Making Monte Carlo: A History of Speculation and Spectacle by Mark Braude.
A rollicking narrative history of Monte Carlo, capturing its nineteenth-century rise as the world’s first modern casino-resort and its Jazz Age heyday as infamous playground of the rich. [GoodReads]
The Other Side of Silence by Philip Kerr.
The war is over. Bernie Gunther, our sardonic former Berlin homicide detective and unwilling SS officer, is now living on the French Riviera. It is 1956 and Bernie is the go-to guy at the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, the man you turn to for touring tips or if you need a fourth for bridge. As it happens, a local writer needs just that, someone to fill the fourth seat in a regular game that is the usual evening diversion at the Villa Mauresque. Not just any writer. Perhaps the richest and most famous living writer in the world: W. Somerset Maugham. [GoodReads]
Villa America: A Novel by Liza Klaussmann
Villa America was in fact a real house on the French Riviera that Sara and Gerald Murphy built to escape to in the 1920’s. Members of a group of expat Americans, they were known for their fabulous parties and for making the Riviera into the glamorous place it is today. Their freewheeling days were filled with champagne and caviar, but these were people who kept secrets and who were, of course, heart breakingly human. This is a stunning story about the Lost Generation, about a marriage, about a golden age which could not last.
The Diamond Caper by Peter Mayle.
When a Riviera socialite’s diamonds are stolen–the latest in a string of seemingly unconnected, but ever more audacious, jewelry heists across France–Elena flies in to investigate the insurance claim. It’s a trip she’s more than happy to make, as it gives her a chance to meet up with old friends in Marseilles. [GoodReads]
The Full Catastrophe: Travels Among the New Greek Ruins by James Angelos.
In The Full Catastrophe, James Angelos makes sense of contrasting images of Greece, a nation both romanticized for its classical past and castigated for its dysfunctional present. With vivid character-driven narratives and engaging reporting that offers an immersive sense of place, he brings to life some of the causes of the country’s financial collapse, and examines the changes, some hopeful and others deeply worrisome, emerging in its aftermath. [GoodReads]
The Adventuress: A Lady Emily Mystery by Tasha Alexander.
Emily and husband Colin have come to the French Riviera for what should be a joyous occasion – the engagement party of her lifelong friend Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge, and Amity Wells, an American heiress. But the merrymaking is cut short with the shocking death of one of the party in an apparent suicide. Not convinced by the coroner’s verdict, Emily must employ all of her investigative skills to discover the truth and avert another tragedy. [GoodReads]
The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn.
An Ancient Island Holds an Ancient Secret. Nick Hennessy, a young Texas journalist yearning for his big break, finds himself in Europe–his assignment, to investigate the alarming disappearance of invaluable Grecian antiquities. Nick has the credentials–and cover ID–to unearth the truth. And he knows just the researcher to help him. [GoodReads]
The Corsican Caper by Peter Mayle.
Billionaire Francis Reboul is taking in the view at his coastal estate, awaiting the arrival of vacationing friends Sam Levitt and Elena Morales, when he spies a massive yacht whose passengers seem a little too interested in his property. The yacht belongs to rapacious Russian tycoon Oleg Vronsky, who, for his own purposes, will stop at nothing to obtain Reboul’s villa. When Reboul refuses to sell, Vronsky’s methods quickly turn unsavory. Now it’s up to Sam—he’s saved Reboul’s neck before—to negotiate with an underworld of mercenaries and hit men, not to mention the Corsican mafia, to prevent his friend from becoming a victim of Vronsky’s “Russian diplomacy.” [GoodReads]
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Fowler.
When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, the “ungettable” Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn’t wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. Her father is deeply unimpressed. But after Scott sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, to Scribner’s, Zelda optimistically boards a train north, to marry him in the vestry of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and take the rest as it comes. [GoodReads]
White Truffles In Winter: A Novel by N. M. Kelby.
White Truffles in Winter imagines the world of the remarkable French chef Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), who changed how we eat through his legendary restaurants at the Savoy and the Ritz. A man of contradictions—kind yet imperious, food-obsessed yet rarely hungry—Escoffier was also torn between two women: the famous, beautiful, and reckless actress Sarah Bernhardt and his wife, the independent and sublime poet Delphine Daffis, who refused ever to leave Monte Carlo. In the last year of Escoffier’s life, in the middle of writing his memoirs, he has returned to Delphine, who requests a dish in her name as he has honored Bernhardt, Queen Victoria, and many others. How does one define the complexity of love on a single plate? N. M. Kelby brings us the sensuality of food and love amid a world on the verge of war in this work that shimmers with beauty and longing. [GoodReads]
It All Began in Monte Carlo by Elizabeth Adler.
Sunny’s relationship with Mac is in jeopardy and Monte Carlo beckons. Soon Sunny is pulled into a web of intrigue involving a series of robberies of high-end jewelry stores. Then there’s her wanna-be-new-friend, who turns out to be a sociopath, involved in the sale of sex and in blackmail. Plus there’s Sunny’s old friend, movie star Allie Ray, who owns a vineyard in France and who comes to help sort Sunny out, while at the same time sorting out the life and appearance of her old friend, Pru Holster, with a makeover that not only changes her dowdy overweight appearance, but changes Pru into an amateur detective. If Sunny doesn’t untangle this plot, she might end up an unwitting accomplice to theft, blackmail and even murder. When Mac shows up, he’s ready to do anything to get Sunny back, not the least of which is to solve the crimes and save her life. [GoodReads]
There’s Something About St. Tropez by Elizabeth Adler.
Five international vacationers, strangers to each other, misfits running from their daily lives, are brought together at the same small seaside Hotel of Dreams, by a rental scam, an international art heist, passion, murder and a haunting. It had seemed like the perfect getaway for Malibu’s famous TV private investigator, Mac Reilly and his girlfriend/partner, Sunny Alvarez, along with his three-legged, one-eyed rescue dog Pirate, and her snippy three-pound fiend on four paws, the chihuahua, Tesoro. But now they find themselves having to sort out the misfits’ lives, including two lonely children on the trail of the mystery, solve crime, and a murder, all against the sunny, glamorous backdrop of St. Tropez. [GoodReads]
The Hotel Riviera by Elizabeth Adler.
American Lola Laforet is swept away in a whirlwind wedding to a handsome Frenchman and finds herself the chef/owner of the Hotel Riviera, a gem like retreat snuggled up against the blue Mediterranean. In their first blissful year as newlyweds, her life seems to be a dream come true. But then charming Patrick Laforet disappears one day with nothing more than a wave goodbye [GoodReads]
Although Charlie and Lee are in Monaco for an art exhibit, they become caught up in a feud between rival financiers which involves the Chans in a web of blackmail and murder. [IMDB]
Recipes From Paradise: Life and Food on the Italian Riviera by Fred Plotkin.
This collection of recipes introduces the cuisine of Liguria. The nutritional balance of the diet includes an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and seafood, low fat cheeses, grains, nuts, olive oil, wine and fragrant herbs. [GoodReads]
Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick’s harrowing demise. A profound study of the romantic concept of character, Tender Is the Night is lyrical, expansive, and hauntingly evocative. [GoodReads]
Margret on the Riviera by Georges Simenon.
In his suit and bowler hat, Inspector Maigret feels out of place among the palm trees, bright colors, and half-clad, tanned vacationers on the Cote d’Azur, in this deft, psychologically fascinating story of men who kick over the traces-and men who don’t. Translated by Geoffrey Sainsbury. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book [GoodReads]
Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan.
Published when she was only nineteen, Françoise Sagan’s astonishing first novel Bonjour Tristesse became an instant bestseller. It tells the story of Cécile, who leads a carefree life with her widowed father and his young mistresses until, one hot summer on the Riviera, he decides to remarry – with devastating consequences. [GoodReads]
Set on the French Riviera in the summer of 1915, Jean Renoir — son of the Impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste — returns home to convalesce after being wounded in World War I. At his side is Andrée, a young woman who rejuvenates, enchants, and inspires both father and son. [IMDB]
Only in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia from My Italian Mother-in-Law by Katherine Wilson.
In the tradition of M. F. K. Fisher and Peter Mayle, this enchantingly warm and witty memoir follows American-born Katherine Wilson on her adventures abroad, where a three-month rite of passage in Naples turns into a permanent embrace of this boisterous city on the Mediterranean. It is all thanks to a surprising romance, a new passion for food, and a spirited woman who will become her mother-in-law—and teach her to laugh, to seize joy, and to love. [GoodReads]
A Christmas Escape: A Novel by Anne Perry.
For countless readers, Christmastime means a delicious new holiday mystery from “New York Times” bestselling author Anne Perry. “A Christmas Escape, ” her thirteenth noel to the season, transports us to the Mediterranean island of Stromboli for an unconventional Yuletide adventure and an unforgettable volcanic encounter. [GoodReads]
Guilty Wives by James Patterson.
Only minutes after Abbie Elliot and her three best friends step off of a private helicopter, they enter the most luxurious, sumptuous, sensually pampering hotel they have ever been to. Their lavish presidential suite overlooks Monte Carlo, and they surrender: to the sun and pool, to the sashimi and sake, to the Bruno Paillard champagne. For four days they’re free to live someone else’s life. As the weekend moves into pulsating discos, high-stakes casinos, and beyond, Abbie is transported to the greatest pleasure and release she has ever known. In the morning’s harsh light, Abbie awakens on a yacht, surrounded by police. Something awful has happenedsomething impossible, unthinkable. [GoodReads]
Three Ways to Capsize a Boat: An Optimist Afloat by Chris Stewart.
Chris Stewart lands his dream job as a skipper for the summer, sailing a Cornish crabber around the Greek islands. In this memoir we follow Chris on a series of adventures, from a shaky start in Littlehampton harbour to a journey of a lifetime on a trip across the North Atlantic. [GoodReads]
How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking by Michael Psilakis.
A rising star in the food world, Michael Psilakis is co-owner of a growing empire of modern Mediterranean restaurants, and one of the most exciting young chefs in America today. In How to Roast a Lamb, the self-taught chef offers recipes from his restaurants and his home in this, his much-anticipated first cookbook. Ten chapters provide colorful and heartfelt personal essays that lead into thematically related recipes. Gorgeous color photography accompanies many of the recipes throughout. Psilakis’s cooking utilizes the fresh, naturally healthful ingredients of the Mediterranean augmented by techniques that define New American cuisine. Home cooks who have gravitated toward Italian cookbooks for the simple, user-friendly dishes, satisfying flavors, and comfortable, family-oriented meals, will welcome Psilakis’s approach to Greek food, which is similarly healthful, affordable, and satisfying to share any night of the week. [GoodReads]
By the time she was a teenager, Sara Jenkins had lived all over the Mediterranean, from Italy and France to Spain, Lebanon, and Cyprus, in cosmopolitan cities and in rural hamlets. The family eventually put down roots in a ramshackle farmhouse in a small Tuscan village, where she learned how to make ragu and handmade pasta at the elbow of her Italian “grandmother” on the nearby farm. Meals came from the garden and the surrounding pastures, not the supermarket, and Jenkins grew up schooled in the tradition of cooking from what was on hand.
In Olives & Oranges, Jenkins shares the simple, striking dishes she learned at the source. [GoodReads]
Foods of Crete: Traditional Recipes from the Healthiest People in the World by Koula Barydakis.
In Mediterranean Winter, Kaplan, bestselling author of Balkan Ghosts, relives an austere journey he took as a youth thru the off-season Mediterranean. The awnings are rolled up. Other tourists are gone. Cold damp weather takes him back to the 1950s & earlier–a golden, intensely personal age of tourism. Decades ago, He voyaged from N. Africa to Italy, Yugoslavia & Greece, enjoying the radical freedom of youth, unaccountable to time because there was always time to make up for mistakes. He recalls the journey less to look inward into his own past than to look outward in order to dissect the process of learning thru travel, in which a succession of new landscapes can lead to books & artwork never before encountered. [GoodReads]
A young Greek woman falls in love with a non-Greek and struggles to get her family to accept him while she comes to terms with her heritage and cultural identity. [IMDB]
Going to be at the library? Check out our Wouldn’t You Rather Be On The Riviera Display in the New Book room.