Bennett is an English expatriate living in France with a champagne taste and a beer bankroll. Happy-go-lucky and a bit roguish, he places an ad in the International Herald Tribune offering his services-any services. He pursues a response from a wealthy Englishman named Julian Poe who has developed a means of producing truffles and is close to cornering the immensely lucrative truffle market. Bennett signs on and finds himself in Monaco, where he is able to live in a style to which he has always wished to become accustomed (including eating to his heart's content-a Mayle trademark!). Soon the Sicilian and Corsican Mafiosi intrude and Bennett is joined by the beautiful and experienced (in all ways) Anna. Ham-fisted goons, gendarmes working at cross purposes, French village busybodies, and an order of monks dedicated to the god Bacchus all play a role in the surprising, and more than a little satisfying, denouement.
by Peter Mayle
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