Lay Death at Her Door

Lay Death at Her Door

3.9 13
by Elizabeth Buhmann
     
 

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Twenty years ago, Kate Cranbrook's eyewitness testimony sent the wrong man to prison for rape and murder. When new evidence exonerates him, Kate says that in the darkness and confusion, she must have mistaken her attacker's identity.

She is lying.

Kate would like nothing better than to turn her back on the past, but she is trapped in a stand-off with the real

Overview

Twenty years ago, Kate Cranbrook's eyewitness testimony sent the wrong man to prison for rape and murder. When new evidence exonerates him, Kate says that in the darkness and confusion, she must have mistaken her attacker's identity.

She is lying.

Kate would like nothing better than to turn her back on the past, but she is trapped in a stand-off with the real killer. When a body turns up on her doorstep, she resorts to desperate measures to free herself once and for all from a secret that is ruining her life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 08/10/2015
The bill for lies told decades earlier comes due for Kate Cranbrook, the complex narrator of Buhmann’s superior debut. In 1986, while Kate was a college student at Sweet Briar in western Virginia, she was raped and witnessed a murder. Kate’s eyewitness testimony convicts a man who’s released more than 20 years later based on DNA evidence. The development isn’t a complete surprise to Kate, who has lived with the knowledge that she perjured herself. Her life since the trial has been a disappointment, and her social life is limited by her possessive and creepy father, Pop, who keeps her on a tight leash. That constraint becomes even more difficult to bear when Kate, who works as a landscaper, falls for a gardener, Tony, and hopes she has found the love of her life. Things don’t go smoothly, and more blood is shed along the way to a jaw-dropping, but logical, climax that will make veteran mystery readers eager for more of Buhmann’s work. (BookLife)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781940215006
Publisher:
Red Adept Publishing
Publication date:
05/10/2013
Pages:
314
Sales rank:
764,420
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Buhmann is originally from Virginia, where her first novel is set, and like her main character, she lived several years abroad while growing up. She graduated magna cum laude from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. For twenty years, she worked for the Texas Attorney General as a researcher and writer on criminal justice and crime victim issues.

Elizabeth now lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, dog, and two chickens. She is an avid gardener, loves murder mysteries, and has a black sash in Tai Chi.

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Lay Death at Her Door 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Drags just slightly in the middle but overall a good story fairly well written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a unique mystery. Kate Cranbrook is not a likeable protagonist. She is self-centered and aloof. But the more I read the more I wanted to keep reading. Kate is a difficult person to understand or even feel empathy for but in the end somehow the author makes you feel just that. Life makes us do and say things that in a more sane moment we might not even contemplate. Read this book and prepare yourself for a wild ride. I will not reveal the ending. You will be blown away by the book and the denouement.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down! Our book club read it and it generated a robust discussion. The theorizing about Kate--not only how she pulled it off but why--was fascinating. We all loved the outrageous voice of the narrator--the off-hand way she delivered shocking twists and turns. if your group enjoys digging into the psychology of a very unusual main character, this book is perfect!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm on page 250 and nothing abslotely nothing is hapening. Hours of my life I cant get back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Completely captivating story! Every time I thought I had everything figured out I was wrong. The main character is the type of woman you'd want to tell your friends about in an OMG-you'll-never-believe-what-she-did kind of way. The ending was such a shocker I had to go back and flip through out the book to figure out how I missed the clues. I thought about this book for days after I finished. Satisfying read!
otterly More than 1 year ago
Kate Cranbrook is not a likable character. At first she seems okay--once a victim who has overcome great odds--moving to Virginia from Kenya with her father, becoming a professor and well known landscape designer--but she has certain characteristics--always doing things her own way--disregarding the feelings of others, and manipulating them. Surprisingly, I was able to guess the ending. A person who enjoys psychological thrillers would probably like this book. I doubt that I will seek out other titles by Elizabeth Buhmann, and I feel that this is too long for book groups to consider.
Sandyd111 More than 1 year ago
It took until the end to figure out the characters and how they played out in the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RhodesReview More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story. The character of Kate was not one you could like. She was a compulsive liar. She seemed to see beauty in someone until she didn’t get her way, then they became ugly and evil. She has a lot of underlying jealous feelings as well. While all that tends to make her a character the reader can’t like, she’s a well developed character, and the story itself is fascinating. As the story progresses, we see all the intricate spider web of lies that Kate has formed over the years start to fall apart. The more her lies and world crumbles, the more desperate she becomes to maintain control. This can often lead to tragic consequences. Reading through, one cannot determine when Kate is telling the truth and when she is lying. The unreliable narrator is used in novels such as Huck Finn and Moll Flanders, and, in this case Ms. Buhmann uses it to her advantage in telling this story. Right off the bat you know the narrator can’t be trusted, so anything she says after that is suspect. This helps to lend the air of mystery to the story. The supporting characters are well developed and their backgrounds play out through the narrative, particularly the Pops and Kate characters. There are twists and turns and surprises around ever corner, leading to a logical conclusion. I recommend this book for those who love mysteries or psychological dramas. Due to the content, I’d say it’s for older teens and adults. I received an electronic copy of this book for review purposes.
BigAl70 More than 1 year ago
"In 1986, a man was murdered. I was beaten and raped. The ensuing trial dominated local headlines until my eyewitness testimony sent a man named Jules Jefferson to prison for life. I lied." You what? Oh, my. Common wisdom says an author should grab the reader from the first few words, which is correct (or at least a good idea if you don’t want to lose too many readers). But that same advice says the way you do that is with action or conflict of some kind. I’m not sure these first words fit any of the most touted techniques for grabbing a reader’s attention, but they sure did mine. From those first words we slowly learn what happens when Jefferson, convicted based on the narrator Kate’s testimony, is exonerated based on DNA evidence as she tells her side of the story. I’m hesitant to go into any kind of detail for fear of a spoiler other than to say that despite knowing from the outset that Kate knew she lied (and therefore must have some clue what the truth is) that each new revelation changed my perception of where the story was going, right up to the very end. A well written, unpredictable story. You’ll love it. **Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. ** 
AVoraciousReadr More than 1 year ago
Most excellent! Twenty years ago Kate Cranbrook’s eye witness testimony sent an innocent man to prison for the murder of her boyfriend and for her brutal rape and beating. However, DNA evidence kept all these years has been tested with the new modern and sophisticated equipment and Jules Jefferson is exonerated. The lie that Kate told is coming back with a vengeance to roost on her doorstep. It was dark, she had been attacked, she was traumatized…she told the story so many times over the years that she had started to believe it. But the truth was she lied about the man’s identity. Why? Who is she protecting? This mystery grabbed me from the two word second paragraph. ‘I lied.’ Kate lied about the identity of her attacker and Elliot’s murderer. She lied to the cops, to the jury, to everyone and Buhmann’s skillful writing pulled me along kicking and screaming for the entire book before giving me what I demanded, the reason behind the lie.  I have to tell you that Kate Cranbrook is a piece of work. And not a good one either. She is the most unlikeable protagonist that I’ve ever read and yet I couldn’t stop reading! Now, that’s an excellent writer for you, compelling you forward when you just want to stop and yell at the character, ‘Omg, you are the most selfish, self-centered snobbish beyotch to ever live. Why am I still here?’ Because Kate is complex and yet a train wreck, because the lie is the elephant in the room, because Pop (her dad) is one weird dude and most of all…because I want to know why she lied! Why, why, why?! The ending was the biggest mind f**k I never saw coming. Totally.Awesome!  *Book source ~ Many thanks to Red Adept Publishing for providing a review copy. Please see disclaimer page on my blog.
DesertJules More than 1 year ago
Kate Cranbrook was born, and ruined, in Kenya. When a coup threatened her safety with her father, she grabbed onto an inheritance in America and fled, at gunpoint. Or did she? You see, Kate lies. A lot. About everything. ~*~*~ This is a dark, and deeply disturbing story, with a 'heroine' who is extremely difficult to care about. There were points where I truly despised Kate. She does things that simply shocked me, to the core. And, always, there is - to her mind - a logical reason for her choices. As the novel progresses, one starts to disbelieve everything that Kate has said. Her relationship with her father is increasingly disturbing. And it simply becomes impossible to believe that all of the bits and pieces will ever make sense. In an effort to avoid spoilers, all I can say is: Yes, it all comes together. Shockingly. This is a dark, and deeply disturbing story. (It bears repeating.) As such, it takes some intestinal fortitude to get through to the end - I still feel as though I need a shower to wash Kate off. You'll not forget her, no matter how you try. And, perhaps, that is the best recommendation I can offer. ~*~*~ Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary electronic copy of this book from the publisher [...]. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.