"Max Skinner is a man at the heart of London's financial universe. He works for the notorious Lawton Brothers at the top end of Threadneedle Street, and his is a life of long hours and fierce competition with Amis, his nemesis1 and boss. It is a rivalry2 that continues until the day Max finds the Lawton Brothers doing a little asset-stripping of their own. Himself." "Amid the London drizzle3, there is one potential ray of sunshine in Max's life. His Uncle Henry has left him his estate in his will - an eighteenth-century house and vineyard an hour's drive from Avignon, where Max used to go for his childhood holidays. Out of a job, and encouraged by his friend Charlie's talk of the money in modern wine, he heads for France to assess its potential." What Max discovers is even better than he remembered: a beautiful house, wonderful weather and a bustling4 village in the shape of St. Pons. The only downside to his new life is the quality of the wine in the vineyard and the brooding presence of Roussel, a former employee of his uncle. When Max suggests getting in an expert to look at the vineyards, Roussel, for reasons that slowly unravel5, is resistant6. And then there's the arrival of a mysterious stranger from California.
Peter Mayle spent fifteen years in the advertising7 business, first as a copywriter and then as a reluctant executive, before escaping Madison Avenue in 1975 to write educational books for children. In 1990, Mr. Mayle published A Year in Provence, which became an international bestseller. He is also the author of Toujours Provence, Hotel Pastis, A Dog's Life, Anything Considered and Chasing Cezanne.