Top positive review
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I laughed at the shotgun murder
on 21 November 2002
Twelve years ago, Peter Mayle gifted us with "A Year In Provence", an account of this expatriate Brit's plunge into Gallic life, revolving around the pleasures and pitfalls of establishing a residence in rural France in an old country house that was somewhat of a "fixer-upper". Several Provence-related books later, and after a period of time living on Long Island, Peter and his wife return to the land they (and we) love. The result is "Encore Provence". The latest book doesn't hold together as well as "Year", the elements of the latter forming a more cohesive whole. However, "Encore" is certainly much better than some of his other books written in the interim.
In "Encore", Peter briefly revisits several topics covered in the original, as well as several more which were apparently overlooked. The range is quixotic: the cultivation of olive trees, an explanation of the three grades of virgin olive oil, the smelly art of selecting fragrances for designing perfumes, foie gras as the key to longevity, discovering the perfect corkscrew, touring Marseille, the almost-underworld of the village truffle market, how to execute the Provençal full shrug, the obligatory elements of the Provençal village, and, umm ..... the shotgun murder of an amorous meat cutter. And, of course, many hedonistic references to the local food and wine. All are treated in the utterly charming and dryly humorous Mayle-style that makes his books so delightful.
Bravo and merci beaucoup, Mr. Mayle! You've provided another enjoyable spice to my life.