Top positive review
A nice book
on 17 July 2013
I hadn't read any of Peter Mayle's books before so was interested to try this novel. I rather expected something possibly gritty, hopefully tense perhaps with maybe a few nail-biting episodes and a rousing finale. What I found was a nice tale of nice people who wore nice clothes (which were described in detail), went to nice restaurants run by nice people and ate nice food (described in exhaustive detail) and were very nice to each other. They travelled nicely to France and other nice places which were - yes - described in detail. There was a mild caper which was the rather wobbly peg on which the story hung. There were also villains, a semi-comic self-made cockney with big money, his two comic thugs (on the lines of Shakespeare's comic incompetents) and an oily Frenchman.
By half way through I was wondering what was going on. All this niceness must surely lead to a counterbalancing vicious horridness but no. The baddies got their comeuppance quite nicely and everyone finished nicely happily.
Following the above you might expect me to give this very few stars but, actually, it is well written and carries you on from page to page in a dreamy waft of niceness. So losing just one star because it is not a caper except in the sense of prancing around on some nice grass, in the sun, with a couple of friends and several glasses of fine wine (described in detail, of course). But no more Mayle for me.