Does "Lamb to the Slaughter" fit in the crime fiction genre?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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"Lamb to the Slaughter" could fit into a number of genres. It fits the Mystery or Detective genre because the latter part of the story involves the (flawed) investigation of a crime. But it also certainly belongs to the Crime Fiction genre. Mary Maloney has committed what is often called the "perfect crime." She has committed a crime and covered it up in such a way that it is impossible for her to be caught. She erases any trace of evidence linking her to the crime. The topper is that she gets rid of the murder weapon in an almost comedic way: she feeds it to the detectives who are investigating the crime. Given the dark humor of this cover up, this story also fits the genre of Tragicomedy or dark comedy. But it most accurately fits Crime Fiction. While eating the murder weapon (lamb), one of the detectives notes that the bar used to kill Patrick must have been large, considering the damage it did. Another detective replies that, being so large, the weapon should be easy to find. Another reply is, "It's probably right under our noses." This last comment is literally correct. One might also consider this a story of the satirical genre, making fun of these unwitting detectives. 

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