After the dishy Kitchen Confidential and his Cook's Tour of extreme eats, chef/author Bourdain carves up some mystery meat. In a novel owing more to The Sopranos than the Food Network, Bourdain gives us Bobby Gold, a Mob thug with heart -- he dispenses Demerol to his victims -- and an unexpectedly sophisticated palate. (Preferred late-night nosh: bone marrow on toast.) Not surprisingly, food is all around, from monkfish to ''white f -- -ing truffle'' risotto; one slimeball is aptly named Eddie Fish. But though a close encounter with a saucy female line cook adds spice, these Stories are more an appetizer than a full meal.