This one is a short story – a very short story of 62 pages – and the winner of the Edgar Award. It’s the classic ghost story set in modern times. A struggling young woman – who is unnamed in the story – tries to make it as she floats between prostitution and aura reading at Spiritual Palms. One day Susan Burke walks in and life changes. Immediately she is sized up as a beautiful and wealthy woman with little to do other than complain.
The “psychic” accompanies Susan to her eerie Victorian home to better understand what causes the woman’s terror and grief. And what she senses upon entering the home and meeting her 13-year old stepson quickly dispels her disbelief in ghosts. It’s delicious how the pieces all fall together.
The story is cleverly written and quite entertaining. The Grownup originally appeared as “What Do You Do?” in George R.R. Martin’s Rogues cross-genre anthology, featuring 21 original short stories from various authors. In the Cool Mona rating system, I give 3 margaritas to The Grownup.