The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle
I think the title of this one is perfect. Vintage refers to the wines that are stolen from a hot-shot Hollywood lawyer. Sam Levitt, a former crook turned PI, is hired by his ex-girlfriend who works for the insurance company to find the bottles. The caper follows the wine’s trail from Hollywood to Bordeaux and Marseille in the south of France, where Sam and his French colleague make some questionable decisions, skirting the law a little, but for the right reasons.
As a mystery, it doesn’t hold up too well. The plot is fairly predictable, no twists or turns to speak of. The clues are more long-shot guesses that turn out helpful.
As a fun romp though, it’s thoroughly enjoyable. And the sumptuous wines, delicious meals and gorgeous scenery are what truly carry the book. It really is a book for wine-lovers, not necessarily mystery-lovers. And the characters are delightful to spend some time with.
I actually listened to the audio version. It happened to grab my eye while I was looking through our library system’s available audiobooks. I liked hearing the various wines and foods pronounced. If I had been reading it, I would have just read over the names of the different vineyards and the French phrases, so hearing them made it more enjoyable.
On a side note, when thinking about a concierge at the hotel where he is staying, Sam mentions that Jeeves would have been proud, which struck me since I recently listened to my first Jeeves book. I love when I get references.
Published in 2009
6 hours 48 minutes
Challenges: 100+, A to Z, Thriller and Suspense
My copy was borrowed from the library and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon associate.