In the late 1980s, British advertising executive Peter Mayle and his wife moved to Provence, where he intended to write a novel. Instead, he wrote an account of his new Provençal life; his oddball neighbors, his misadventures getting his ancient farmhouse renovated, and maddeningly tantalizing descriptions of food and drink. A Year in Provence was a runaway best-seller worldwide, and it helped set off an explosion in Provençal tourism. At regular intervals, Mayle updated his chronicles, publishing Toujours Provence and Encore Provence, as well as other nonfiction books about French living and other topics.
In The Vintage Caper, Los Angeles-based investigator Sam Levitt is hired to track down Danny Roth's stolen multimillion-dollar wine collection. Sam's sleuthing takes him to Marseille and a little wine heist of his own. Along the way, there is a whole lot of mouth-watering food and wine, and the gorgeous scenery and atmosphere of the south of France.
Three years have passed and, in The Marseille Caper, published in 2012, Sam is back in Los Angeles, his romance still going strong with Elena Morales, the insurance executive who hired him to track down Danny Roth's wine. This time around, Sam is hired by Frenchman Francis Reboul to go back to Marseille and be Reboul's frontman in a competition to develop a valuable piece of real estate on a picturesque harbor. Elena goes along for some much-needed rest and relaxation.
The R&R is in short supply, though, as the competition turns ugly. Luckily, Sam has a few tricks up his sleeve, too, and his compatriots––from suave journalist Philippe, to starchy (but always game) translator Daphne, to the Corsican brothers Flo and Jo––have all the guile and flair that Lord Wapping's crew of thugs lack.
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