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Tag: elizabeth buhmann

Lay Death at Her Door by Elizabeth Buhmann

I read an interview the other night, by the author, Elizabeth Buhmann, where she points out that there are many supposed criminals who are exonerated after spending years in jail, when brand new forensic evidence is discovered with modern technology. The obvious conclusion is that the eye-witnesses who put them behind bars must have been mistaken; the idea that they could have lied is pathetic and horrible and yet, it makes you curious. With that as the framework, the author has constructed a hell of a mystery.
Summary: 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.
My thoughts: This hugely unpredictable book left me at a loss for words. Picture me shaking my head in an unlikely combination of disgust and awe. The heroine, if you could even call her that, is a severely prejudiced compulsive liar with no redeeming qualities and an obvious inferiority complex: difficult to care for and excruciatingly true to life. 
The story took its own sweet time to kick off and during that time, I couldn’t relate to Kate, Pop, Tony or any of the other characters. It was only after almost half the book that I really started wondering about the truth, about what could really have happened, whether Kate knew the actual murderer, why she lied. When the last fifty pages were left, the mystery that was brewing slowly but steadily up to that point had begun bubbling with frenzy, quite ready to end in a fancy display of sparkly firecrackers: when I thought, the book was going to let me down. What could possibly go down in fifty pages that would make it all better!? The ending had to be a disappointment. BUT I was wrong. The climax was so… climactic. Deliciously surprisingly, wonderfully unceremonious and the ONLY reason I considered, if grudgingly, the possibility that I liked the book, after all. I loved how neatly the pieces of the puzzle fit together. 
I couldn’t stop thinking about the book, long after I was done reading; wondering about truth, innocence and mistakes, about how easy it is to be selfish, how no matter what people say, there is a big difference between good and bad, how you write your own destiny, about justice and the law and racism and for once, a female ‘antagonist’.
I don’t recall being in a loathe/love situation before. With Lay Death at Her Door, I’m going to go with LOVE! But it was a close call. While I admire how the author somehow managed to wholly engross me in the story of such a horrible person, I’m not sure if I can sit patiently through another such read. One thing, however, is for sure, like it or not, Lay Death at Her Door by Elizabeth Buhmann is a murder mystery like no other.

This counts as another R.I.P Challenge read.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the author.

Great Summer Reads from Around the World: Guest Post by author Elizabeth Buhmann

Right now, where I am, summer could just be a dream in all the rain. But I do like the recommendations made in this post and can certainly vouch for one. Check out these books and of course, watch out for my review of Lay Death at Her Door by Elizabeth Buhmann! 
Guest Post by Elizabeth Buhmann, Author of Lay
Death at Her Door
(Red Adept Publishing, May 2013)
Thank you, Priya, for having me as a guest on Tabula Rasa!
Since we’re heading into Dog Days, I’m thinking about great beach reads. I love
books set in other countries, especially in the summer, when I am either
traveling or wishing I could travel. I’m partial to mysteries (that’s what I
write), so four of the five books on my list are detective stories.
1. Blessed are the Dead by Malla Nunn is
set in South Africa in 1953, at the height of the Apartheid era. This is a
dark, gritty and well plotted murder mystery in a fascinating geographic,
social and political setting. It’s Malla Nunn’s third book in the Emmanuel
Cooper detective series. I loved all three, and I’m just waiting to pounce on
number four as soon as it comes out next year.
2. If you prefer light and delightful, the Saturday
Big Tent Wedding Party
is a wonderful read. It’s the twelfth book in the
No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith.
The books are set in Gabarone, Botswana, and the main character is the wise and
charming Precious Ramotswe. The BBC/HBO television series captures the books
perfectly, by the way.
3. I just recently discovered Tana French when an Amazon
reviewer compared her books to mine. In the Woods was great! Tana French
is Irish and her mysteries are set in Dublin. Having been to Dublin, I enjoyed
picturing the setting. The book is dark and psychologically brilliant.
4. I live in Texas, where August is a very hot month! So I
often like to read books about cold places. What could sound colder than
Iceland? I’ve enjoyed every one of Arnaldur Indridason’s Reykjavik detective
stories. Voices was the first one I read, and it’s as good a place as
any to start.
5. Last but not least, I’ll recommend a wonderful book that
is NOT a murder mystery. It’s by one of Priya’s favorite Indian authors.The book
is One
Amazing Thing
, by Chitra Divakaruni, and it is one amazing book. An
earthquake traps a group of people in the basement of an airport, and to while
away the hours waiting to be rescued, they tell stories from their lives. When
the first character began her story, I literally got a chill down my spine.
A bonus great beach read? Try my book! Lay Death at Her Door
(Red Adept Publishing, May 2013) is a stand-alone mystery/suspense novel about
an old murder that comes unsolved when the man who was convicted of it is
exonerated. The story is told from the point of view of the woman on whose
eyewitness testimony the prosecution was based. At the time, she was lying to
protect herself and knew who the real killer was. For twenty years, while an
innocent man sat in prison, she lived with the knowledge that she committed
perjury and was an accessory, however unwilling, to murder. When the book
opens, her life is about to come apart at the seams.
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.                                                      
Amazon; Goodreads; Website