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The Marseille Caper (Sam Levitt #2)

3.25  ·  Rating Details ·  1,810 Ratings  ·  319 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
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Knopf (first published October 25th 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Mike Barker
Apr 05, 2013 Mike Barker rated it it was ok
Shelves: light-stuff
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
The Marseille Caper is a light-hearted romp through Marseille, with Sam and Elena attempting to convince the chairman of the building/planning committee to authorize their client's plans for apartments by the sea instead of the competitor's plans for high rise hotels. Nothing is simple and the Englishman behind the hotel plan uses all sorts of devious ways to derail Sam and Elena and get his plan pushed through.

Not terribly exciting. I knew it was meant to be light and not very dramatic but, to
Amy Bond
Nov 18, 2012 Amy Bond rated it it was ok
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.
John Randolph
Aug 31, 2013 John Randolph rated it did not like it
Shelves: borrowed, gave-up, kindle
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.
Dec 10, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
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
Jan 22, 2013 William rated it liked it
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
Feb 13, 2013 Amber rated it it was ok
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
Mar 28, 2013 Irwin rated it did not like it
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
Nov 13, 2012 Mandolin rated it really liked it
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
Nov 27, 2015 Ladiibbug rated it really liked it
Shelves: mayle
#2 Sam Leavitt trilogy - Cozy Mystery

Sam Leavitt, "former corporate lawyer, crime expert and wine connoisseur" is relaxing at his luxury hotel/home in L.A. after his last investigation. In the highly entertaining Book 1, Sam's on-and-off girlfriend, Elena, contacts him on behalf of her company, an insurance company processing a claim. A wealthy and high powered L.A. executive has been robbed of millions of dollars of rare wines from his private reserves, from his highly secure home. Sam must kee
Dec 13, 2012 Jocelyn rated it liked it

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
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
Sep 26, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it
True to form in The Marseille Caper, Mayle offers up a light, sleek entertainment, peppered with his characteristic name dropping of fine restaurants and wine along with those of posh luxury goods. The good guys are charming rogues, the bad guys well-heeled, but tasteless English nouveau riche. Sam Levitt returns after his premier foray in A Vintage Caper, but this time he is teamed up with Francis Reboul, the roguish billionaire from whom Levitt stole some prime wine in A Vintage Caper. This ti ...more
Nov 29, 2012 Nancy rated it it was ok
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
Mar 11, 2013 Jodi rated it liked it
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
Nov 30, 2015 Rannazora rated it did not like it
This was honestly one of the worst books I have ever read. I just finished it, because I was curious why and how can this writer be so successful.
The plot was boring, predictable, straightforward with no sub-plots, twists or digressions. It did not offer deeper insight into- well, anything and the basis of the story was repeated description of what the characters were eating and drinking for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and in-between).
Almost all evil-doers were characterized by their lack of
Jul 19, 2013 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 20, 2012 Nadine rated it liked it
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
Christopher Roden
Jul 09, 2013 Christopher Roden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 30, 2014 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
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 20, 2016 DéborahL rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite
Fun and enjoyable read! Being French, I always love books that portray some side of France through the eyes of foreigners, used to a different culture (although there are more than one in France), and this one did not disappoint.
This is the second book by Peter Mayle I read (the first novel) and I hope to come across his work again soon, because it was both light and engrossing reading!
Feb 15, 2016 Cyndi rated it it was ok
First book in this series was a tribute to wine, this one a tribute to food. A few too many menus.
Nov 15, 2016 adam rated it really liked it
A predictable and lighthearted suspense novel; a great tour of Marseille

This is a light, simple, and fun read, for an afternoon at the beach or in your backyard with a glass of wine. If you're planning a trip to Marseille, in the south of France, this is a must read. The characters give you a great tour of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes, from the best foods, hikes, restaurants to the best neighborhoods, shopping, day trips. If you've read Peter Mayle before, there's not much new here: a
Jan 01, 2017 Olesya rated it it was amazing
It's always a very easy decision for me to make about the book for holidays. Peter Mayle makes a perfect company with his exceptional sense of humor and delicious descriptions of life in Provence. This book was not any different. Starting at the beginning of my holidays I couldn't put it down today et voilà, another book is done leaving me with a long aftertaste of adventure, good french wine and delicious food.
Lynne Murray Hogsflesh
Oh dear!

What a load of tripe...I say this because the best bits of this book are the descriptions of the food. As for the story itself, it is unbelievable and populated with one dimensional, clichéd characters. It doesn't even have a satisfactory ending, it just stops. Sorry Peter, loved your first book about living in Provence, but you are no novelist I am afraid.
Oct 21, 2016 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
As always, I enjoyed Mayle's writing style. It's light and very readable. Although this story incorporated some intrigue, I didn't expect it to be a real dark suspense thriller as some readers may have expected. That isn't his style and it's why I find him a refreshing read.
Nov 30, 2016 Stacie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story and character development. And, of course, Mayle does an excellent job with his enticing food & cultural descriptions that are uniquely French.
Irene Dreger
Jan 11, 2017 Irene Dreger rated it really liked it
This was a great entertaining read. Peter Mayle has such an intelligent sense of humour and I always enjoy his books. Having recently been to Marseille added to my enjoyment.
Nov 23, 2016 Sunny rated it really liked it
I love Peter, easy and purely entertaining! I listened to this one, which is even better with the British and French accents.
David Gill
Easy reading and quite amusing.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Sam Levitt (4 books)
  • The Vintage Caper
  • The Corsican Caper
  • The Diamond Caper

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