in Crime Plus Music, edited by Jim Fusilli, Three Rooms Press, 2016.
Decades ago I was privileged to hear a panel featuring Stanley Ellin, one of the great authors of mystery short stories. He declared that stories about murder should not be funny.
During the Q&A I reminded him of his story "The Day the Thaw Came to 127," in which (spoiler alert) the frustrated tenants of a New York apartment building burn their landlord for fuel.
"Well," he replied, "That was wish-fulfillment."
I bring that up because today's story falls into the same category, I think. Bill Fitzhugh worked in radio before turning to comic crime novels.
Grady, the main character of this story, is one of those guys who tells DJs what they are allowed to play. Specifically the fewest number of songs they can play over and over and over. He confronts somebody who is not fond of that format, but does speak Grady's language.
"You know how it works," the man said. "We had a good sample of the demographic we're trying to appeal to and we asked what they wanted, and this is what they said. We're just giving them what they asked for."
"Which is what?"
"Bad news for you, I'm afraid."
Did I mention the somebody has a gun?
I won't reveal what else happens. Tune back in after the news and sports.