Lord knows why I decided to read this book! I should know better. Shame on me! The only books I really enjoyed by Peter Mayle were his first, A Year in Provence, as well as Chasing Cezanne and Hotel Pastis. I have read a few others but nothing to really write home about. Someone gave me this book and I don’t remember who because it was in a big bag full of duds, this one and a few other hidden treasures.
Essentially, it’s the story of Danny Roth a very wealthy entertainment lawyer. It begins with Danny expressing the desire to wear his hair in a ponytail since his bald spot is starting to grow. His wife responds, “Just remember Danny underneath every ponytail is a horse’s ass.” This really made me laugh but it was the first and last time. The rest of the novel was cliché and quite frankly boring. I can’t understand why he continues to write about the French in this manner. It’s so insipid, predictable, and uninteresting.
Danny Roth is not only a rich lawyer but a wine connoisseur who owns 3.5 million dollars worth of wine that he keeps in his cellar. Unfortunately, the wine is stolen while he and his wife are on a ski holiday; with the help of their Mexican caretaker Rafael Torres. All of this takes place after a lengthy article is run in The LA Times detailing his extensive wine collection, pictures included. The insurance company rules out that Danny Roth set up the heist to get the insurance money, so they hire an investigator called Sam Levitt, whose job it is to unmask the robbers and find the stolen wine. His sleuthing will take him to the old wine country, Bordeaux and to Marseille and Paris.
Ok this book isn’t all bad so I’ll give you a little about what was well done. If you’re a wine lover but don’t know much about it, you’ll learn some interesting things about wine. If you’re an expert or oenophile – pass. Moreover, you also get a sense of French food and the obsession wine lovers have accompanying food with the right wine. Living in France for twenty-two years has taught me a lot about that.
No spoilers here, so I won’t be telling you how it ends. Although you may be able to guess. Read at your own risk. It’s not a long book – 223 pages. I give it about 2-3 stars.
2 Replies to “7. The Vintage Caper”
I think one Peter Mayle was enough for me and that was before I came to live in France, it gets harder to read his books when you’ve been here a while, but a crime novel, well that’s something different I expect, thanks for the review, look forward to your next.
I agree. He has a funny way of thinking about the French. I’m sure this is going to be my last Peter Mayle.
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