The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle - Vintage Caper - Audio by jerryp209


									    The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle

                            Vintage Caper - Audio

A Q&A with Peter Mayle

       Question: The Vintage Caper begins and ends in Los Angeles,
which you’ve not explored before in your writing. What led you to set parts
of the book there? Are you a fan of the city?

   Peter Mayle: The inspiration for the story came from C alifornia, and so
L.A. seemed a logical place to start. Also, I had long cherished an urge to
stay at the Chateau Marmont, which I was able to do in the worthy name of
research. Very nice it was too. As for the city, I was unable to find the
centre, but those parts I did see I enjoyed.

     Question: Where did the character of Danny Roth come from?

   Peter Mayle: Danny Roth is a mixture of several movie people and
agents I’ve met over the years—quick-witted, talkative and relentlessly
     Question: This book is a bit of a love letter to the city of Marseille,
which isn’t a place that usually inspires such rapturous praise. Do you think
it’s underrated?

    Peter Mayle: Marseille is certainly underrated, and I think it still suffers
from the reputation gained in The French Connection.Marseille’s problem
is that it is not a city that makes an effort to put itself out for strangers. It is
what it is, take it or leave it—patches of squalor next to buildings and
neighborhoods of gr eat beauty; a tremendously mixed population, with
origins in France, North Africa, and Italy; the almost religious support of
Olympique de Marseille, the local soccer team; the pride in all things
Marseillais, from its bouillabaisse to its soap; the highly vocal distrust of
the government in Paris—all this I find fascinating. And then there are the
people ofMarseille, known throughout France as masters of exaggeration.
Nowhere else in the world will you find the humble sardine described as a
shark. In other words, Marseille is a great stew of a city, filled with terrific
things for writers to get their teeth into.

    Question: What led you to write about a wine theft? What kind of
research did you do for the book?

   Peter Mayle: I read an article in The Herald Tribune about a robbery
carried out in California, one in which the thieves concentrated on the very
sell-stocked wine cellar, ignoring everything else. I don’t knowif theywere
ever found, but the unusual precision of the robbery intrigued me. Why did
they just steal wine? Presumably they were going to sell it, but to
whom?And how did they get into the house and clean away? The more
questions I thought about, the more it seemed as though the answers
would make a great story. And the research, focused as it was on wine,
was delicious.

  Question: Have you had the pleasure of trying any of the wines that
were stolen from Danny Roth?

   Peter Mayle: Yes, but not often enough. In fact, I’ll never make a serious
wine connoisseur. Taking small and reverent sips is not for me; I like to
drink a wine rather than worship it. Give me a well-filled glass and a
second bottle waiting in the wings and I’m happy.

   Question: This is your first novel since A GOOD YEAR in 2004, though
you’ve published two works of nonfiction, CONFESSIONS OF A FRENCH
BAKER and PROVENCE A-Z, in the interim. What prompted you to return
to fiction—or turn back to nonfiction in the first place?

  Peter Mayle: I enjoy writing fiction because there are no restrictions;
you’re inventing. And I enjoy nonfiction because you don’t have to make it
up; you’re describing. Choosing between the two depends entirely on the
subject and the idea, and THE VINTAGE CAPER came about because of
an idea prompted by that newspaper story.
  (Photo © Jean-Claude Simoen)

Personal Review: The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle
This was one of those rare reads (or listens, in this case with the audio
book)that I had to stop the book to catch my breath. I read alot of
mysteries, a couple a week, and this was the best in along time. I will be
waiting for more mysteries from Mr. Mayle.

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