The Vintage Caper

by Peter Mayle

Hardcover, 2009

Status

Available

Publication

Vintage (2009),

Description

The story begins high above Los Angeles, at the extravagant home and equally impressive wine cellar of entertainment lawyer Danny Roth. After inviting the "Los Angeles Times" to write an extensive profile extolling the liquid treasures of his collection, Roth finds himself the victim of a world-class wine heist. Enter Sam Levitt, former corporate, cultivated crime expert, and wine connoisseur, who follows his leads as he tracks down the source of a multimillion dollar wine heist--a trail that leads him to Bordeaux and its magnificent vineyards, and to Provence to meet an eccentric billionaire collector who might possibly have an interest in the stolen wines.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Doondeck
A clever little caper. Mayle's typical style comes through loud and clear. I'm always hungry and thirsty after reading one of his books. And someday I'm going to retrace his steps through Provence.
LibraryThing member dpbrewster
A very light book, but ultimately an enjoyable and well written read. Don't expect much heft to this "mystery", but it is perfect for afternoon on an airplane. Good dialogue and descriptions of places, wines, restaurants and food. Interesting characters -- the book "wanted" to be longer and more complex.
LibraryThing member TadAD
A rather typical Mayle novel—which is to say, not as much deeply humorous as his A Year in Provence series of memoirs, but still possessing the light touch that makes them easy reads.

This one was even frothier than his usual fare and I can only give it a "it passed the afternoon." If you read all of Mayle's stuff, go ahead. If you're looking to try one of his non-memoirs, I'd recommend an earlier book with these characters, Anything Considered, before this one.… (more)
LibraryThing member peaseblossom67
I loved all the Peter Mayle memoirs and I enjoyed his earlier novels, but I had to force myself to finish The Vintage Caper. I kept waiting for something to happen, for some conflict, but it never materialized. The plot was step-by-step predictable and I cared nothing about the characters. I really wanted to give up and re-read A Year in Provence instead.… (more)
LibraryThing member shandrajackson
A theft of some very expensive wines leads to an insurance investigation all the way to France. The outcome was predictible yet a good quick read. Better be a wine lover to enjoy this mystery.
LibraryThing member ccayne
Pleasantly diverting. The best parts were the descriptions of the French countryside, Marseilles, restaurants and food.
LibraryThing member kakadoo202
found it as audiobook in the library. listened to it during my commute. entertaining but not a book I would read.
LibraryThing member edwin.gleaves
Ineresting to the oenophile but not up to his portraits of Provence.
LibraryThing member auntangi
A quick read that did not disappoint.
LibraryThing member rizeandshine
A light mystery heavy on the food and wine. I enjoyed some of the quirky characters, the mostly French setting and the detailed descriptions of dining in Marseilles. A fun read to distract me from my current heavy reading list.
LibraryThing member Amusedbythis
This is a fast, enjoyable read. The details of France and wine are what keeps it from being just another detective tale.
LibraryThing member drbubbles
Thoroughly enjoyable fluff. Main characters are one-dimensional but not quite stock, don't have any underlying hangups that color their activities or thoughts, aren't eccentrics or jerks. Beside which, plot and subject (French wine and food) are the important elements, not character. The plot is free of risk, so straightforward as to verge on simplistic, and fairly predictable: but for all that, I enjoyed it very much, perhaps because it doesn't seem to take itself too seriously, doesn't attempt to misdirect the reader, and doesn't require any care in the reading. Brain candy, I suppose.… (more)
LibraryThing member Ameise1
What a charming mystery! It's written in a humorous style with a lot of wink and French attitudes. It's starting in Hollywood with a theft of good wine, but the most part of the story is taking place in France. The trio, who is solving the case in unorthodox way, couldn't be more different, but they complement one another perfectly. One should have eaten before starting to read the book because there are such a lot of lovely meals described that one's mouth waters.… (more)
LibraryThing member Kathy89
Hollywood mogul has his $2.3 million wine cellar stolen while on vacation and insurance company doesn't want to pay out so they hire Sam Levitt to find the wine. His investigation takes him to Marseille and with the help of a couple of new friends finds the wine and devises a plan to get it back. Very exciting ending.
LibraryThing member frisbeesage
In The Vintage Caper Peter Mayle brings back Sam Levitt, the charming and irascible crook turned PI from Anything Considered. Elena, Sam's beautiful but cantankerous ex, is in a bind. The insurance company she works for will have to pay out on a multimillion dollar claim unless the vintage wines stolen from their client can be found. Sam is a natural for the job, a wine connoisseur who also happens to be a private investigator.

The plot of The Vintage Caper is disappointingly predictable and bland. A few more twists and surprises would have livened things up. However, you don't read Peter Mayle for plot, you read for the gorgeous descriptions of gourmet meals, rare wines, beautiful scenery, and the playful, sparkling dialogue between characters. As always, the characters themselves are pitch perfect - charming rogues and smart, beautiful women whose company you will enjoy. Reading this book is like taking a lovely, relaxing and fun-filled vacation to France. If you liked Peter Mayle's other novels you will surely enjoy this one.
… (more)
LibraryThing member Smits
Sue Morrissey lent me this book. Its about a theft of wine that takes you on a gastronomic romp through the wine regions of France. Book would be enlightening if you were about to take such a trip but alas I am not and therefore the book was only okay, Plot was not riviting either.
LibraryThing member ParadisePorch
(Fiction, Mystery)

Peter Mayle, author of the perennially popular A Year in Provence also penned a less well-known four book mystery series featuring former lawyer and wine connoisseur Sam Levitt.

In Los Angeles, wine collector Danny Roth engages Sam after he is the victim of a wine heist. Sam follows leads to Bordeaux and Provence.

The France and wine details themselves made this worth the read, but there is also a decent mystery.

4 stars
… (more)
LibraryThing member ScribbleKey
I hated the two-dimensional, stereotypical wine snob characters. Barely three stars.
LibraryThing member murderbydeath
I really enjoyed it! The characters were well written, the scenery gorgeous and the story very clean and enjoyable.
LibraryThing member CasaBooks
Wine
France
Mystery
Peter Mayle
What's not to enjoy !
Light, easy reading.
Read in 2010.
LibraryThing member wardemote
*The Vintage Caper* is another work of charm and temptation by Peter Mayle. Detective Sam Levitt eats and drinks his way through Marseilles to solve the theft of five hundred bottles of rare wine belonging to an obnoxious Hollywood collector. The mystery is less the point of the novel than an excuse to write about life in southern France and to introduce us to some engaging characters. There are some nice little twists — the victim is more villainous than the perpetrator of the heist — but delightfully, there were no fraught car chases or moments of unbearable tension. The book is merely a joy from start to finish, and I am quite happy that it is the first in a series. I look forward to renewing my acquaintance with Mr. Levitt and friends in the next installment.… (more)
LibraryThing member lucybrown
The Vintage Caper is one of the books that was choose by our mystery book club; however, it is not a mystery in the usual sense, perhaps not at all. Whatever it is in a genre-sense, it did prove to be fun light reading with likable characters and a well developed sense of place, but then again that was where Mayle first made his stand.… (more)
LibraryThing member lucybrown
The Vintage Caper is one of the books that was choose by our mystery book club; however, it is not a mystery in the usual sense, perhaps not at all. Whatever it is in a genre-sense, it did prove to be fun light reading with likable characters and a well developed sense of place, but then again that was where Mayle first made his stand.… (more)
LibraryThing member lucybrown
The Vintage Caper is one of the books that was choose by our mystery book club; however, it is not a mystery in the usual sense, perhaps not at all. Whatever it is in a genre-sense, it did prove to be fun light reading with likable characters and a well developed sense of place, but then again that was where Mayle first made his stand.… (more)
LibraryThing member VivienneR
Like all of Mayle's yarns, this caper was a fun read. A multi-million dollar wine collection is stolen from an LA connoisseur and the investigation moves to France. The exquisite French food and wine described throughout the story was tantalizing.

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