Berkeley, California, has long been known for its radical politics, its sixties’ hold-overs and Bay Area tranquility. Lately it’s become more famous for its ‘gourmet ghetto’ – a string of world-renowned restaurants headed by the famous Chez Panisse – which is turning the flavour of the town from hippie to yuppie. Jill Smith, a Berkeley detective whose tastes run more to American cheese on her burgers than goat’s cheese on her arugula, is drawn to the chic new restaurant, Paradise, for more than the haute cuisine. Mitch Biekma, the hottest, trendiest restaurateur in town is found dead – poisoned by his own carrot soup. As she investigates, Jill finds many people who wanted Biekma dead – from the wealthy patrons of society luncheons to the homeless hobos who scour Paradise‘s garbage cans. One thing is certain – this case is leaving a nasty taste in her mouth.