"Something good would turn up, Bennett kept telling himself."
"A joyous return to Peter Mayle country, a rollicking caper set on the Cote d'Azur and in the luscious landscape of Provence.
Bennett, an English expatriate living in France, has champagne tastes and a vin ordinaire bankroll. He has abandoned a successful career and found an ideal village in which to idle. But when a business scheme fails to work out, he finds himself broke.
Not a man to be downhearted, he places an advertisement in the International Herald Tribune volunteering his services-anything considered. The most attractive response comes from a rich Englishman named Julian Poe, who has developed a means of producing superb truffles and is close to cornering the lucrative truffle market.
Bennett signs on and -- bliss! -- he finds himself in Monaco and able to live in a style to which he has wished to become accustomed. But soon -- sniffing the financial potential of the truffle -- Sicilian and Corsican Mafiosi intrude. Life gets somewhat hectic. Ham-fisted goons, gendarmes working at cross-purposes, French village busybodies, and an order of Monks dedicated to the god Bacchus all play a role in a surprising and satisfying denouement.
A generous, delicious serving of vintage Mayle."
Maybe it was the setting - southern France, palm trees, Monaco. Or maybe the characters - roguish Bennett, confident Anna, mysterious Poe, etc. Yes, there's lots of adventure and close calls, but it reminded me of the movie It Takes a Thief and I could imagine the 1960s soundtrack as our heroes try to stay one step ahead of the bad guys.
Date read: 8/23/2007
Book #: 77
Rating: 3* = good
Publisher: Penguin Putnam
# of Pages: 256