A sous chef and a private investigator find themselves irrevocably brought together by the murder of a TV host and a model’s sudden disappearance. A police investigation only turns up more questions, but one thing is certain: everything has to do with a simple Chinese dish called “Ants Climb a Tree”.
Chueh I-tao is more than he lets himself appear to be. Though a master of culinary art with a keen sense of taste, he carries a secret that keeps him hiding in subordinate positions – until one day when he’s forced to oversee the kitchen, and a celebrity television host orders something not on the menu: a simple stir-fry dish called “Ants Climb a Tree”.
The host is eating lunch with a beautiful but quite unknown young model. Yet she is not alone: private eye and ex-police student Ting Hsiao-hsia is tailing her on behalf of her jealous boyfriend. When the host orders a dish not on the menu, Ting suspects something’s not right. But when the host turns up dead that evening and the model goes missing, that suspicion is confirmed.
The narrative shifts from Chueh I-tao to Ting Hsiao-hsia’s perspective as the case brings the two together, and the careful reader will discover how seemingly meaningless details from their unjoined narratives can crystallize into threads of evidence. Everything comes down to one unremarkable dish that somehow ties memories and secrets together like pork and scallions in glass noodles.