Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Murder for Sale, by Hunter Liguore

 "Murder for Sale," by Hunter Liguore, in
Mystery Magazine, July 2022.

This is a one-joke story in terrible taste.  I liked it a lot.

I'm not being quite fair.  There is a second joke, at the end.  But the story runs along on its one gag most of the way, getting more and more outrageous as it goes along.

This, of course, puts the reviewer in an awkward spot.  Do I reveal the gag or leave it to the reader?  I will err on the side of caution, which doesn't leave me a lot to say.

Here's what I can tell you about the plot: Obert and Alandra have been hunting for their dream home for two years.  Now they have a new real estate agent and she urges them to hustle over because the perfect place has just come on the market.

You may already suspect what happens next.  You may be right.

But what gives this story its perverse charm is the matter-of-fact way all the characters react to the situation, as if it were the most normal thing in the world.  Is Liguore saying we are numb to certain trends in the world?  Have some situations become so desperate that we don't even recognize that the unusual has become usual?  

Or is it all just a laugh?  

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