Who knew Peter Mayle wrote deft, very enjoyable thrillers?
Until now my knowledge of Mayle’s writing was confined to the highly successful, semi-autobiographical A Year in Provence, which my husband liked a lot…and me, not so much.
Accordingly, Murder in the Med was a delightful surprise.
Mayle, a former advertising executive, is an economical writer who doesn’t waste a word.
What the blurb says:
When a billionaire finds himself on the wrong side of a Russian tycoon, he’s fortunate to have friends, Sam and Elena, on hand to help.
Now it’s up to Sam, who’s saved his friend’s neck before, to negotiate with underworld hit men and Mafioso, to prevent his friend from winding up dead.
As usual, Sam and Elena still find time to enjoy the good life, but as Sam’s sleuthing draws him closer to the truth, he realizes his friend might not be the only one in trouble…
Rich with clever twists and sparkling scenery, Murder in the Med is the ultimate summer holiday read.
Okay, the plot’s almost wafer-thin – Russian oligarch, who always gets his own way wants to buy the luxury home of a billionaire, who doesn’t want to sell – but it doesn’t matter a jot.
It’s a short tale – around 200 pages – and I finished it in half an afternoon.
Sadly, I was sitting in the back garden rather than a Mediterranean beach, but, hey ho, you can’t have everything.
And, I did, at least, get to enjoy the Med – even if by proxy.
A thoroughly entertaining twisty read. Perfect escapism for a lazy afternoon on the beach.
About the author:
Peter Mayle was educated at Brighton College, England, and Harrison College, Barbados, where he developed a lifelong fondness for the sun.
He left school at 16 and returned to England, where he failed to distinguish himself as a waiter or a laundry van driver before joining Shell as a trainee.
When he was 21, Mayle moved to New York to work for David Ogilvy’s advertising agency, and subsequently spent the next 15 years in the advertising business, before leaving honest employment to become a writer.
His first book, Where Did I Come From? explaining the facts of life to children, was published in 1973 and is still in print today, more than three million copies later.
Mayle moved to Provence in 1987 with the intention of writing a novel, but the distractions of his new life interfered and the result was A Year in Provence.
Published in 1989, the book stayed on both the London Sunday Times and The New York Times bestseller lists for three years. The book has now sold more than seven million copies in 32 languages.
The sequel, Toujours Provence, followed in 1991.
His subsequent books — Expensive Habits, Hotel Pastis, A Dog’s Life, Anything Considered, Chasing Cezanne and Encore Provence – have appeared on bestseller lists in Britain, America, Germany, France and Japan. A Good Year was made into a film starring Russell Crowe and directed by Ridley Scott.
Mayle’s latest work, My Twenty-Five Years in Provence, Reflections on Then and Now, has just been published.
Review by Sue Featherstone.
Available to buy on Amazon.