A base of blackmail, generous measures of interior decoration, a sprinkling of cocaine, and the tiniest dash of incest get dished up in Lucas' first novel--a luxo-look at the dining habits of New York's naughty, superrich nibblers. Rudi's--the restaurant of the moment for the movers and shakers, top socialites, and artistic cream of the city that never sleeps because it's too busy eating--is going to the dogs, and handsome, ultra-cool manager Mario Fermi knows why: the Rudi of Rudi's is too absorbed in his affair with Mario's art-dealer girlfriend's tennis-pro brother to give the restaurant the attention it needs to stay on top of the heap. Worse yet, Rudi's too cheap to put out for the touches that keep the rich, beautiful, and artistic patrons happy. When Rudi snatches one of Mario's waiters to help out at a gathering of his hungry gay friends, it's the last straw for Mario. He quits. Within days, Mario agrees to open the restaurant of his dreams on the top floor of a building owned by a Trump type--and then hires beautiful-but-older socialite decorator Frances McKinnon to fulfill his vision of a paradise for beautiful-but-older people. Complications in the gustatory paradise are Mario's passion for the married Frances, the blackmail letters going out to seven of the swells, and the possibility that the baby Frances gave away when she was 17 may have reentered her life in a most shocking way. Slim serving of lite content in fashionable surroundings Ã la nouvelle cuisine. Art imitates food.