Elements of the uncanny abound in Jack Bates’ The Bending of Glass: A middle-aged photographer who moves back in with her schizophrenic mother, a famous artist whose paintings usually revolve around a mysterious waifish girl, and an artist who works in beautiful flowing glass and has problems with an abusive boyfriend, all coalesce when a murder takes place involving a glass fragment. Laurel Merlington performs this first-person mystery with enthusiasm. She delights in voicing the mother’s various and colored personae. The mystery unfolds with artistry in the context of a quaint art show and becomes more enigmatic as the local police get involved and the plot takes unexpected turns.
Judith, nearly 40, finds herself divorced and living with her mother. She becomes attracted to a female glass artisan, one of her mother’s friends, that has a history of manipulating those who care about her. While exhibiting their works at an art show, Judith and her mother become entangled in a grisly murder.