Synopses & Reviews
Hanky-panky on the international art scene is the source of the hilarity and fizz in Peter Mayle's new novel. He flies us back to the south of France (a region some readers of his irresistible best-sellers believe him to have invented), on a wild chase through galleries, homes of prominent collectors, and wickedly delectable restaurants. There are stopovers in the Bahamas and England, and in New York, where that glossiest of magazines, Decorating Quarterly, reflects the cutting-edge trendiness of its editor, Camilla Jameson Porter. (Camilla has recently broken new ground in the world of power lunches by booking two tables on the same day, and shuttling between them, at the city's trendiest restaurant.)
It is Camilla who has sent our hero, Andre Kelly, to Cap Ferrat to take glamorous photo-graphs of the houses and treasures of the rich, famous, and fatuous. He happens to have his camera at the ready when he spots a Cézanne being loaded onto a plumber's truck near the home of an absent collector. Odd, thinks Andre. And in no time he's on the trail of a state-of-the-art art scam, chasing Cézanne.
It's a joy to follow him and the crowds intent on speeding or foiling his quest including a beautiful agent; a super-savvy art dealer attracted to the finer things in life, especially if they promise the payoff of a lifetime; an awesome Dutch forger; some outstandingly greedy New York sophisticates; and, invisible in the background, the parade of remarkable chefs whose mouthwatering culinary masterpieces periodically soothe the hero and tantalize the reader of Chasing Cézanne.
"Blending rare art, treachery and steamy romance with ambiance and haute cuisine, Mayle serves up even warmed-over plot and character as blithely as if they were chefs d'oeuvre." Publishers Weekly
"Part travelog and part art mystery caper, this new tale from Mayle, the author who put Provence on the map, is a thoroughly enjoyable romp through the international art world." Library Journal
"A delightful blend of crime and cuisine." San Francisco
With the same epigrammatic wit and epicurean savvy that made his five previous books national bestsellers, the author of "A Year in Provence" and "Anything Considered" whisks readers back to the South of France to serve up a delectable novel of glamour, amour, fine art, haute cuisine, felony, and farce.
The second book in the delightful Verlaque and Bonnet mystery series is another page-turning whodunit, this time in set in a small community of theology students and professors at Aix-en-Provence's university.
When the director of the theology department at the university in Aix is found dead, Judge Verlaque is dumbfounded. Professor Moutte was about to announce the recipient of both a fellowship, and his position as Director—which includes the coveted apartment in a 17th century mansion. The prospective recipients and others close to Moutte make up a long list of suspects, but Verlaque isn’t convinced any of the eager students or desperate teachers are capable of murder, and he must dig deeper. With Marine’s help—and that of her plucky mother—Verlaque uncovers a world that proves more complicated than university politics.
About the Author
M.L. Longworth has lived in Aix-en-Provence since 1997. She has written about the region for The Washington Post, The Times (U.K.), The Independent (U.K.), and Bon Appétit Magazine. She is the author the Verlaque and Bonnet series, as well as of a bilingual collection of essays, Une Américaine en Provence. She divides her time between Aix and Paris, where she teaches writing at NYU's Paris campus.