Monday, March 14, 2022

Morbid Phenomena of the Most Varied Kind, by Mat Coward


"Morbid Phenomena of the Most Varied Kind," by Mat Coward, in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, March/April 2022.

This is the seventh appearance in this column by Mat Coward.  He writes extremely silly stories and he does it very well.  Consider this opening paragraph:

If you were thinking of assassinating a politician, my main advice would be don't bother -- they keep spares.  You could spend a whole week popping off the corrupt, the cruel, the ruthless, and the irritating, and they'd just keep replacing them faster than you could reload.

Josh has just fired three shots at a businessman-cum-politician.  He missed, but that was the idea.  He and his roommate are totally against violence.  They simply want to make the big man look imperiled because they want to make money by selling his stock short. 

Amazingly enough, the plan works.  Now all they need to do is keep from getting caught.  The potentially fatal piece of evidence is the rifle Josh fired at the bigwig.  See, it could be traced to Oscar.  They found a clever way to dispose of it but because of crooked businesses and surprisingly efficient government bureaucrats - you can't trust anyone these days -  the rifle has disappeared into a landfill.  Our heroes feel they need to rescue it before a bad guy - or worse, an investigating lawman - finds it.

Then we could take it back home and think of another way of getting rid of it.  Being back at square one with no idea what to do next would be  a huge relief.


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