"Steer Clear," by Mark Thielman, in Reckless in Texas: Metroplex Mysteries, Volume 2, edited by Barb Goffman, North Dallas Chapter of Sisters in Crime, 2023.
This is the tenth appearance in this space by my fellow SleuthSayer, Mark Thielman, which I believe makes him the current record-holder.
Any story that makes me laugh out loud several times has a good chance of making this list. And this story is even a locked room mystery.
Okay, a locked barn mystery.
Detective Alpert of the Fort Worth Police has been assigned to look into the disappearance of a steer. Yes, it's a famous piece fo beef, but does it really deserve the attention of a Major Case Division cop?
Maybe it wouldn't except that the night before Alpert left a party with the ex-wife of his boss. "[H]e should have ignored those whispers emerging from his glass of Jim Beam. Jim had made sure he had noticed Brittney's leather pants..."
Funny story with a satisfying solution.