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In this witty and warm-hearted account, Peter Mayle tells what it is like to realize a long-cherished dream and actually move into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the remote country of the Lubéron with his wife and two large dogs. He endures January's frosty mistral as it comes howling down the Rhône Valley, discovers the secrets of goat racing through the middle of town, and delights in the glorious regional cuisine. A Year in Provence transports us into all the earthy pleasures of Provençal life and lets us live vicariously at a tempo governed by seasons, not by days.
Simon Shaw, a rumpled, fortyish English advertising executive, has decided to leave it all behind, and heads of to France to transform an abandoned police station in the Lubéron into a small but world-class hotel. On his side, Simon has a loyal majordomo and a French business partner who is as practical as she is ravishing. But he hasn’t counted on the malignant local journalist—or on the mauvaise types who have chosen the neighboring village as the site of their latest bank robbery. Slyly funny and overflowing with sensuous descriptions of the good life, Hotel Pastis is the literacy equivalent of a four-star restaurant.
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.
A delightful, best-selling tale about the business and pleasure of wine, adapted into a Ridley Scott movie starring Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard.
Max Skinner has recently lost his job at a London financial firm and just as recently learned that he has inherited his late uncle’s vineyard in Provence. On arrival he finds the climate delicious, the food even better, and two of the locals ravishing. Unfortunately, the wine produced on his new property is swill. Why then are so many people interested in it? Enter a beguiling Californian who knows more about wine than Max does—and may have a better claim to the estate. Fizzy with intrigue, bursting with local color and savor, A Good Year is Peter Mayle, beloved author of A Year in Provence, at his most entertaining.
In Encore Provence, Mayle gives us a glimpse into the secrets of the truffle trade, a parfumerie lesson on the delicacies of scent, an exploration of the genetic effects of 2,000 years of foie gras, and a small-town murder mystery that reads like the best fiction. Here, too, are Mayle's latest tips on where to find the best honey, cheese, or chambre d'hìte the region has to offer. Lyric, insightful, sparkling with detail, Encore Provence brings us a land where the smell of thyme in the fields or the glory of a leisurely lunch is no less than inspiring.
Taking up where his beloved A Year in Provence leaves off, Peter Mayle offers us another funny, beautifully (and deliciously) evocative book about life in Provence. With tales only one who lives there could know—of finding gold coins while digging in the garden, of indulging in sumptuous feasts at truck stops—and with characters introduced with great affection and wit—the gendarme fallen from grace, the summer visitors ever trying the patience of even the most genial Provençaux, the straightforward dog "Boy"—Toujours Provence is a heart-warming portrait of a place where, if you can't quite "get away from it all," you can surely have a very good time trying.
The Vintage Caper begins high above Los Angeles with a world-class heist at the impressive wine cellar of lawyer Danny Roth. Enter Sam Levitt, former lawyer and wine connoisseur, who follows leads to Bordeaux and Provence. The unraveling of the ingenious crime is threaded through with Mayle’s seductive renderings of France’s sensory delights—from a fine Lynch-Bages to the bouillabaisse of Marseille—guaranteed to charm and inform even the most sophisticated palates.
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.
Brimming with entertaining twists, sparkling scenery, and mouthwatering gustatory interludes as only Peter Mayle can write them, The Corsican Caper is a one-way ticket to pleasure, Provençal style.
This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
The French celebrate food and drink more than any other people, and Peter Mayle shows us just how contagious their enthusiasm can be. We visit the Foire aux Escargots. We attend a truly French marathon, where the beverage of choice is Château Lafite-Rothschild rather than Gatorade. We search out the most pungent cheese in France, and eavesdrop on a heated debate on the perfect way to prepare an omelet. We even attend a Catholic mass in the village of Richerenches, a sacred event at which thanks are given for the aromatic, mysterious, and breathtakingly expensive black truffle. With Mayle as our charming guide, we come away satisfied (if a little hungry), and with a sudden desire to book a flight to France at once.
Bon vivant and expert sleuth Sam Levitt and his partner in love and intrigue, Elena Morales, return in the latest installment of the delightfully sun-splashed Provençal Caper series.
When a Riviera socialite’s diamonds are stolen—the latest in a string of seemingly unconnected but ever-more-audacious jewelry heists across France—Elena flies in to investigate the insurance claim. It’s a trip she’s more than happy to make, as it gives her a chance to meet up with old friends in Marseille—and, particularly, with Sam.
Once reunited, Sam isn’t entirely distracted by domestic matters. In the pattern of these “perfect crimes” he's beginning to see a master at work, and he’s quickly determined to connect and solve the cases. But as he and Elena dig deeper, they begin to realize just how much is connected and how dangerous it may be to pursue the whole truth.
Meanwhile, there’s a house to renovate, rosé to share, and feasts of Provençal summer bounty to enjoy. Full of Peter Mayle’s inimitable wit and style, The Diamond Caper is sure to charm faithful fans and new readers alike.