Happy Reading

Have you ever read the perfect story at the perfect time? One that had double impact because it echoed something going on in your “real life?” I just have, and it was a wonderful experience.

First, some backstory: (Yeah, I know, not too much backstory — hook the reader first. Are you hooked already? Good, then let’s continue.) I’m selling my house and moving. Or rather, my husband and I are trying to sell our house and move. If you’ve alive and aware in the US right now, you know that the housing market, generously speaking, stinks. Not much to smile about. There’s very little levity in real estate right now.

So I was amazed to find a real estate story that not only put a smile on my face, it made me laugh and consider just how fortunate my realtor and I really are. (And I gotta say, I never expected to like a ‘real estate’ story, ever!)

The book is Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy, edited by the inimitable Ellen Datlow (and yes, I dream of being published in a Datlow anthology someday). Datlow’s requirement is that a city, real or imagined, is central to the story. They all are good tales, unique and wonderful explorations of each author’s take on “urban.” But Patricia Briggs’s story is my personal favorite.

From the title, “Priced to Sell,” and the city theme, I’d assumed it’d be about a prostitute. Boy was that wrong! It’s all about realtors and moving real estate in a New York City populated with every and any paranormal creature. Vampires in your co-op, trolls in your basement apartments, and anti-discriminatory laws apply to them all. It was a jolly romp through the realty office’s portfolio, an insider’s look at high-end real estate with the appealing twist of inventive pairings of buyer and property. A real hoot that had me wondering just who would ever buy that!

Well, my house is still for sale, and the housing market is still in the toilet. Thanks to Patricia Briggs’s story, though, I’m smiling again. And I can’t think of a better recommendation than that!