If you have enjoyed Peter Mayle "A Year in Provence" you will love the details of this high stakes art heist. This is a great read, light fun, great details, good food and a fun story line. It will make you want to check out his other novels.
I love the way Peter Mayle uses words. "He passed the seething racket of Forty-second Street and the New York lions, massive and benign in the sunshine, looking as dignified as lions can look with garlands of pigeons clustered on their heads." Perfect word pictures!
Our hero, glamorous art photographer Andre Kelly, is on assignment for glamorous DQ Magazine--run by the glamorous Camilla Porter--in Cape Ferrat on the (you guessed it) glamorous Côte d'Azur. Snooping around an ancestral pile for some snaps, by chance he spies Old Claude, the ancient retainer of the immensely wealthy Denoyer family, packing the family Cezanne into a plumbing van. Puzzled, Andre investigates, and the game is afoot. Peter Mayle's latest effort, Chasing Cezanne, is a whodunit that shows good manners and impeccable taste. It takes its characters--graduates of all the best schools, of course--to some of the world's most posh locales. The plot device is high rent, too: a purloined painting worth a cool $30 million. To call this book lightweight seems unfair and boorish besides. There's lots of travel, lots of opulence, lots of opportunities for Mayle to describe Paris and Provence, and all the yummies you'll find in both places. Who can worry about a mystery when the food's so delectable?
If you have not yet read anything by Pete Mayle, you need to. Although best known for his book "A Year in Provence," he has also read several pure-fiction little pleasures. My wife and I have devoured all, including the four caper series books and three stand-alones, including "Chasing Cézanne". If you are seeking a well-crafted, easy to read, and entertaining light reading romp, read Peter Mayle. Spoiler alert: Mayle is devoid of obscenities and steamy sex scenes, so if that is what you are seeking, seek elsewhere. For a good plot, intelligent writing, read Mayle. After that paean, "Chasing Cézanne" is a bit more of a thriller than Mayle's other books. A professional photographer passes by a mansion on the Riviera which he has photo'd for a house beautiful magazine and notices a Cézanne being carried out and loaded into a plumber's van. He captures the moment with his camera and sets off to find out why. The result is a bi-continental tale between New York, Paris, and Provence. Midst all the action, the characters take time enjoy sumptuous meals of French cuisine and fine wines. Trust me..you cannot go wrong with Maye.