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on 29 July 2017
I have now lived in France for nearly sixteen years thanks to reading Peter Mayle,'s lovely novels set in Provence.
This story The Vintage Caper is another of his highly readable tales. I enjoyed it and am now looking to read more of his later books.
They are always very easy to read with his flowing style that makes you want to keep going back for more.
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on 11 April 2017
Beautifully crafted tale with enormous knowledge of it's background. Great fun too with a real sense of the old fashioned "romp"!
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on 20 May 2017
An amusing read
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on 27 December 2013
A lovely light hearted easy book to read. A good amusing story, and ideal to take away on your hols.
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on 22 July 2017
A good, well written caper by Peter Mayle - clearly a wine buff who knows his grapes. The storyline centres around a wine heist - it's fun, witty and full of oneliners. An easy going, enjoyable and fun read. (The audio version is very enjoyable too).
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on 12 July 2017
Interesting guide to Marseille with a weak story for padding
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on 26 August 2010
" The Vintage Caper" is a delightful entertainment turned out with Peter Mayle's customary charm and competence (and some technical guidance from Anthony Barton, Hiberno-French scion of Chateau Leoville Barton), but no more than that.

Sam Levitt is a bon vivant poacher-turned-gamekeeper hired by a gorgeous insurance investigator to track down a massively valuable collection of vintage Bordeaux wines snatched from an obnoxious Hollywood lawyer's trophy cellar. He follows the trail to Marseilles and manages to solve his dilemma of having to recover the wine without landing the thieves - for whom he develops considerable affinity - in too much trouble in a creative way. Naturally, he encounters all sorts of charming French characters en route, at least one of them female, and finds time to partake of fine cuisine and superior wine and to get fitted for custom shirts at Charvet in Paris. Sam, despite being American, sounds in other words just like Peter Mayle.

The plotting is undemanding and the whole thing is infinitely forgettable once read. But if one is in the mood for an easy but reasonably intelligent and cheerful read, "The Vintage Caper" is just the thing.
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on 4 February 2013
I really enjoyed this book and forced myself to read it slowly to avoid getting to the end.
The characters were likeable and, as always, Peter Mayle's descriptions are spot on. I was there in France! A light read but no less enjoyable for that. As soon as I finished it I ordered his next book.
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on 19 February 2015
(I found it unavoidable to do so, so please take on board - Spoiler Alert - this review covers at least the basics of the tale including its ending)

I finished this in a day, and scratched my head after reading the last word. It is bright and breezy all through and a little light; usually I have no problem with either, but this is so light there's bits missing!

The tale concerns the insurance investigation that follows the theft of a wine collection worth well over 2 million dollars US. The trouble is, the investigator, former crook Sam Levitt, simply has it all too easy. After a little trouble finding suspects, he then has a breakthrough, and then, very mystifyingly in my opinion, simply breezes through the tale. Everything he tries whether legal, dodgy or illegal, works. No one pops up to say 'Welcome to my home, Mr Levitt, I've been expecting you'; no terrible bad luck, no terrible mistakes, no supporting cast either killed or maimed - not that I want that as such, but its total absence to any degree (not even a broken leg or a sore head) is simply not good enough.

To make matters worse, there's no actual wrapping up at the end, especially with regard to whether we have one major player, or two or more across continents. Again - simply not good enough.

I have no idea on Mr Mayle's back catalogue, nor his future writing plans. Am I going to find out based upon this book? Nope.
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on 23 November 2011
Starts off well. I read the free Kindle sample and thought "I'll have this". But it quickly runs out of steam. The plot is thin and, unlike previous Mayle novels, the characters are not in any way interesting or charming. The ending is hurried and ill-thought out and the twist on the final page really makes no sense at all. I found myself struggling to finish it and have deleted it from my Kindle as I'm sure I won't ever be reading it again. Such a shame as I have really enjoyed Peter Mayle's earlier novels.
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