Book Recommendation: The Vintage Caper

The Vintage Caper

The comments to last week’s post got me thinking about the books I review on my blog and how I go about deciding which books to review. Here’s what I concluded: when I tell readers about a specific book, I shouldn’t really call that post a “book review” because I’m not a book reviewer. I’m just a reader who loves to share the books I think are great.

In other words, if I enjoy a book and I think there are other people out there who would enjoy reading it, too, then I’ll recommend it and write about it. If I read a book and don’t enjoy it, you won’t find it on my blog.

I keep it to myself. I know very well how a writer feels to read a less-than-positive review, and I’m not going to ruin another writer’s day by writing one.

So from now on, my book reviews will be called “book recommendations.” That’s because I won’t review a book that I can’t recommend.

That takes care of the housekeeping issues for this week. Let’s move on to the real reason for today’s post: my recommendation of A Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle.

I loved this book!

As its title suggests, this book is a caper, not a hard-boiled thriller. It’s a story that contains a bit of a mystery. There is criminal activity, yes, but there’s no violence, no sex, and I think the limited amount of swearing is in French. It’s a fun, light-hearted story that doesn’t take long to read and that peels back aspects of French culture in a way that reveals much about the differences between France and America. I found these parts of the book to be especially interesting.

A Vintage Caper is the story of Sam Levitt, a former lawyer-turned-criminal-turned-good-guy who also happens to be a wine connoisseur. He is hired by an insurance company to investigate the theft of a fortune in wine from the cellar of prominent LA lawyer Danny Roth, a thoroughly unlikeable character who uses bullying and threats to get what he wants.

In his search for the wine, Levitt travels to Paris, Bordeaux, and Provence, following leads that he finds with the help of Sophie Costes, a Bordeaux-based agent specializing in wine insurance. Their job is to find the wine, but they manage to creat a twist that makes for a surprising and very satisfying ending.

Peter Mayle is the author of quite a few books about Provence, an area of France I’ve always wanted to visit– even more so now that I’ve read this book. His other books include A Year in Provence, Toujours Provence, Encore Provence, Provence A – Z, Anything Considered, Chasing Cezanne, Hotel Pastis, A Good Year, French Lessons, Up the Agency, The Marseille Caper, and A Dog’s Life. I want to read all of them!

If you do check out A Vintage Caper, let me know what you think of it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Until next week,


P.S. The release of The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor is less than a month away! Stay tuned for links to my guest blogs and interviews!

6 thoughts on “Book Recommendation: The Vintage Caper”

  1. On your topic of housekeeping, I too only review books that I can recommend. Because I love one book an author has written doesn’t mean I will love them all. And at the same time, I don’t want to influence someone else’s decision,(because I am just an average reader, Not an Author or a Reviewer). A baseball player doesn’t hit a home run every time he steps up to the plate… Many years ago, I booked an accounting entry for $500K backwards, This caused a $1M variance. If that wasn’t bad enough, it was year end. In order to correct it, a late entry had to be made. Of course, late entries had to be approved by the President of the Company. Yeah, what a way to get to know the president. LOL. Talk about ruining my day, Hello, I still think about it.
    Anyway, since following your blog, I realized that you were using the term Review/Recommendation interchangeably. Changing it to Recommendation is probably a good idea.

    The Vintage Caper sounds very interesting. Although I am not a wine drinker, I do love to visit wineries. I am the designated driver as we make our way from one winery to the next. I love the gift shops, and if they have homemade fudge, I am in heaven.

    I sure am getting off on many tangents here. Will I read The Vintage Caper? Not sure yet, I think I will take a look at this author, and make a decision later…

    Thanks for your recommendation; As always, “Keep Reading and Writing”.


    1. Hi, Sharon! I feel your pain about meeting the pres of your company because of an accounting error. I am the Queen of Embarrassing Mistakes. Remind me to tell you someday about the time I tripped on my own feet and landed like a felled tree in front of my perfect neighbor while I was trying to chase my naked two-year-old, who had escaped from my house, down the street.

      Okay, so if you’re a designated driver, I have a suggestion for you. Have you ever visited any of the Finger Lakes wineries? It’s a great day trip from northern New York and the views from the wineries are world-class. I’ve been to quite a few of the wineries and it’s always a great experience.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your very thoughtful comment!


      1. That is really funny… I can just see you face down with someone watching on….. Probably shaking her head unbelievably…. LOL…

        I am not sure where we were, but some of the views were very beautiful… Diane, my step-daughter, navigates while I just turn right, turn left… I will have to ask her where we were… but I can say, that we spent the whole day, and had a great time… and I can’t wait to do it again this year.


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