Friday, August 31, 2007

"The Recipe" by Carolina Garcia-Aguilera

From: Miami Noir ed. Les Standiford

This story by real-life P.I. Garcia-Aguilera opens with an out-of-work, fitness-obsessed husband threatening to kill his wife's aging dog. The wife, an investigator for a law firm, is forced to put off the argument to interview a client at the Dade County Jail.

According to the arrest report, the client, a Mr. Campos, killed his neighbor. Campos says he actually intended to kill his neighbor's loud-barking, free-pooping dog by means of a poisoned barbecued steak. After preparing the steak, Campos left it unattended for thirty minutes and returned to discover his neighbor sprawled by the barbecue.

Sickened at first, Campos became angry when he spotted steak juice around his neighbor's mouth. With his wife away on a trip, Campos decided to chop up the body and bury it as he would have the dog. The neighbor's gym-toned body proved tough to cut, however, so Campos decided to marinate it before finishing the job.

Repulsed as she is by Campos's graphic account, the P.I. comes away with a plan to resolve her situation at home.

This story seems long on exposition at times, but a final noir twist ties things together nicely.

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