Bury Me Deep is loosely inspired by a famous crime that scandalized the country. In October 1931, a railroad employee at the Southern Pacific Train Station in downtown Los Angeles noticed something leaking from a passenger trunk. Inside, he found the bodies of two young women. The trunk's owner was a young doctor's wife, Winnie Ruth Judd, en route from Phoenix. The two women were her best friends.
A media sensation, the case captivated the country, with tabloids dubbing Mrs. Judd the "Velvet Tigress," the "Blonde Butcher" and, most famously, "The Trunk Murderess." To many, the case appeared open and shut. But the truth, as always, is far more complicated.
Nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Hammett Prize, the Anthony, Macavity and Barry Awards and the Edgar Award by Mystery Writers of America
Chosen as one of 2009's Top Crime Novels by the Los Angeles Times, Detroit Free Press, the Victoria Advocate/Washington Olympian, Barnes and Noble Review, Book Reporter, and the Detroit News
"An exquisite book, told in delicate, shimmering prose that heightens the nightmarish quality of the story. Megan Abbott is often compared with James Ellroy, whom she admires greatly, but her writing is far more economical and focused, and her sensibilities are feminine to the core. This is noir mystery writing at its very best."
"Nobody combines historical fact with bravura fiction the way Megan Abbott does. . . . she won an Edgar Award for the much-praised Queenpin. She deserves another for Bury Me Deep. And it's definitely a must-read for anyone who wants to see one of the best crime writers around perform her magic."
"Abbott's giddy prose and dialogue zigzag from flowery to slangy, but she's always in control. While there's no real comparison to Fitzgerald, Bury Me Deep is reminiscent of The Great Gatsby in its uncanny scenes of drink and drugs. They were so powerful that I had the impression I was myself intoxicated."
"In this novel based on the true-life case of the 'Trunk Murderess,' Abbott turns the stuff of sensational confession magazines into a rich meditation on the unclouded depths of the soul."
"Working once more (as in The Song is You, 2007) from a true crime, the infamous Brighton Trunk Murders of 1934, Edgar-winner Abbott brings the era to life, inhabiting the 'bright-eyed and twitchy-tailed' party girls in all their enthusiasm and desperation. Her nearly stream-of-consciousness narration is direct and powerful, straight from Marion’s addled and passionate brain. As such, it is full of repeated phrases: 'It was like a saber lain before. It was a saber, a gauntlet, somehow.' But for all the classic-noir simplicity, such as the use of repetition rather than elaboration for emphasis, her prose carries an urgency that brings hard-boiled crime fiction kicking and screaming into the modern age. Abbott takes readers on a wild thrill ride with an utterly believable and strangely sympathetic heroine."
Simon & Schuster
Publication: July 2009
Trade Paperback, eBook
Listen to Megan discuss the novel on Book Talk
Megan Abbott talks about Bury Me Deep and the real-life case behind at Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, with author Theresa Schwegel. Watch here.