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Bury Me Deep

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  1,295 Ratings  ·  178 Reviews
By the author of Dare Me and The End of Everything

In October 1931, a station agent found two large trunks abandoned in Los Angeles' Southern Pacific Station. What he found inside ignited one of the most scandalous tabloid sensations of the decade.

Inspired by this notorious true crime, Edgar-winning author Megan Abbott's novel Bury Me Deep is the story of Marion Seeley, a y
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Simon & Schuster (first published June 30th 2009)
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194th out of 539 books — 662 voters
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105th out of 172 books — 44 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dan Schwent
Marion Seeley is left in Phoenix by her doctor husband as he goes to Mexico to kick his smack habit. Marion gets a job at a hospital and falls in with two other nurses, Ginny and Louise, and soon falls under the spell of a friend of theirs, Joe Lanigan. But Joe's intentions are anything but honorable.

First of all, I love Megan Abbott's writing. She's like James Ellroy only not so exhausting, and her noir books could easily be made into 1930's era films. However...

... I've read three of her books
Mar 19, 2015 F.R. rated it really liked it
It’s a real pity that Megan Abbott wasn’t pitching stories on the Warner Brothers lot in the Thirties or Forties, as she could have created numerous great vehicles for a Bette Davis or a Joan Crawford. With her there we could easily have had a dozen Mildred Pierces.

Tough, edgy, but with enough melodrama to supply material for a woman’s picture, ‘Bury Me Deep’ is an excellent crime throwback to the depression. It’s Arizona 1931 and a receptionist, whose husband has left temporarily on a foreign t
Jan 02, 2013 Tfitoby rated it liked it
Shelves: black-as-night
I think my feelings towards the work of Megan Abbott have been made pretty clear in the past, but in filling this gap in my reading I feel exhausted and disappointed. Generally I can't praise her or her noir writing skills enough but today I don't have a huge amount of pleasant things on my mind.

This is the reimagining of a true story, 1931's Trunk Murderess case, it seems perfect for an Abbott noir and she does so much right with it. The tale of Mrs Seeley, abandoned by her drug-addicted doctor
Lee Thompson
Jan 04, 2015 Lee Thompson rated it really liked it
I'm in love with Megan Abbott's writing.
Jul 12, 2010 Ed rated it it was amazing
Choice noir from one of my favorite authors in the genre but is much more in a literary vein. Bleak but then 1931 was a bleak time. The prose is powerful and to my tastes.
Laurie Notaro
Sep 06, 2016 Laurie Notaro rated it really liked it
Salacious. Dirty. Hardboiled. Sauciest book I've ever read, but it was fun. I blushed and had to put the book down several times.
James Thane
Aug 12, 2010 James Thane rated it liked it
Megan Abbott reimagines the true story of Winnie Judd, the infamous 1931 "Trunk Murderess" of Phoenix, Arizona. In Abbott's fictional account, an attractive young woman named Marion Seeley, is left alone by her husband, a doctor, who is going to Latin America temporarily.

Marion gets a job at a medical clinic and is befriended by two party girls, one of whom is a nurse at the clinic where Marion works. Marion soon falls under the influence of the women who supplement their income by entertaining
Trixie Fontaine
After reading Queenpin and this one, I'm a lovestruck fan of Megan Abbott. Super entertaining, provocative, dark, sweet . . . massively sexy about stuff that if she spelled it out in detail, I'd just be like BARFORAMA! but instead she just makes you feel the all-consuming bigness of wanting someone or something to just obliterate everything else so you'd do absolutely anything for them or it. Abbott knows how to mention the unmentionable as just . . . unmentionable so you get the feeling of out- ...more
Oh Wikipedia you are a gift to the world, without you I never would have learned of Winnie Ruth Judd and the notorious trunk murders. How I stared at that dismembered leg in horror. Thank you Megan Abbott for going in your way back machine and bringing the world this clusterfuck of intrigue, murder, illicit sex, lesbianism and dope addiction.

Marion Seeley has been burdened with a husband who can’t keep a job due to his morphine addiction. His latest attempt at a livelihood and sobriety is takin
Oct 21, 2012 Abbey rated it really liked it
BURY ME DEEP, Megan Abbott
2009, noir, historical, based on true crime. Nice young woman in 1931 Phoenix abbandoned by her husband, falls in with a wild crowd' once awakened to the good times possible she enjoys herself rather a lot, but eventually must pay for it - and she's not the only one.

Minister's daughter, young and innocent Marion Seeley has gone and married herself a rotter, a drug addict who drags her down with him as he slowly loses control over his desires. Attempting one last chance
Sigrid Ellis
Jul 11, 2011 Sigrid Ellis rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
Abbott's prose is well worth your time. It most reminded me of Shirley Jackson's _The Haunting of Hill House_, honestly. When I mentioned this on Twitter, Abbott replied that she LOVES Jackson's work, and it was a big influence on her. I don't mind when people's influences show, not when they are lovingly borrowing with the skill Abbott displays here.

The story is a typical noir-crime, with drugs and affairs and lesbians and corrupt officials. Yet it's *how* the story is told that is compelling.
Ever since I read Dare Me last year I have been eagerly working my way through Megan Abbott's backlist. This time it was Bury Me Deep. Inspired by a true crime involving a grisly discovery inside a steamer trunk, Bury Me Deep tells the story of a young woman abandoned by her husband in Phoenix. The woman is Marion Seeley and her doctor husband has gone to Mexico to kick his drug habit. He promises to come back some day. In the meantime Marion finds a job at a medical clinic and makes friends ...more
Nov 12, 2009 MikeS rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mimetic-fiction
Bury Me Deep is a hard-hitting femme noir about Marion Seeley, a young nurse whose husband, Dr. Seeley, is away on business. In his absence, Marion is befriended by two swinging and raucous dames, Ginny and Louise, who draw Marion into their lifestyle of all night parties, booze, drugs, and the prominent and irresistible, “Gentleman” Joe Lanigan. What follows is Abbott’s version of the true crime case of Winnie Ruth Judd, the “Trunk Murderess” aka the “Blond Butcher” that, in 1931, left the ...more
Alan Chen
Sep 20, 2015 Alan Chen rated it really liked it
Marion Seely is innocent, young and beautiful. At 22, Shea's already been married to her doctor for four years. However, wedded life has not been charmed as she hopes. Turns out the dr has a nasty drug habit and has squandered all their money on getting his fix. Left with few choices he has gone to a position with a mining company in Mexico hoping to recoup their finances. Left alone, Marion falls in with her coworker Luisa who opens her eyes to a world of parties, booze and men. There, she ...more
No Name
The first half was a bit slow but once the murders took place it was a fast ride downhill. Reading the book blurb I knew that this was based on a true crime story of "The Trunk Murderess" - the discovery of body pieces in two large trunks at a Los Angeles train station in 1931. Thus while reading the first half I was trying to figure out who would wind up in those trunks and how they would get there. This part was a tad disappointing as there were little surprises along the way.

While the actual
Jul 23, 2010 Steve rated it liked it
Fictionalized story based on Winnie Ruth Judd, who was convicted of murdering two women in 1931, and who was nearly hanged for it. Abbott reimagines the story, as if things turned out a bit differently.

In 1931, Marion Seeley is left in Phoenix while her heroin-addict doctor husband is working in Mexico. While working in a clinic, she falls under the influence of two co-workers who are little more than prostitutes who entertain some the town leaders. Seeley is very innocent, almost too innocent,
Sep 10, 2014 Jean rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
I think Megan Abbott is incredibly smart. I love how Bury Me Deep is deeply feminist, and yet also thoughtfully entrenched in the conventional morality of the early 20th century. I also thought the plot was very well-constructed -- you follow the heroine as she is compelled headlong toward her own destruction, and it's (of course) both horrible and delicious.

My main criticism is that the language was excessively flowery, and the dialogue was way too affected. I realize that's deliberate, but it
Oct 01, 2009 Gregory rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-crime
My first Megan Abbott novel and I was impressed. I could really appreciate the work she put in to create dialogue (with appropriate slang) from the novel's 1930's time period. The main characters were really well defined and I often felt frustrated by the decisions some of them made (particularly Marion Seely). But that frustration was obviously the writer's intent. I despised Joe Lanigan pretty early on as he was an obvious (to me) player. He got a bit less than he deserved in the end but some ...more
Oct 18, 2013 Donna rated it liked it
This one was a little difficult to get caught up in at first, possibly because the good-girl protagonist and real world inspiration made for a quiet start. Once I adjusted to the book's style, more a slow spiral of doom than an action-heavy thriller, I really enjoyed it.

Marion was a relatable, sympathetic woman drawn to a kind of life that she isn't supposed to want. She's soon surrounded by new friends, hard liquor, and wild parties, all funded by the most respectable men in town. But of course
Lukas (LukeLaneReads)
Jul 22, 2013 Lukas (LukeLaneReads) rated it did not like it
Shelves: shred-it-burn-it
DNF...This is advertised as a sort of crime noir novel, but I got half way through and no mystery had been introduced. Instead, I just got a lot of talk about how unhappy the MC is in her marriage. The writing style was also different to Abbotts 'Dare Me', and while I liked her style for that, I can't say the same for this one.
Charmaine Clancy
Nov 13, 2012 Charmaine Clancy rated it liked it
Megan Abbott has a lovely way with descriptions. Her language is lyrical. I appreciated the way she shows human weakness without judgment. I did find this story a little slow, but that is probably my own fault, I was expecting to read a mystery and this is a crime novel. You know who commits the crime, you're right there with them. I'll definitely try another of Megan Abbott's femme noir.
Apr 13, 2015 Mandy rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
This was only okay in the end.
At first I hated it. The writing style drove me mad. I kept thinking that I should just put it down. But the story began to intrigue me, and I got used to the writing.
The ending was a lot better than I expected too. So, in the end, a solid three star read.
Mar 01, 2016 David rated it it was amazing
What a ride. I never would have picked this out for myself in a million years (thank you!). It took a little while to get going but once it did it had me gripped. I definitely want to read more by this author.
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Another dark tale about a woman who invites abuse and darkness into her life. Evil men, immoral women, etc. She murders one of her true friends and her abusive lover murders the other. Dismal, hopeless.
Nov 20, 2014 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: ladies-writin
This is no Queenpin, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be. It was pretty hard to stomach Marion for the first 30-40 pages, but she grew on me.
Mar 17, 2010 Paul rated it it was amazing
Period noir based on a true story, with style to spare, and a powerful statement about gender iniquities one rarely finds in crime/noir fiction. Very well done.
Feb 26, 2016 r.b. rated it really liked it
This has a slow start and was well on its way to being my first 3-star Megan Abbott book. And then it happened and I couldn't put it down.
Alison Hardtmann
Nov 22, 2016 Alison Hardtmann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-book
In the early 1930s, Winnie Ruth Judd was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona, accused of murdering two women and then shipping their bodies to Los Angeles is leaky trunks.
Bury Me Deep is a reimagining of the Judd story, keeping only the barest facts, but inhabiting the Phoenix of the 1930s, when it was a haven for the tubercular and in the summer the women and children moved up to the mountains and the men remained behind to work and take summer girlfriends. Megan Abbott writes dark crime novels that r
Oct 23, 2016 Kat rated it really liked it
It's a 3.5 but I have such affection for Megan Abbott. This is the first noir novel I've ever read and I had a lot of fun with it! It's quite a quick read but I love women, especially dangerous women (and I'm a terrible lesbian for not being able to stop imagining Joe as Viggo Mortensen and like, dying)
Oct 19, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it
Rather unpleasant, but increasingly involving. With a nod (see that cover art!) to the Mickey Spillane school of potboiler crime novels, this is the story of a rather tawdry snarl of predatory men and willing women in 1930s Phoenix. This is based loosely on a real murder case. The book revolves around shifting psychological power struggles and revealed double dealings.
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Megan Abbott is the Edgar-winning author of the novels Queenpin, The Song Is You, Die a Little, Bury Me Deep, The End of Everything, Dare Me, The Fever and You Will Know Me.

Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Believer and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of
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