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InCryptid #0.11

Bury Me In Satin

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Things are starting to hit an easy sort of groove at the Healy house. Alice is growing up, a little spitfire of a girl who adores her father and idolizes her mother. Johnny and Fran have mostly put their ghosts behind them, and are focusing on the future, which has never seemed brighter, or more guaranteed.

Sadly, for some people, the future has already ended.

Mary Dunlavy has been Alice's babysitter almost since the girl was born. When her father stops showing up for work, it falls to Fran to go and see what's going on. What she finds changes everything.

There is no right and there is no wrong in some situations: there's only the way things should have been, and the way things are.

Not everyone gets out alive.

30 pages, ebook

First published August 5, 2014

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About the author

Seanan McGuire

469 books15.5k followers
Hi! I'm Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I'm also Mira Grant (www.miragrant.com), author of Feed and Deadline.

Born and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and share my house with two monsters in feline form, Lilly and Alice (Siamese and Maine Coon).

I do not check this inbox. Please don't send me messages through Goodreads; they won't be answered. I don't want to have to delete this account. :(

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5 stars
161 (28%)
4 stars
244 (42%)
3 stars
156 (27%)
2 stars
11 (1%)
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3 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 53 reviews
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,643 reviews1,512 followers
February 6, 2017
If you have ever wondered how the ghost Aunt Mary came to be a babysitter through the generations for the Healy's and Price's this is that story.

It was interesting to learn a little about crossroad ghosts but it was super short and I really wanted just a little more about Mary and how the whole ghost thing is supposed to work. Apparently there are rules for different kinds of ghosts and I am a girl who wants almost all the details.

Still Aunt Mary will haunt them through the generations.
Profile Image for ᴥ Irena ᴥ.
1,652 reviews216 followers
January 2, 2016
Alex asks Fran to visit Mary to check up on her and her father because some of the father's co-workers are worried about him. The man hasn't been seen recently.
Fran takes Alice with her and finds out why Mary's father didn't go to work. Also, she finds out Mary's secret. A sad story.
Profile Image for Sana Zameer.
874 reviews116 followers
March 7, 2020
"All she'd needed was someone to haunt, and she'd haunted him with the very best of
intentions, and with love."

A heart felt story of Mary Dunlavy. It's amazing how Seanan McGuire is able to insert so many feelings in a few pages.
Profile Image for Nichole.
836 reviews19 followers
January 17, 2018
Mary's dad hasn't went to work in a few days, and his coworkers are concerned. Alex asked Fran to go over to check on him. Mary has a lot to explain.
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,343 reviews1,015 followers
October 16, 2016
We saw hints in the last short story that all was not as it seemed with the Healy's regular babysitter Mary and Bury Me in Satin gives us a chance to find out what is wrong with her. When Alexander hears that Mary's father hasn't been to work in a week he asks Fran to go over to their house to check up on the family. What she finds shocks her to the core and makes her realise that she never really knew the girl who has been left in charge of her daughter on a regular basis for the last few years.

Mary's story is a sad one and I think it's a little strange that the Healys didn't pick up on her situation sooner but I guess it's the last thing you expect of the teenage neighbour. It was nice that Fran and Enid did so much to help Mary now but it would have been even nicer if they'd been able to help her much sooner, something that Fran seems to regret when she realises that they haven't been quite the good neighbours that she always thought they were.
Profile Image for Coyora Dokusho.
1,432 reviews142 followers
October 28, 2014
I want to know more about Mary! Now I gotta read everything all over again...
Profile Image for Sophie.
441 reviews161 followers
March 26, 2017
Mary's story. Poor Mary. She lives alone with her father, then she dies and becomes a ghost, but nobody knows that, so she goes on taking care of him... until he dies, and then she doesn't know what to do. Along come the Healys.

1. WTF is a deathwatch beetle and why is it mentioned on the first page of this story and then NEVER AGAIN.

2. I would REALLY like to know how Alexander Healy knows so much about ghosts, even down to identifying Mary's subtype. That's not information easily obtained from someone who hasn't actually spent time in the Twilight, and even those people are reluctant to share it. AND he is relieved to discover that the sun isn't down yet when he meets Ghost Mary--why?

3. I like that Enid Healy bakes protective runes into everything.

4. It's interesting that we never find out who was driving the car that killed Mary.

5. Important info: The cornfield where they found Mary's body is behind the old Parrish place (which will later become Thomas Price's house), and it's said to be haunted. The crossroads where Mary died is formed by Old Logger's Road and the driveway of the Parrish house. This house is important. We'll learn a tiny bit more about it in The Way Home and Swamp Bromeliad, but Seanan is, so far, keeping most of its secrets to herself.
Profile Image for Kathy Davie.
4,712 reviews708 followers
July 27, 2015
It's a free short story from Seanan McGuire, 0.11 in the InCryptid urban fantasy series, and revolving around a family of renegade "monster hunters" with compassion in their hearts.

If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the InCryptid books on my website of the live-and-let-live Healys who have seen the error of their ways when it comes to huntin' down monsters.

My Take
"All she'd needed was someone to haunt, and she'd haunted him with the very best of intentions, and with love."
This is so sad. Fortunately, it's only a few tears in this…whew…

The Story
It's a humbling moment when Fran realizes how hard Mary is struggling, and how little the Healys have done to help. It's that plate dropping through Mary's fingers that's the final tip-off.

The Characters
Mary Dunlavy has been a crossroads ghost for three years ever since she was hit by a car one night. She's managed to conceal it from everyone, including her father, Benjamin, and the Healys for whom she babysits. It's been five or six years since her mother, Caroline, died.

Fran Healy is the mother of Alice and the wife of Jonathan who is Enid and Alexander Healy's son. The family of five live together in a big old house on the fringe of Buckley Township.

Arturo is married and his wife is expecting.

The Cover and Title
The cover is creepy with the bony skull lying on the ground between two rows of corn. The author's name and the title are certainly fertile with the flourishing green of that fancy serif font.

The title is what Fran wishes Mary could have been honored with, respected by her father, mourned by her friends, and "Bury Me in Satin" properly in a churchyard.
Profile Image for Jenevieve.
937 reviews13 followers
April 8, 2015
Review first published on My Blog. Check out all my reviews there.

Things are settling down for Jonathan and Fran as they watch their little Alice growing up. One day Jonathan's father, Alexander, is asked to check in on Mary Dunlavy's father who hasn't been to work in a week. Since Mary babysits Alice for Fran and Jonathan, Alex asks Fran to go over there. She finds much more than she ever expected when the tray of cookies she hands to Mary slips through her ghostly hands and it's revealed that she has been dead for years. She became a ghost to care for her father but now he won't wake up and she is lost. Fran and Enid work together to bring peace for her and her father.

I was wondering when Mary's nature was going to be revealed to the Healy's and was surprised they hadn't picked up on it sooner. This story still doesn't really explain why they didn't but it was a nice resolution for Mary.
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,261 reviews8,752 followers
September 20, 2017
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

0.11 - Bury Me In Satin

4 stars

"Honestly, I'm still a little shocked that you weren't more upset," said Mary.
"Oh, I was. Still am, really," said Fran. "But Alice has always adored you, and she's a pretty good judge of character. It'd just upset her if I went and tried to lay you to rest, and you're a nice girl. A little deader than I might like, but that's not your fault."


Mary's story. Ish.

Jessica Signature
Profile Image for Erin (PT).
566 reviews93 followers
September 18, 2014
I honestly don't know what to make of this story. I was introduced to Mary Dunlavy in the previous short, O Pretty Bird, and in this one...her story isn't resolved, exactly, but it takes a big step that could mean the end of her story, which leaves me questioning what the point of her character is, since she doesn't seem to have (so far, at least) served any real narrative purpose. And if she does serve a narrative purpose, then we haven't hit it yet, which makes for a less than fully satisfying story, despite my deep love for every Incryptid short that comes from Seanan's fingers. So it's good as something that deepens the textural reality of the Incryptid universe, but it's a vignette, not a great story.
Profile Image for L.
890 reviews31 followers
July 6, 2021
Jonathan and Fran Healy

To begin, let me lay out what I will be reviewing here. Seanan McGuire's website has a page entitled Incryptid Short Stories. About two dozen stories are listed here. These stories are also listed as books in the Goodreads Incryptid Series page. Neither of these lists is complete: McGuire has also published many stories on her Patreon site. They can be found in the Bibliography page on her site. I don't know if the Bibliography is complete with respect to Patreon stories.

Most of the stories on the Short Stories page are available for free download there. Some of them, however, were published in anthologies, and to get these you need to buy or borrow the book. For access to the Patreon stories you need to sign up as a supporter at Patreon. The minimum charge is $1.50. That's a recurring charge, but you only need to sign up once for access to all currently available stories. The Short Stories page is organized by the primary characters and time period. Here I will be reviewing the stories listed under the heading Jonathan Healy and Frances Brown (1928-1945). These are:

The Flower of Arizona (published in Westward Weird)
One Hell of a Ride (free download)
No Place Like Home (free download)
Stingers and Strangers (published in Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West)
Married in Green (free download)
Sweet Poison Wine (free download)
The First Fall (free download)
Loch and Key (free download)
We Both Go Down Together (free download)
Oh Pretty Bird (free download)
Bury Me In Satin (free download)
Broken Paper Hearts (free download)
The Star of New Mexico (free download)

As you can see, there's a lot of material here. Even though it is formatted as stories, the stories in totality (in the order listed) are pretty much a novel about Jonathan and Fran. Of the two anthologized stories, which you would have to buy or borrow, the first, The Flower of Arizona, is entirely dispensible. You will read most of it in the other stories. Stingers and Strangers, in contrast, is a substantial story and important both to the continuity of the Jonathan and Fran stories and to the Incryptid series as a whole. What's more, the anthology Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West is pretty good, with a star-studded list of science fiction authors. So, if you're going to buy or borrow something, I would recommend it.

Well, how are the stories? They're excellent, of course. If you really want the backstory on the Healy/Price family, this is the place to look. Although the stories focus on Jonathan and Fran (more Fran than Jonathan), Jonathan's parents Alexander and Enid Healy are important characters as well, and you will pick up several hints about their backstories. Fran doesn't have a regular family, but the members of the circus/carnival where she performed before Jonathan swept her away are also important characters.

Of the main Incryptid novels, I have only read Discount Armageddon, and I was a bit surprised by the Jonathan and Fran stories. They are not as light-hearted as Discount Armageddon. Although McGuire's trademark humor and irreverence permeate the stories, they are more somber than I expected. In fact, there is tragedy, especially in the so-short-it-is-barely-there Broken Paper Hearts. I was also surprised at how important the Aeslin Mice were. In Discount Armageddon they are mostly just comic relief -- delightful, but not terribly necessary to the plot. In the Jonathan and Fran stories I can think of at least three occasions where they play crucial roles in the plot. The most important occurs when Alice, The Exceptionally Noisy Priestess, is born.

So, yeah, if you're into the Incryptid books, you should definitely read these stories.
Profile Image for Gerd.
511 reviews38 followers
December 4, 2014
A marvelous ghost story, funny, sad, touching and nostalgic.
It reads easier if you are familiar with the Fran & Jonathan storyline of the InCryptid series - but can be read as stand alone as well.

For me it stands as a highlight among a row of already exceptional short stories.
Profile Image for Darcy.
12.7k reviews447 followers
March 21, 2016
This one was a bit sad. I liked how Fran was respectful to Mary and didn't make her feel like something was wrong.
Profile Image for Liz (Quirky Cat).
4,331 reviews66 followers
August 9, 2021
Bury Me In Satin is the next short story in my Seanan McGuire binge. Once again, we're delving back into the world of InCryptid. However, this time around, we're focused on a very different character. Yes, Fran and the rest are still there...but Mary's story is finally coming to light.

Oh my goodness. This story is everything I had been hoping for and more. Yes, it's heartbreaking. It was always going to be heartbreaking – all ghost stories are, in their own way. Yet this short answers so many questions. However, I'll admit that the somber tones were a nice touch. It fit in with the larger ghost world that McGuire has developed over the years.

I wonder if we'll get more Mary-specific stories? Personally, I would absolutely love that. The ghosts (Mary and Rose) are some of my favorite characters, and I would love nothing more than to see a whole lot more of both of them (and yes, I know all about Rose's series – that's how I got into this one).

Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks
Profile Image for Nerdy Werewolf.
616 reviews33 followers
May 18, 2018
"There was something wrong with Mary's eyes."

This was both not surprising at all and completely unexpected. On one hand, we knew that Fran's daughter, Alice Healy, had a babysitter that was also ghost for a while now. This is the story where both Mary (said ghost) and Fran figure that little truth out. The best part is that it's not Mary being a ghost that is the weird part-it's whether or not she can handle the Healy clan's acceptance.
Profile Image for Skye.
1,395 reviews2 followers
September 1, 2020
It was pretty obvious that this story was going to feature Mary a little more… after all, her unique condition is hinted at in Oh Pretty Bird. But I didn’t quite expect her condition to be what it was. It was great. And I’m hoping that we get more of her as the story unfolds.

I love how even though a few curveballs are thrown Fran’s way, she just continues to take it all in stride. There is something seriously loveable and adorable about how she just goes yup… Mary’s not quite human. Cool. We’ll help her. She can continue taking care of my infant. I want ot be this unflappable in my life…

Alice is just steadily getting so, so, much bigger throughout this whole series. I can’t wait to start reading stories in which she’s an adult (or a teenager) and beginning to take the world by storm. Plus, the Healy household is just plain nuts. So I love how they can’t even find a “normal” babysitter.
Profile Image for Fiona.
1,269 reviews232 followers
November 20, 2017
"You're a nice girl. A little deader than I might like, but that's not your fault."

Another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is the modern-day Price family filled in, in this short story that tackles the origins of Mary. We're also given another link to the world of the road ghosts, which I hadn't realised were connected to this series before Magic for Nothing.
Profile Image for Angela.
3,199 reviews371 followers
December 30, 2016
This was a quick little story that introduces us more fully to "Aunt" Mary and her hsitory.

This was a bit melancholy, as you would expect, but Fran and a Alice managed to inject the perfect amount of humor and love into the story.
Profile Image for Ronnie.
428 reviews4 followers
May 6, 2020
Oh that was sad. :( Poor Mary. Having never read McGuire's Ghost Roads series, this is really my first encounter with her ghosts, and I'll be interested to see what happens with Mary after this. But man, was it sad.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Louisa.
7,174 reviews43 followers
June 24, 2017
Great short story, and tied into a detail mentioned in Oh Pretty Bird! Loved it, and I can't wait to read more!
Profile Image for Stephen Topp.
361 reviews6 followers
April 28, 2019
More InCryptid shorts - Mary's ghost story.

Continuing to enjoy these, even if they're definitely weaker than the novels.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 53 reviews

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