Sometimes Mike and I have library dates. On one of their late hours nights we’ll meet among the stacks and share our findings. We’ll stand together and happily skim in silence. Mike usually looks at art books, poetry or thick classics. I seem to gravitate towards the same type of books every time. I’m not sure if there’s a technical genre for it, but I think of it as food writings – not reviews, or recipes per se, but stories, accounts and adventures inspired by a love of food. These books don’t need to share a shelf or a stack, I still find them; Cookbooks, New Releases, Non-Fiction – it doesn’t matter which aisle I’m in. I always manage to find a food-based tome.
On our last library date, I came home with three new books. It seemed a bit ambitious to think I’d read all three before the renewal date. Perhaps I wasn’t being overly optimistic with the first one I opened. The Vintage Caper is Peter Mayle’s newest release. His first book, A Year in Provence, captivated me well over a decade ago, when I first read it as a young teen. The Vintage Caper retains Mayle’s enjoyable style of writing yet has an added twist of being a mystery. I couldn’t put it down! I finished the book in two days (and I was at work for the better part of those days). Mayle’s characters are easy to relate to, and highly entertaining. I felt nourished when they enjoyed a good meal, tired after the characters had a long and trying day, and excited while anticipating dangerous events. I was able to appreciate the sights, sounds and smells described as the main character traveled from Los Angeles to Paris to Marseille.
I don’t want to give away the end – but Mayle continued to surprise me even on the last page. It’s an enjoyable book; curl up with a nice glass of wine and read this right away. It’s perfect for a Fall weekend! If Mr. Mayle cooks as well as he writes and describes food, I hope one day a novel might incorporate recipes among the story line.