Coffee, Shopping, Murder, Love

Coffee, Shopping, Murder, Love

by Carlos Allende
Coffee, Shopping, Murder, Love

Coffee, Shopping, Murder, Love

by Carlos Allende


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A campy dark comedy for the angry and the disenchanted.

Last November, I found a dead body inside the freezer that my roommate keeps inside the garage. My first thought was to call the police, but Jignesh hadn’t paid his share of the rent just yet. It wasn’t due until the thirtieth, and you know how difficult it is to find people who pay on time. Jignesh always does. Also, he had season tickets for the LA Opera, and well . . . Madame Butterfly. Tosca. The Flying Dutchman . . . at the Dorothy Chandler . . . you cannot say no to that, can you? Well, it’s been a few good months now—Madame Butterfly was just superb, thank you. However, last Friday, I found a second body inside that stupid freezer in the garage. This time I’m evicting Jignesh. My house isn’t a mortuary . . . alas, I need to come up with some money first. You’ll understand, therefore, that I desperately need to sell this novel. Just enough copies to help me survive until I find a job . . . what could I do that doesn’t demand too much effort? We have a real treasure here, anyhow. Some chapters are almost but not quite pornographic. You could safely lend this to nana afterward!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781636280356
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 06/21/2022
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Carlos Allende is a media psychology scholar and a writer of fiction. He has written two previous novels: Cuadrillas y Contradanzas, a historical melodrama set during the War of Reform in Mexico, and Love, or the Witches of Windward Circle, a horror farce set in Venice, California. Based on his research on narrative persuasion and audience engagement, he developed the course The Psychology of Compelling Storytelling, which he teaches in the Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension. He lives in Santa Monica with his husband.

Read an Excerpt

 It’s been two months since Jignesh moved in. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious about his reasons to buy the freezer, first, then keep it in my garage all this time and forbid me to ever set foot inside, but with him taking care of a few outstanding bills, sending Murat to repaint the kitchen, and, of course, paying his rent on time, I completely forgot about it.
     I mentioned it once to Lucille. She told me to be careful.
     “He could have a dead body inside,” I replied, then took a long sip of my pumpkin latte. “I don’t care.”
     I really didn’t.
     You see, there have been many men in my life. Tall. Short. Kind. And abusive. Mostly abusive, and let’s not forget about that miserable rat, the Belgian bastard, whose name I cannot pronounce without getting a bitter taste. Jignesh is the first one with money. I didn’t want to ruin it with stupid questions about a freezer.
     Was I curious? Of course I was, but so were Bluebeard’s wives, and I am no Jean Parker. Therefore, I decided not to give it another thought. Why, with Jignesh and I doing so well as a couple? We still have separate rooms. He said he didn’t want to rush things, and I respected his decision. Yet every once in a while, with him feeling lonely and me always horny, we’ve been sharing more than the couch for watching TV. But then I returned home this evening after having spent Thanksgiving at Lucille and Marco’s, carrying more turkey leftovers than I could fit inside the refrigerator.
     “I guess I will have to put the rest inside Jignesh’s freezer,” I sang to myself in my best interpretation of Marcia Cross from Desperate Housewives, then sashayed my way to the garage. I was in such an excellent mood. Lucille, Marco, and I had spent the whole afternoon listening to Wilson Phillips.
     Jignesh hadn’t returned from his parents’ yet. Therefore, I couldn’t ask for his permission to unlock the freezer. I didn’t need a key, anyhow, just a screwdriver to remove the latch. I felt so manly, setting up a ladder against the wall to reach the top shelf, taking down the toolbox, selecting the right screwdriver—did I need a Phillips head or a flat one? I had to go down and check twice. If my father could see me now, I remember I thought. “He’d be so proud,” I laughed. I bet I snorted too. I always snort when I laugh. “He would think I mended my ways and stopped using cosmetics.”
     I’m certainly glad my father wasn’t there to see me, though, because it wasn’t frozen Alaskan crab that I found inside that darn freezer.
     Well, I’ll be damned, I thought for a brief second. This isn’t Alaskan crab. This is a human body. Then I screamed louder than Nicole Kidman in . . . well, any of her movies!

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