Friday, August 16, 2013

The Marseille Caper

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.

Thanks for your visit today!

Linking up to Literary Friday, hosted by Ricki Jill


Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

Visiting from Literary Friday. I enjoyed your write up about your book.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Thanks for the great review! Do I need to read the first one before this one? I love Peter Mayle's books. His A Year in Provence series is one of my favorites, and I re-read them every few years.

You made my day linking-up!


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It sounds like a book I would enjoy. I love reading things set in countries I would like to visit!