle, Peter
2009-10 - Knopf Publishing Group
9780307269010 Check Our Catalog BookPage Notable Title

Set in Hollywood, Paris, Bordeaux, and Marseille, Mayle's newest and most delightful work is filled with culinary delights, sumptuous wines, and colorful characters. …More


A Good Year
A Good Year
By Mayle, Peter
2004-06 - Alfred A. Knopf
9780375405914 Check Our Catalog

A BookPage Notable Title
Mayle's most satisfying and delectable novel yet portrays the sensual wonders of Provence while it tells a fascinating tale of the hugely lucrative and competitive boutique-wine trade.
…More


French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew
French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew
By Mayle, Peter
2001-05 - Alfred A. Knopf
9780375405907 Check Our Catalog

From Peter Mayle, a joyous exploration and celebration of the infinite gastronomic pleasures of France.
Ranging far from his adopted Provence, Mayle now travels to every corner of the country, armed with knife, fork, and corkscrew. He takes us to tiny, out-of-the-way restaurants, starred Michelin wonders, local village markets, annual festivals, and blessed vineyards.
We visit the Foire aux Escargots at Martigny-les-Bains a whole weekend devoted to the lowly but revered snail. We observe the Marathon du Medoc, where runners passing through the great vineyards of Bordeaux refresh themselves en route with tastings of red wine (including Chateau Lafite-Rothschild!). There is a memorable bouillabaisse in a beachside restaurant on the Cute d'Azur. And we go on a search for the perfect chicken that takes us to a fair in Bourg-en-Bresse.
There is a Catholic mass in the village of Ri-cherenches, a sacred event at which thanks are given for the aromatic, mysterious, and breathtakingly expensive black truffle. We learn which is the most pungent cheese in France (it's in Normandy), witness a debate on the secret of the perfect omelette, and pick up a few luscious recipes along the way. There is even an appreciation and celebration of an essential tool for any serious food-lover in France, the "Michelin Guide.
"Here we have all the glory and pleasure of the French table in the most satisfying book yet from the toujours delightfully entertaining"
--Peter Mayle.
…More


Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France
Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France
By Mayle, Peter
1999-05 - Alfred A. Knopf
9780679441243 Check Our Catalog

The author of "A Year in Provence" and "Toujours Provence" celebrates a beloved homecoming to the area with a joyous mix of Gallic characters, adventure, and culinary treats. 12 line drawings. …More


Chasing Cezanne
Chasing Cezanne
By Mayle, Peter
1998-04 - Vintage Books USA
9780679781202 Check Our Catalog

Hanky-panky on the international art scene is the source of the hilarity and fizz in Peter Mayle's new novel. He flies us back to the south of France (a region some readers of his irresistible best-sellers believe him to have invented), on a wild chase through galleries, homes of prominent collectors, and wickedly delectable restaurants. There are stopovers in the Bahamas and England, and in New York, where that glossiest of magazines, Decorating Quarterly, reflects the cutting-edge trendiness of its editor, Camilla Jameson Porter. (Camilla has recently broken new ground in the world of power lunches by booking two tables on the same day, and shuttling between them, at the city's trendiest restaurant.)
It is Camilla who has sent our hero, Andre Kelly, to Cap Ferrat to take glamorous photo-graphs of the houses and treasures of the rich, famous, and fatuous. He happens to have his camera at the ready when he spots a Cezanne being loaded onto a plumber's truck near the home of an absent collector. Odd, thinks Andre. And in no time he's on the trail of a state-of-the-art art scam, chasing Cezanne.
It's a joy to follow him and the crowds intent on speeding or foiling his quest--including a beautiful agent; a super-savvy art dealer attracted to the finer things in life, especially if they promise the payoff of a lifetime; an awesome Dutch forger; some outstandingly greedy New York sophisticates; and, invisible in the background, the parade of remarkable chefs whose mouthwatering culinary masterpieces periodically soothe the hero and tantalize the reader of Chasing Cezanne.
…More


Anything Considered
Anything Considered
By Mayle, Peter
1997-04 - Vintage Books
9780679762683 Check Our Catalog

Peter Mayle sets his latest irresistible tale in the thyme- and lavender-scented south of France. Bennett, a suave if slightly threadbare English ex-patriot who is fast approaching the end of his credit, advertises his "services" in The International Herald Tribune. In no time, he is being paid handsomely to impersonate the mysterious and very wealthy Julian Poe.
"A lark that's perfect for summer reading." --Baltimore Sun.
…More


Hotel Pastis: A Novel of Provence
Hotel Pastis: A Novel of Provence
By Mayle, Peter
1993-09 - Alfred A. Knopf
9780679402299 Check Our Catalog

Tired and fed up, tycoon Simon Shaw seeks refuge in Provence, where he encounters a pretty Frenchwoman who lures him into buying a little hotel that proves far more troublesome than quaint. By the author of Toujour Provence. 100,000 first printing. $100,000 ad/promo. …More


Toujours Provence
Toujours Provence
By Mayle, Peter
1992-06 - Vintage Books USA
9780679736042 Check Our Catalog

Peter Mayle offers us another funny and beautiful book about life in Provence. Here is a heart-warming portrait of a place where, if you can't quite "get away from it all," you can surely have the best of times trying. …More


A Year in Provence
A Year in Provence
By Mayle, Peter
1990-04 - Knopf Publishing Group
9780394572307 Check Our Catalog

They had been there often as tourists. They had cherished the dream of someday living all year under the Provencal sun. And suddenly it happened.
Here is the month-by-month account of the charms and frustrations that Peter Mayle and his wife -- and their two large dogs -- experience their first year in the remote country of the Luberon restoring a two-centuries-old stone farmhouse that they bought on sight. From coping in January with the first mistral, which comes howling down from the Rhone Valley and wreaks havoc with the pipes, to dealing as the months go by with the disarming promises and procrastination of the local masons and plumbers, Peter Mayle delights us with his strategies for survival. He relishes the growing camaraderie with his country neighbors -- despite the rich, soupy, often impenetrable patois that threatens to separate them. He makes friends with boar hunters and truffle hunters, a man who eats foxes, and another who bites dentists; he discovers the secrets of handicapping racing goats and of disarming vipers. And he comes to dread the onslaught of tourists who disrupt his tranquillity.
In this often hilarious, seductive book Peter Mayle manages to transport us info all the earthy pleasures of Provencal life and lets us live vicariously in a tempo governed by seasons, not by days. George Lang, who was smitten, suggests: "Get a glass of marc, lean back in your most comfortable chair, and spend a delicious year in Provence."
…More


Complimentary Reads
Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy
Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy
By Mayes, Frances
1996-09 - Chronicle Books (CA)
9780811808422 Check Our Catalog

Buying a villa in the spectacular Italian countryside is a wonderful fantasy -- even if 17 rooms and a garden in need of immediate loving care are included in the asking price. Frances Mayes -- gourmet cook, widely published travel writer, and poet -- changed her life by doing just that. Sprinkled liberally with delicious recipes for inspired Italian dishes, amusing anecdotes about the risks of being your own contractor, and a savvy traveler's reminiscences, "Under the Tuscan Sun" is Mayes's enchanting account of her love affair with Tuscany: of scouring the neighborhood for the perfect panettone and the perfect plumber; of mornings spent cultivating her garden, and afternoons spent enjoying its fruits in leisurely lunches on the terrace; of jaunts through the hill towns in search of renowned wines; and the renewal not only of a house, but also of the spirit. An unusual memoir that combines the appeal of M. F.K. Fisher, Peter Mayle, and Martha Stewart, "Under the Tuscan Sun" is a feast for the senses. …More


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