Friday, January 22, 2016

The Corsican Caper

I wonder where in Provence Sam Levitt and Elena Morales will buy their house.  Wherever they choose, they will undoubtedly foil a plot aimed at their friend Francis Reboul.  And Peter Mayle will call it The ____ Caper and surround the plot with long lunches and dinners full of sparkling conversation.  Mayle follows his usual template in The Corsican Caper.  A year after The Marseille Caper, Elena and Sam visit Reboul in Corsica.  It's a normal visit - their friends Mimi and Phillipe are now engaged, Sam and Elena walk through a few properties with a real estate agent, and an oligarch wants to buy Reboul's house.  It's not for sale, but Oleg Vronsky considers himself a very persuasive guy.  Just ask his business associates (those who are still alive, that is).  Good (or at least not evil - Reboul is a bit of a rogue) triumphs in the end, of course, with the help of a local gangster, twin goons, and Reboul's mother, but that's not really the point.  Mayle is better known as a travel writer and I read his novels for the food and the scenery.  The plot works, but it's mainly there to give the author an excuse for witty comments.  Mayle's novels aren't deep but they're well written and a lot of fun - and they serve as a fantastic antidote to winter in the Northeastern US.

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