A dog's murder leads detective Masuto to a most unusual poisoning case
In Beverly Hills, murder has suddenly gone out of style. For five weeks, the head of the city's tiny homicide squad, Zen detective Masao Masuto, has worked only robbery investigations. But after more than a month without a corpse, this dry spell is about to end.
The dead woman is Ana Fortez, a Chicana whose death was originally classified as terminal food poisoning brought on by a feast of botulism-infested clairs. But because botulism can only grow in an airtight space, the medical examiner warns Masuto that the fatal bacteria must have been purposefully injected into the pastry. When a wealthy housewife's dog drops dead after munching on premium chocolates, Masuto finds that her bonbons have been laced with the same toxin. He begins a search for a killer targeting the sweet tooth of Beverly Hills - proof that crime in Southern California never stays boring for long.