The Marseille Caper
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The Marseille Caper (Sam Levitt #2)

3.12 of 5 stars 3.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,067 ratings  ·  223 reviews
Lovable rogue and sleuth extraordinaire Sam Levitt is back in another beguiling, as-only-Peter-Mayle-can-write-it romp through the South of France.

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...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Knopf (first published October 25th 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,957)
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Mike Barker
I was prepared for this foray into "suspense" writing by Peter Mayle to be fairly light-weight. I enjoyed his Provence cycle of books, and knew intuitively that this break in form was risky. The story lived up to my expectations. The book came off as if Jan Karon of "the Mitford tales" series fame tried to write a book of intrigue, without the dramatic or criminal suspense. The present book came off as a lame attempt to couch a cook's tour of Marseille culture and cuisine in mystery guise. Mayle...more
Amy Bond
For a mystery novel, this book disappointed because there was hardly any mystery. The plot was obvious and unsurprising. However, I finished the book because I found the descriptions of the Marseille countryside and delicious French food to be absolutely stunning. I found myself constantly on the verge of drooling from the nights that the characters have out on the town. Fun, fast, unchallenging...good book for a poolside read or if you want something where you don't have to think.
A sequel to Mayle's previous novel, The Vintage Caper, this is typical, if not, formulaic Mayle. But for enthusiasts of his writing, phrasing, and dry wit and understatements, this is Mayle in his element. After professionally and cleverly recovering a stolen vintage wine collection, Francis Reboul returns to recruit Sam Levitt to help with the selection process of a new development overlooking the Mediterranean. Levitt and his stunning partner, Elena Morales, take up Reboul's cause, and what en...more
Although I do not actually remember reading the first book, I thoroughly enjoyed it's sequel. A bit of a slow start, but then the action picks up and my stomach rumbled at the wonderful food and wine Sam and his girlfriend Elena are eating throughout. I stayed up late to finish the book which means it is a winner.

"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, price...more
I think I've read all of Peter Mayle's books, and I really like all of them even though they are very lite. I even liked the book about the bakery. This is another wonderfully silly and stylish caper. If it were written in the 1960s it would be turned into a film with Audrey Hepburn, but since it was written in the early 21st c, Mayle seems to have had George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez in his mind as he was writing. Yum.
There are giant plot holes but we're not looking for perfect plotting from P...more
John Randolph
Feel free to take this review lightly as I did not finish the book. Around the half way point I realized I had no interest in experiencing the ending. The characters were thin, undeveloped, shallow and disengaging. An implausible plot sprinkled with irrelevant historical facts made me want to pick up a Marseille guide book instead of seeking a conclusion. Being one who enjoys traveling to France and Peter Mayle's other offerings I was surprised at my lack of interest.

And now for something completely different...

After reading the lengthy and invovled Game of Thrones, I decided to read something short and light hearted. Peter Mayle writes delightful, funny books and his latest was ready for me at the library. Mayle has been writing books that take place in the south of France for quite a while now. They are always light, funny, and full of descriptions of food and wine. The Marseille Caper, the latest book, is no exception.

Sam and Elena, who we met in The Vin...more
Take a delightful romp with a charming ex-thief turned sleuth through the crowded, sun-blanched streets of Marseille and enjoy the feel of the Mediterranean breeze as you gaze out on its blue splendor and savor the tastes and sights that make this one of France's most popular sights. Sam Levitt, hired by a man he conned several months ago, is on a mission to secure a valuable seaside property for commercial development. The assignment sounds easy, but the underworld in this beautiful region is d...more
Quelle horreur! Ou est le vin?

A book by Peter Mayle with mere glancing references to wine, glancing I say! Food, yes, but not the glorious description of course after course, it was practically pedestrian, by Mayle-ien standards.

C'est dommage.

This is a sequel to The Vintage Caper, which had ended where I expected an adventure to begin, so I suppose my wish was granted for more story. But this is a VERY quick read, albeit pleasant enough, but if it were a wine? Light, not memorable, no legs and n...more
In this sequel to The Vintage Caper, Francis Reboul, the victim in the last book, hires Sam and Elena to do a job in Marseille. Sam is not one to pass up an opportunity to delight in the food and wine of the region but even he is surprised at the sharks circling the real estate project and just how far the competition is willing to go to win. Robin Sachs, who could make the phone book exciting, give Peter Mayle's prose more to latch on to, making it lusher, tastier, more alcholic with ever word....more
Peter Mayle has been one of my favorite authors for years and I wish I could really recommend this book. However, the last couple of fiction stories he has written have been a little disappointing. The story, a follow-up to The Vintage Caper, is simple, which isn't new, but to some extent, I feel I have read it before.
I really look forward to Peter's next real-life story of life in Provence or even a future book about Provence. This is where he excels. In France, it seems that real life stories...more
I picked this up from my library's Blind Date with a Book display. It was wrapped in craft paper and said "French Thriller." It is set in France, but it's not so much a thriller. I'm having a hard time even thinking of this as a mystery. Perhaps it's more of an adventure--a mostly tame adventure populated by very wealthy older people. For the most part Mayle's characters are interesting--his male characters are more believable than his female--and his place and food descriptions are very detaile...more
Peter Mayle's Provence books are always light entertainment. I usually read them for the atmosphere and the sense of place more than for the story. Two or three sittings usually finishes it off. The tricky part is fighting off the urge to travel sit in one of those cafes have a cafe creme and croissant or glass of vin rouge with some cheese.

This particular story is a a "caper" plot, as the title states. The good guys are busy tricking the bad guys, who are busy tricking them back, no one gets re...more
Christopher Roden
Some folk like to dismiss Peter Mayle as trivial, a hack writer. I've always disagreed with them. . . . I've always found Mayle entertaining and highly readable, and THE MARSEILLE CAPER is no exception. The novel revives the character of Sam Levitt, whom we first encountered in THE VINTAGE CAPER, and Levitt once more teams up with the beautiful Elena Morales for this adventure set almost entirely around Marseilles. As with any writing from Mayle we are treated to a taste of La France gastronomiq...more
This is a pretty pathetic excuse for a book. Its plot and characters are as thin as can be and the book is padded out with tourist tips that read like they were produced by the local Syndicat d'Initiatives. They are so flat that you are never sure if he has actually ever set foot in the city. Mayle seems to be still trying to live off the reputation he won with A Year in Provence, which had some genuine charm. If this is all the effort he is willing to put into a book, he should just give up wri...more
Celia Kennedy
To be honest, I had only ever read Peter Mayle's "travel" books; A Year in Provence, Encore Provence, Toujour Provence... and my favorite, French Lessons: Adventure with Fork, Knife and Corkscrew. So when I saw The Marseille Caper, I was intrigued.

One can definitely hear the same voice in this book that we hear telling us tales of truffles and frog legs, which isn't bad. It just makes a mystery novel a little less intense. The scenes about restaurants and travel have the most flair and depth. Th...more
The reader of an audiobook definitely makes a difference in enjoyment of the story and this reader, while he created interesting voices for the various nationalities and accents, read the dialogue so slooowly. Also, it turns out this is a second book, though that didn't really matter. The previous caper was mentioned in the setup of this story, but I don't think I missed a thing by not having read it. A fun story that takes place in Marseille, full of chicanery, bribery, action adventure, kidnap...more
I want to give this 2.5 stars, really. I do love Peter Mayle. However, this book is not his best. The plot is fairly thin, and there really is no mystery at all to this "caper". The characters are mostly two-dimentional, the climax is almost silly, and the ending predictable. Despite all this, it does offer his light, fluid and delicious voice as he takes us on a little adventure - with plenty of lovely food and wine along the way - in the spectacular lives of the wealthy and fabulous of Marseil...more
Peter Mayle was not a novelist first, though he has probably spent more time at it now than at his first employment. He is a man of many talents who writes to stay amused, one imagines, and to keep a crust on his table. Perhaps we should be thankful to him for sharing his time and stories with us, for he is clever and cogent and observant of his fellow man--especially his fellow French man. One imagines him to have a wide circle of friends and he no doubt takes advantage of opportunities that co...more
Ron Arden
This was such a fun book. It's a sequel, which I haven't read, but the story stands alone, so I didn't feel like I missed anything. I've read "A Year in Provence", which is a non-fiction telling of living in a wonderful part of the world. This book was a fictional telling that still made me want to be there.

The story is about Sam Levitt, who gets hired to help Francis Reboul push a building project in Marseille. Sam robbed Francis in the previous book of some stolen wine, with the help of Elena...more
Sep 26, 2013 Charles added it
Shelves: book-reviews

And now for something completely different...

After reading the lengthy and invovled Game of Thrones, I decided to read something short and light hearted. Peter Mayle writes delightful, funny books and his latest was ready for me at the library. Mayle has been writing books that take place in the south of France for quite a while now. They are always light, funny, and full of descriptions of food and wine. The Marseille Caper, the latest book, is no exception.

Sam and Elena, who we met in The Vin...more
At the end of The Vintage Caper, American Sam Levitt 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 Re...more
Peter Mayle was one of 3 favorite authors until about 10 years ago. His plots and the quality of his writing have been declining since "A Good Year". "The Marseille Caper" is the first book since then, where it appears Peter Mayle made an effort to create a plot.
I gave this book 3 stars for its attempt at a plot and the description of the location and food. Peter Mayle needs to read "Anything Considered" and "Hotel Pastis" and analyze what made them such engaging reads. He also needs to write a...more
Annie Michelle
Love this guy, I have been reading him for years.

The Denver Post had this to say about the book; "Oh, What a delicious little book this is. A Luxurious tale of clever deception, byzantine civic politics and, of course, lush and languid passages devoted to food...Like an excellent meal at a beloved restaurant. You'll savor every morsel, and you'll be sorry to see it end. A Charmer-

I could not have said it better myself!
May 30, 2014 Carol rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Fun, light reading. Perfect for the end of a hectic school year. Year one of Middleburg Hts Junior High is almost over. Second of three books (at this time) with the clever Sam Levitt plotting his way through intrigue in the south of France. What more do you want from pleasure reading? Fun characters, good wine and french cooking!
Entertaining but formulaic. I'm reading these in reverse order and am seeing some common themes: yacht, evil rich men, beautiful women, lots of good food. Not that it's a bad formula, I'd just like to see something a bit different next time.
Zipped right through. I neglected to read The Vintage Caper first. Whoops. Regardless, it stands on it's own. Story was predictable, but enjoyable. I love how Mayle weaves in food and wine. I'm drooling every time I read his books.
Light and breezy beach read, a little too light. I enjoyed his earlier books so much more, this one feels like it was written over a weekend. It was light fun, but am sure I won't be reading any more of his Sam Levitt books.
I had this book on my TBR for a while, or rather TBL – to-be-listened to list. But I could not find the audiobook within my public library network. I happened to hit the jackpot recently and win an audio player at a book blog. With it came credits for a free audiobook, so I got this one.

I had read A Year in Provence, but had no idea Peter Mayle had written things akin to mysteries. The Marseille Caper is the 2nd in the series, but it can really be read/listened to as a stand alone.

This is not a...more
Loved it, as I do most all of Mayle's books about Provence. His books transport the reader to the south of France where a fantastical story then transpires. In this book the protagonist has loads of money, a gorgeous female companion, and a huge appetite for the good life. The story transpires in places I have visited and that always makes the book more vivid. Great to read for half hour or so at bed time to relax and prime your dreams. I guess this book can be cataloged as travel, intrigue, rom...more
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Peter Mayle (born June 14, 1939 in Brighton) is a British author famous for his series of books detailing life in Provence, France. He spent fifteen years in advertising before leaving the business in 1975 to write educational books, including a series on sex education for children and young people. In 1989, A Year in Provence was published and became an international bestseller. His books have be...more
More about Peter Mayle...
A Year in Provence Toujours Provence Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew A Good Year

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