Francophiles know author Peter Mayle and have probably traveled to Provence through him, and gobbled up any number of his other novels about food and France. The Vintage Caper adds wine to the mix, making it DIA’s recommended read of the month.


It’s not a new book, which is a good thing; you’ll likely get it at the library without a wait, and you’ll be able to talk about it with the millions of other people who have read it.


Without giving away the plot (any more than the New York Times review did when the book debuted in 2008), here’s a glimpse of what you’re in for:


Danny Roth, a wealthy entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles, has amassed all the trappings of a flamboyant yet shallow existence: a “young, blond, fashionably gaunt wife”; homes in New York and Aspen; and a killer wine collection, including more than 500 bottles from classic vintages like the ’61 Latour and ’83 Margaux. But there’s a problem: Danny feels under­appreciated. Not enough people know about his $3 million cellar, so he works his connections and scores a full-page interview in The Los Angeles Times — with photo — that also runs in The International Herald Tribune (headlined, of course, “The Grapes of Roth”).

Bad idea! Shortly after the article runs, while he’s on vacation in Aspen, all his Bordeaux is stolen. As Roth fumes, his insurance company hires a private investigator, Sam Levitt, and the whodunit moves into high gear.