In this third installment of Peter Mayle’s Caper series, Sam Levitt and Elena Morales return to Provence, this time to investigate what at first appears to be an insurance claim, but quickly evolves in to a string of unconnected crimes that will prove far more dangerous than they initially realize.
Soaked in sun and sumptuous feasts, The Diamond Caper is rich with Mayle signature style, which celebrates all that is Provencal with humor and a deft hand for storytelling. Readers who have not read the previous two books may be missing out on good, cozy-style mysteries, but this book stands alone well enough that they will not be confused. Sam and Elena are interesting characters to visit with, realistically drawn and complex. The accompanying cast is equally intriguing and memorable.
Like much of Mayle’s work, the focus is primarily on Provence rather than on the mystery. Readers looking for a complex, tightly plotted mystery will not find that here. What they will find is a more lighthearted story, with a Provence that fairly pops off the pages, with descriptions of food rich enough to make any reader’s stomach rumble, and images of a beautiful Southern France that will leave them daydreaming of fine weather, feeling sun-drenched and lazy.
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