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Anything Considered: 08/06/07
Recently Ian and I were talking about capers we enjoyed. We were mostly talking about films: A Fish Called Wanda, The Trouble with Harry, North by Northwest, A Shot in the Dark, The Thomas Crowne Affair (the remake more so than the original), Condorman and so forth. A good caper has lots of running around (though not necessary a la Keystone Cops), a bit of mystery or a theft, some romance and some humor.
Anything Considered by Peter Mayle fits the bill of a caper perfectly and is the first book caper I've read in ages. I had wanted to read Mayle's novels after reading two of his memoirs of living in France. They gave a hint of the humor that was probably present in his novels and Anything Considered verified my suspicions.
Things start simply enough for Bennett. He's broke and looking for a way to fix that problem without slinking back to England for the job he left. He puts an ad in the paper saying he's up for "anything considered" except marriage. When the ad nets him a job pretending to be a wealthy tax dodger in Monaco, he thinks he's died and gone to heaven. Unfortunately things quickly go pear-shaped for Bennett.