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The Marseille Caper by Peter Mayle
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The Marseille Caper (2012)

by Peter Mayle

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Light on plot and suspense, and the characters aren't all that complex (the female lead in particular is just along for the ride and eventual rescue). But I did enjoy the descriptions of the sights, sounds and tastes of Marseille and some of Mayle's witty asides, and the book served its purpose as a not-too-heavy summer read. Just don't ask me to remember much of it three months from now! ( )
  bostonian71 | Jul 4, 2014 |
I love Peter Mayle's books. I have read most of them...A year in Provence, Toujours Provence, acquired Tastes, Hotel Pastis, A dog's Life, Anything Considered, Chasing Cezanne, Encore Provence, A Good Year, The Vintage Caper, The Marseille Caper, ( )
  annie.michelle | Jan 30, 2014 |
A few days ago, I finished reading "The Marseille Caper" by Peter Mayle. The book is set in the south of France and stars Sam Levitt in his second Mayle outing. The first Sam Levitt outing is "The Vintage Caper", about a Bordeaux wine heist.

Sam and his girlfriend Elena travel to France at the request of Reboul, a "friend" of Sam's. There is a seaside area that the town of Marseille wants to develop. They're down to choosing among three development projects. Two projects are high rise apartments geared more toward the wealthy and tourists. One is represented by Lord Wapping, a British fellow and the other is represented by a Parisienne, Gabrielle.

Reboul's project is the third one, a low-key apartment complex, which would blend in better with the environment. Sam's hired by Reboul to present his land development deal to the town's committee, headed by Patrimonio, an enemy of Reboul's over a woman. Mayle tosses in lots of Marseille facts and delights in the restaurants' menus. Of course, there's a bad guy or two, mixed up in all of this, who causes mayhem (or attempts to anyway) for Sam and his project.

At first, I found Peter Mayle's writing style to be choppy, which made it difficult for me to stay interested in the plot. It took a few chapters for me to want to continue reading. The plot's light and definitely on the frothy side, while the characters need to have additional depth. In other words, more flesh on the characters and less whipped cream in the plot, please!

Once I overcame Mayle's style, the story moved pretty fast, though at times it read more like a travelogue than a novel. This book is definitely an easy read. ( )
  ShellyBee | Aug 16, 2013 |
Most enjoyable ( )
  Harrod | Jun 28, 2013 |
I took a chance on Peter Mayle's 'The Marseille Caper' without subjecting it to my usual filtering process (reading reviews, etc), instead picking it purely on the basis of having read and enjoyed many moons ago the author's travel books on Provence, and the hope of it taking me to a setting that would enthrall me and a story that would absorb me. Having been to the south of France a number of times, my expectations were high for it. Unfortunately, it did not quite live up to my hopes and expectations. It lacked suspense, the dialogue was weak, the characters uninteresting and the plot line lacked complexity. It does have a beautiful setting and you do get fair mention of the local cuisine, if you like that sort of thing (which I can do), but all the while I felt as though I was reading a travel writer rather than a true crime writer. Yes, this book might just be the thing to entertain you while lying on a beach in Cannes if you just want a light, relaxing and untaxing read, but I would still prefer to take a Vargas or a Camilleri or a Leon with me. The story itself is of Hollywood lawyer Sam who travels to Marseille with his partner Elena to champion a property tycoon's bid for a seafront development over two rival entries, and the shenanigans that thereafter unfold. But while danger beckons, you do know in your bones that this is going to be a happy ending sort of story. This is a follow up the 'The Vintage Caper', but it does not seem necessary to have read one before the other. But I do hope you get more from it than I did, should you read it! ( )
  ebyrne41 | May 14, 2013 |
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In memory of Allen Chevalier, a good friend who made lovely wine.
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Shock has a chilling effect, particularly when it takes the form of an unexpected meeting with a man from whom you have recently stolen three milliion dollars' worth of wine.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 030759419X, Hardcover)

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.

At the end of The Vintage Caper, Sam had just carried off a staggering feat of derring-do in the heart of Bordeaux, infiltrating the ranks of the French elite to rescue a stolen, priceless wine collection. With the questionable legality of the adventure—and the threat of some very powerful enemies!—Sam thought it’d be a while before he returned to France, especially with the charms of the beautiful Elena Morales to keep him in Los Angeles.

But when the immensely wealthy Francis Reboul—the victim of Sam’s last heist but someone who knows talent when he sees it—asks our hero to take a job in Marseille, it’s impossible for Sam and Elena to resist the possibility of further excitement . . . to say nothing of the pleasures of the region. Soon the two are enjoying the coastal sunshine and the delectable food and wine for which Marseille is known. Yet as a competition over Marseille’s valuable waterfront grows more hotly disputed, Sam, representing Reboul, finds himself in the middle of an increasingly intrigue-ridden and dangerous real-estate grab, with thuggish gangsters on one side and sharklike developers on the other.

Will Sam survive this caper unscathed? Will he live to enjoy another bowl of bouillabaisse? All will be revealed—with luck, savvy, and a lot of help from Sam’s friends—in the novel’s wonderfully satisfying climax. 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:38 -0400)

Unable to resist an exciting job offer in Marseille, Sam Levitt and his girlfriend Elena find their happy return to the region's coastal sunshine and delectable cuisine challenged by an increasingly violent competition for waterfront property.

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