The Corsican Caper by Peter MayleThe Corsican Caper by Peter Mayle
Narrator: Erik Davies
Series: Sam Levitt #3
Published by Random House Audio on May 13, 2014
Source: Library
Genres: Mystery
Length: 4 hrs 30 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Billionaire Francis Reboul is taking in the view at his coastal estate, awaiting the arrival of vacationing friends Sam Levitt and Elena Morales, when he spies a massive yacht whose passengers seem a little too interested in his property. The yacht belongs to rapacious Russian tycoon Oleg Vronsky, who, for his own purposes, will stop at nothing to obtain Reboul’s villa. When Reboul refuses to sell, Vronsky’s methods quickly turn unsavory. Now it’s up to Sam—he’s saved Reboul’s neck before—to negotiate with an underworld of mercenaries and hit men, not to mention the Corsican mafia, to prevent his friend from becoming a victim of Vronsky’s “Russian diplomacy.”

The dire situation doesn’t stop Sam and Elena from attending glamorous fêtes where the wines and starlets alike sparkle, and enjoying sumptuous meals—from multicourse revelations to understated delights like the first asparagus of the season, on which one must make a wish. But as Sam’s sleuthing draws him closer to the truth of Vronsky’s schemes, he realizes Reboul might not be the only one unable to enjoy the good life for long.

Ah, the lives of the rich. Wine and food and wonderful scenery. And a house so marvelous someone is willing to kill you for it.

That’s about all there is to this mystery. I was never really worried about Reboul, since Sam is clearly too smart to let anything happen to his friend. There’s no real question who the bad guy is, but for someone as connected and careful as Vronsky is, his plan is foiled easily.

It’s a short audiobook and the narrator does an okay job with all the characters and accents, from French to Russian to American to whatever Elena is, but my mind kept wandering. There was a lack of tension, no need for clues. The food sounded delicious, but aside from that there isn’t much else to keep my attention. The characters are two-dimensional. The mystery is pretty much non-existent and the solution to the problem is too easy. I started to say it’s okay if you just need something to listen to for a few hours, but no, there are better things out there to listen too.

Don’t waste your time with The Corsican Caper.


About Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle is the author of seven previous novels and six books of nonfiction, all of which are set in Provence, where he lives. He has received the Légion d’Honneur from the French government for his cultural contributions.

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