• The Vintage Caper

  • By: Peter Mayle
  • Narrated by: Erik Davies
  • Length: 6 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (165 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Set in Hollywood, Paris, Bordeaux, and Marseille, Peter Mayle’s newest and most delightful novel is filled with culinary delights, sumptuous wines, and colorful characters. It’s also a lot of fun.The story begins high above Los Angeles, at the extravagant home and equally impressive wine cellar of entertainment lawyer Danny Roth. Unfortunately, after inviting the Los Angeles Times to write an extensive profile extolling the liquid treasures of his collection, Roth finds himself the victim of a world-class wine heist.

Enter Sam Levitt, former corporate lawyer, cultivated crime expert, and wine connoisseur. Called in by Roth’s insurance company, which is now saddled with a multimillion-dollar claim, Sam follows his leads - to Bordeaux and its magnificent vineyards, and to Provence to meet an eccentric billionaire collector who might possibly have an interest in the stolen wines. Along the way, bien sûr, he is joined by a beautiful and erudite French colleague, and together they navigate many a château, pausing frequently to enjoy the countryside’s abundant pleasures.

The unraveling of the ingenious crime is threaded through with Mayle’s seductive rendering of France’s sensory delights - from a fine Lynch-Bages and Léoville Barton to the bouillabaisse of Marseille and the young lamb of Bordeaux. Even the most sophisticated of oenophiles will learn a thing or two from this vintage work by a beloved author.

©2009 Peter Mayle (P)2009 Random House

Critic Reviews

"Mayle uncorks a winning wine caper in the tradition of To Catch a Thief." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Vintage Caper

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Accent the negative!

I would like to start out by saying that I love Peter Mayle's work, from A year in Provence, to my favorite, The Hotel Pastis, so it was with much joy that I looked forward to listening to his latest work on a recent road trip . I was sadly disappointed, not by the story mind you, that once again showcased Mr. Mayle's love of all things French and culinary, but by the narrator. The accents that Erik Davies used to bring Mayle's characters to life almost made me sick. They were so over the top, that at times I chose the relative quiet of the highway than to have to sit through a conversation between more than two characters. The story was simple and elegant with a nice twist, but Mr. Davies made it so hard on the ears, that I considered buying the hard back and finishing it instead of putting myself through any more of the torture.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Tres Bon

I waited several months for this release; and I sipped it, like a fine wine! Mr. Mayle's writing again made me smile. There is something comforting and cozy about all of his books; and I always feel at home reading them. OK, perhaps they are a bit predictable; and no one seems to be murdered.. well except for that butcher a long time ago.. Yet, I find that I read and listen and re-read and re-listen and just enjoy them!

I have a feeling that Mr. Mayle smiles a lot when he writes! It comes through in his books.

One minor criticism is the endings.. Alas, all good things must come to an end; but I find that most of Mr. Mayle's books end rather abruptly. I have always had the feeling that there should be an epiloge or at lest a little more time wrapping up loose ends. THE VINTAGE CAPER does actually address this issue a lot better; and for that I was pleased.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

A bad reader reads cliches

Like many readers here, I have enjoyed Mr. Mayle's other work, but this was trite to the extreme and laden with cliches like, "What does a girl have to do to get a drink in this town?" The reader was terrible. He seemed like he could do documentaries well--and he obviously speaks French--but this book was painful to listen to from start to finish. The basic story itself is fun...but only if you are one of those people who can overlook how it is told.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Fabulous!

I love Peter Mayle and this is another fabulous production - great writing and great narration! I have listened to it a few times now.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Lots of fun if you like wine and France

This book is very entertaining, especially if you enjoy good food (French), excellent wine (red Bordeaux), travel (California and Provence). The story is somewhat lightweight but a fun read.
I thought the reader was excellent in making the various characters come alive, especially the ones in France. Definitely recommended for the right group. It's more fun if you've been to Marseille, and we just returned from a month's trip.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Definitely not the Mayle we've come to expect

This book is like grocery store sushi, OK if you need a fix, but in the end bland and disappointing and leaves you wondering why you bothered. Hopefully Mayle will rediscover the inspiration of his earlier books before dumping another of these on us.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

barely made it chapter 3

I had a really hard time trying to make it to chapter 3. The storyline and the narrator were both so boring and hearing of how lushly rich stupid rich they were I just couldn't stomach it anymore.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Mr Mayle continues his love affair with France

A series of meals connected with tidbits of knowledge about wine, a dash of local history, and a soupçon of mystery to give the story a purpose and direction. The main surprise was that there was nearly more emphasis given to champagne than to the Bordeaux wines which drive the story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty good

This is a leisurely story. good for times when you are doing something else and not interested in a gripping mystery. The characters are pleasant. The mystery is not terribly intriguing or action-packed. The narrator does a great job with accents and changing voices for different speakers. However, his tone is very relaxing, so don't listen if you are feeling sleepy.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story, Pure Peter Mayle

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and always enjoy Peter Mayle's clever wit, turn of phrase and writing style.
Eric Davies is a good narrator in many instances, though too large a percentage of Mayle's nuance and humor is lost in his reading. There are also some painful mispronunciations which I cannot believe the director didn't catch and mandate a "re-do".
Overall, I loved it.