If you’re looking for something that could be described as a “caper,” Death on the Riviera by John Bude is a book for you. It’s set just after World War II in southern France, and it features an English detective, Meredith, and his sergeant Freddy. The basis for an English detective turning up in France is a bit thin, but you’ll need to suspend disbelief to enjoy this book anyway.
Meredith has come to France in pursuit of a counterfeiter named Chalky. I couldn’t figure out why the French police couldn’t handle this, but apparently this book is part of a series featuring Meredith, so he had to be there. You’ve got an Englishwoman with a French villa, a bohemian artist-type sponging off of her, some dissolute rich young people, fast cars, impostors, and, of course, the beautiful setting of the Riviera. Is this well-plotted? Is it full of lifelike characters? NO. But it’s fun nonetheless.