Sunday, February 19, 2012

Wrecked, by Therese Greenwood

"Wrecked" by Therese Greenwood, in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, March/April 2012.
Some stories are about plot.  Some are about suspense, or language.  This one is all about character.

The narrator is Rosie, who runs a small-town auto wrecker.  She's interesting in her own way, with her fatalism about her business and her pride in her nephew the cop who was "the grade-two knock-knock joke champion of St. Paul's school."  And there is her mechanic Gary, who can't stop being snotty to that same cop, no matter how ill-advised his attitude is, or how bad his jokes are.

But the star of the show is Floyd the Buddhist, a senior citizen Vietnam vet, who makes his living delivering Vietnamese food and constantly babbles karma-speak.   Why is he always scrounging used car parts?  "My vehicle strives for rebirth."

When a murdered man is found in the car crushing machinery Rosie will need help from all these characters to catch the bad guy.

Fun story.

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