In this light and frothy fast-paced romp about a stolen multi-million dollar wine collection, (think $100,000 bottles) insurance detectives representing a firm reluctant to pay out the claim follow the trail of the suspected thief to some magnificent French vineyards and chateaux. The alleged villain who may have arranged the wine theft is a loveable eccentric, patriotic French billionaire, and the victim an ostentatious L.A. celebrity lawyer who is more concerned about everyone knowing he has a priceless collection than enjoying it. Feeling that the victim didn't really deserve his wine collection anyway, the insurance detective plots to get the wine, the girl, and uncork a happy ending for all. However, a twist at the end will leave you guessing just who is the rogue. All along the way we are treated to the sensory delights and literary ruminations of Mayle on French food and wines, French women, and even dining alone ("The solitary diner is a misunderstood figure," ) which will leave you with a nagging yen to explore the old streets of Marseilles, discovering the delights of the humble, simple Provence roses and honest bouillabaisse in the old port's cafes.
Recommended by Betsy Schroeder