As part of the blog tour for her book Lay Death at Her Door, I have author Elizabeth Buhmann here today to tell us a little bit more about her book.
When I set out to write Lay Death at Her Door, I had a clear idea what the underlying mystery was, and I knew how the truth would be revealed. The hard part was choosing the point of view from which to tell the story.
The set-up was that, twenty years in the past, a man had been shot and a woman raped. The woman—her name is Kate—accused an innocent man of the crime. He was convicted on her eyewitness testimony and sent to prison for life.
Fast-forward to the present. DNA profiling has just shown that the man she accused is innocent. So who was the real killer? Who assaulted Kate? And why did she lie?
Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, for a host of reasons, but in most cases, the witness is simply mistaken. Not Kate. She knew the man she accused was innocent.Kate’s actions as a young woman got her into a situation where she had to lie about a murder to protect herself. Considering her compromised position, and the fact that she must want the case to stay unsolved, she is a tough choice for protagonist.
Main characters are supposed to be likable, relatable, if not downright admirable, and this was my dilemma. Because I wanted to tell the story from Kate’s point of view. I wanted the protagonist to be the character on whom the story turns. And there is so much that only Kate can know.
There’s another major player out there, of course—the real killer. But the underlying drama is all about Kate. Her decisions created the crucible, and her secret choices brought about the egregious injustice that this mystery must set right.
The murder case is more than twenty years cold when it comes unsolved in the first chapter. It doesn’t look like anyone can solve it. But in murder mysteries, the truth always comes out in the end, and Lay Death at Her Door is no exception.
So what happens? Well, I’m not going to spoil my own story. Suffice it to say that Kate is the same woman she was twenty years ago. Like a tragic heroine, she can’t escape her own essential flaws.
And she has a nemesis—a detective from the original investigation who never did believe her story about what happened. Elsa Gabriel can’t solve the mystery on her own, but she’s waiting for the day Kate slips up.
Lay Death at Her Door is not your classic mystery solved by a protagonist seeking justice. It’s the story of a dark and flawed main character who made mistakes early in her life, invested many years avoiding consequences, and brings about her own downfall in the end.
Lay Death at Her Door by Elizabeth Buhmann
Published by Red Adept Publishing on May 27, 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
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.
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