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Lay Death at Her Door

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  462 ratings  ·  53 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published May 10th 2013 by Red Adept Publishing
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Elizabeth Buhmann Oh, sorry I didn't see this sooner! This year I released Blue Lake, a mystery about a woman who discovers that the death of her sister was once invest…moreOh, sorry I didn't see this sooner! This year I released Blue Lake, a mystery about a woman who discovers that the death of her sister was once investigated as a murder. Set in mid-century rural Virginia, the novel exposes a cascading tragedy that reaches back four decades.(less)

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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  462 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 of the book, 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
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For years, Kate Cranbrook has lived with the secret that she lied at her own trial. She sent the wrong man to prison for something he didn't do. Deep inside, she knew she should have told someone. She should have said a word, but at the time, such a thing wasn't possible for her to do.

When the would-be rapist is released from his incarceration, Kate soon realizes that the past has just come back to haunt her. She told a needed lie to save herself, sent the wrong man to do time for a crime he did
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)
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 star ...more
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 year ...more
Julie G
May 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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.

Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, read-2013
"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 t
Fran Macilvey
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lay Death At Her Door - by Elizabeth Buhmann

I’ve had my eye on this volume for some time. In fact, ever since it was a fledging project on a writers’ website. I didn’t want to read all of it then, but preferred to wait until it was published, as I was sure it would be, to read it properly.

How lovely to find a book which is well written, engaging from the outset and well finished. How relaxing and peaceful to read a text without stopping to wonder at typos, flubs and the like, as there were non
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Elizabeth Buhmann, the author of Lay Death At Her Door, writes at a leisurely pace that is both slow and boring — a terrible flaw in a story where the suspense could have written itself. By the end of her book it was obvious that suspense was only secondary to what the author wanted to accomplish, so it wound up as a psychological thriller without the thrills.

We learn at the outset that Kate, a sexually attractive, narcissistic college senior was raped, lied about the identity of her attacker, a
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it

After being raped and witnessing the murder of her lover Kate Cranbrook, a 20-year-old college girl, sent a man to prison. The wrong man. She lied during the trial because it was the most convenient way out. She had to protect her secrets even if it meant committing perjury. She had learned during a difficult childhood in Kenya that sometimes you have to be mendacious and ruthless in order to survive and achieve your goals. Then, deeply traumatized, she lived in seclusion with her fathe
Lynda Kelly
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would've quite easily made 5 stars were it not for some daft mistakes that I think were a bit sloppy. I greatly enjoyed the whole story. It was something quite different to your run-of-the-mill murder-mystery for sure and held my interest. I despised Kate pretty much the whole way through. She's a real piece of work !! I've never had time for liars and she told some astounding porkies at times. However, she had a LOT of secrets and intrigue throughout her life as well and just didn't always ...more
Kate Carnbook had her life before her until she saw a man murdered and was raped. Everything should have been cut and dry, after all they caught the guy, except Kate lied. Twenty years later Kate is a shadow of her former self, she has withdrawn and lives in seclusion with her father. When Kate is told the man who she accused of the crime is being released because of new evidence, her life is once more turned inside out.

This story retracts Kate's past and the reasons she did what she did. There
Adrienne LaCava
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like dark and compelling mysteries, don't miss this fine first novel. I'd put it on a par with Gillian Flynn's 'Gone Girl,' and call it a spellbinding psycho thriller. Written in first person, from the point of view of an unlikeable protagonist, it's unusual, and uncomfortable at times to be inside such a character's head. At age 20, before DNA studies were routine, Kate accused an innocent man of rape and murder and sent him to prison. Twenty years later the accused has found the Justice ...more
Swetha Chodavarpu
Fast paced and well written!

Elizabeth Buhmann portrayed the protagonist, Kate Cranbrook, brilliantly in "Lay Death At Her Door".
I started this book not know what to expect, and surprisingly I didn't want to stop reading once I began.

The pace is comfortable and the storyline keeps you at the edge of your seat. It is a tornado of events and emotions, with a magnificent finale that will satisfy any reader.

A must read for lovers of the genre!
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride. This book has got twists and turns galore.

I'm reminded of an earlier Gillian Flynn book-- Dark Places. The protagonist is massively unlikeable, which is unusual for a crime victim. This woman is a mess. Watching her unravel is like rubber-necking a car accident. It's horrifying, but you can't seem to look away.
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was exhausted by the time I finished this book. Lie after lie after lie...and the challenge was trying to follow it. There were slow periods in this book, but then it would pick up again. On the 1st page you find out that Kate had lied....and as a result, an innocent person was put in prison. This is a dark story. It is written in 1st person. I would read another book by this author.
Mary Rowe
Solid Writing But....

The author writes well. The story progresses and hangs together. Personally I did not care for the narrator.

This is an example of the sub-genre of literature dedicated to exposing and flaunting amoral protagonists with no compassion, ethics or empathy.

Not my cup of tea.
Lorraine Wilson
Jun 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dreadful from first to last page. Several hours of my life that I will never get back! Give it a miss
Kate Cranbrook is a liar. She tells us that almost at the beginning of her sordid tale. This was another rather twisted psych thriller that I wanted to like, but a few things just seemed too far fetched to me. Kate was attacked and raped back in college and her boyfriend was murdered. She sent her attacker to jail, but it turns out Kate sent an innocent man to prison, AND she knew that he was innocent! Now, many years later, the man is getting out of jail when DNA evidence comes to light. Kate i ...more
Mary Fan
Disclaimers first - I'm a fellow Red Adept Publishing author. Neither Red Adept Publishing nor Elizabeth Buhman asked me to write this review. The opinions are mine alone.

Lay Death at Her Door opens with a jarring confession: Twenty years ago, a man was murdered and a girl was raped, and the girl's testimony put the killer behind bars. She lied. Now 42, Kate Cranbrook finds that the past has come back to haunt her. The man convicted of both the crimes has been exonerated due to new evidence, and
Suzie Quint
Jun 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, mystery
In spite of a wonderful opening, no story is worth spending time with the thoroughly despicable person the MC is.

Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Kate Cranbook was a victim and the only witness to a killer and her rape. Her testimony sent a man to jail. Now, twenty years later, DNA has proved that she sent an innocent man to jail and her whole life is being turned upside down.

I have to admit, I just didn't like Kate. She was very self centered, usually you love the heroine of the book..I almost quit reading, but was to curious about where this one was going..I never guessed the ending and it was truly one you will miss.

Kate's father, Pop,
Kymberli Ward
I'm going with 3 stars because the writing is excellent. The protagonist, Kate, is so despicable that I had a hard time finishing the book (which I did, just to see what happened). It generally doesn't bother me if a main character is not likable, but for some reason, Kate was the worst. The pathological lying, conceit (I didn't pick up a sense of inferiority, as some did), and utter disdain for everyone but herself, put me off. There was a little too much detail on unimportant things, and it wa ...more
Dana Sullivan
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this --- the writing kept making me want to turn the page to see what happened next! The main character, Kate, is not something you'll end up liking, but it was a pretty interesting read to see how her mind worked through keeping track of all of her lies.

The plot is a little bit all over the place, although I think that's mainly b/c Kate's mind is also all over the place. There's a twist at the end that you may figure out before then (I figured out a part of it early on) and I
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kate Cranbook was the sole witness who identified Jules Jefferson as her rapist. When Jefferson is exonerated with DNA evidence and released after twenty years, Kate is forced to confront her lie that put him in prison.

This book is well written, with lots of layers and interesting characters. The character relationships and interactions are nicely crafted and woven into the story. Through most of the book, the plot seems secondary to the characterizations but is nevertheless very original. The p
norma  linza

This story had some issues or I would have given higher rating. Moved too slow. Characters so infrequently mentioned that you can't recall who they are. Lastly, who is Jefferson, mentioned at end and I don't recall him.
Made no sense to kill max, at all. He would have been a great witness. Never should have had clipping. Made no sense to take it to begin with. Made no sense to show max. It was downfall that opened Pandora s box. Knowing what came from it I would not see her having it
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t lie because I have a poor memory. Kate’s life is one huge lie. The relationship between Kate and her father is off, way off, but I was surprised but just how off it was. However, it all made sense.

Throughout the book, I thought Kate was a drama queen and a bit full of herself. She’s got an unnatural relationship with her father. She’s an alcoholic. She’s really not a nice person.
Honestly the protagonist was so unlikeable, in all the wrong ways, I found myself completely unsympathetic and annoyed by her that it just spoiled the overall story. It is possible to create complex characters who are assholes who are still engaging, complicated and interesting. But in this case, nope.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not enjoy this book; I was able to figure out the "surprise" in the very beginning and I kept reading just because I started it. It was very long and drawn out (in my opinion) the main character Kate was all over the place and there was never a story line. I did not like her character at all; some people may enjoy the book and that is great but for me it fell flat.
Carole D Hutchison
Confusing story treat

The story starts out clearly then it starts to get confusing and as you get closer to the end starts to clear it was difficult to redirect didn't really enjoy it as much as some of the other stuff I've read
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good mystery with multiple facets to keep your interest. A somewhat surprising ending.

This book held my interest throughout revealing itself only at the end. I would recommend it as s good read for mystery reader s.
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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 jus ...more

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