Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Last Blue Glass, by B.K. Stevens

"The Last Blue Glass," by B.K. Stevens, in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, April 2016.

My fellow SleuthSayer B.K. Stevens has come up with a nice one.  I could say it is the life and death of a marriage as told through a set of blue glasses, and that's true, but I am afraid it makes it sound artsy and experimental. It isn't.

Cathy and Frank buy the set of six blue glasses as they are preparing for their first dinner party.  They are a bit fragile and expensive but Frank loves them and Cathy tends to go along with what he wants, which turns out to be part of the problem. 

The best part of this story is how the personalities of the characters are perfectly illustrated.  The salesmen talk like salesmen, the brother is clearly a petulant jerk, and so on.  Take this scene from that dinner party, when Cathy's mother-in-law has just knocked over the first blue glass, causing it to smash on the floor:

"I don't know why you bought such flimsy things," his mother said, not glancing down.  She salted her potatoes, her chicken, her broccoli, everything on her plate before tasting everything.

What a peach, huh? 

I did not guess where the ending was headed, but glancing back to the start I see it was nicely foreshadowed.  A very good story..

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