“Peter Mayle . . . whisk[s] you away on another wine-splashed, sun-kissed Provencal escapade in his delightful new Sam Levitt novel.”
—The Washington Post
“Oh, what a delicious little book this is. . . . [A] luxurious tale of clever deception, byzantine civic politics and, of course, lush and languid passages devoted to food. . . . Like an excellent meal at a beloved restaurant, you’ll savor every morsel, and you’ll be sorry to see it end. A charmer.”
—The Denver Post
“Totally fun. . . . This is sophisticated writing without a snobby tone.”
“Sends readers on a breezy excursion to southern France’s least appreciated city in this entertaining crime novel filled with amiable digressions into the history, cuisine, and local culture of Marseille.”
Be grateful…for Peter Mayle, who…whisk[s] you away on another wine-splashed, sun-kissed Provencal escapade in his delightful new Sam Levitt novel…"There are certain men," Mayle writes, "blessed from birth, whose character and appearance inspire instant liking." I wouldn't know whether or not Mayle is one of those men. But The Marseille Caper is so blessed.
Mayle (A Year in Provence) sends readers on a breezy excursion to southern France’s least appreciated city in this entertaining crime novel filled with amiable digressions into the history, cuisine, and local culture of Marseille. Los Angelino sleuth Sam Levitt returns for his second foray into the dark side of finance and real estate development in Provence’s scruffy metropolis, offering breezy opinions on bouillabaisse, the countryside, and the region’s centuries-old distrust of Parisians, amid talk of fine wines and underhanded deals. Sam and his girlfriend, Elena, insinuate themselves into a scheme to give their billionaire client, Francois Reboul, familiar to fans of Mayle’s The Vintage Caper, a leg up in the proposed waterfront development, sidestepping the decades-long enmity of Jerome Patrimonio, head of the selection committee and Reboul’s bitter rival. It’s a genial, lighthearted piece of skullduggery that wends its way forward with appealing, authentic local color, until the main competitor for the development, the brutish, one-dimensional British tycoon, Lord Wapping, ups the stakes with a bit of heavy-handed kidnapping. Mayle’s cast of fondly crafted characters mobilize the capering elements of the title as the adventure comes to a satisfactory conclusion. 100,000 announced first printing. Agent: Ernest Chapman. (Nov. 9)
Mayle introduced charming, roguish sleuth Sam Levitt in The Vintage Caper, which sold over 100,000 copies in hardcover, paperback, and ebook combined. Sam is happily ensconced in Los Angeles when rich Francis Reboul calls him back to Marseille. Alas, helping out Francis places Sam in the midst of a dangerously escalating battle over Marseille's valuable waterfront. With a seven-city tour.
Now that Sam Levitt has recovered entertainment lawyer Danny Roth's stolen wine from dodgy millionaire Francis Reboul (The Vintage Caper, 2009), his quarry wants to hire him for a job of his own. Reboul is one of three candidates who've submitted bids to develop Anse des Pecheurs, a Marseille neighborhood that's resisted builders for 120 years. One of Reboul's competitors, Caroline Dumas, stands no chance because she's a Parisian. But the other, Lord William Wapping, is an ex-bookmaker who'll stop at nothing to win the contract--and who has Reboul's old enemy Jérôme Patrimonio, chair of the committee who'll be making the decision, in his pocket and the shady connections to undercut his rivals. Technically, Reboul wants Sam to masquerade as an architect in order to make a convincing presentation to Patrimonio's committee while keeping Reboul's involvement secret. Unofficially, Sam--with his lover and sometime-boss Elena Morales in tow--will need to deflect each of Wapping's attempts to steal the project. Fortunately, Wapping is remarkably transparent and his hired thugs remarkably ineffectual. The lack of suspense leaves plenty of room for the Provençal dining, fine wines, regional history and geography, and local color that are Mayle's main business. The result is the most relaxed caper you've ever encountered. To compensate for the absence of plot complications, realistic dialogue or suspense, the meals sound great, the ebullient badinage is genuinely witty and Mayle wears his considerable knowledge of the area lightly.