Today, I’m happy to welcome Elizabeth Buhmann, author of Lay Death at Her Door, to Carol’s Notebook. She’s talking about beach reads today, a perfect topic for this time of year.

The Search for the Great Summer Beach Read

Guest Post by Elizabeth Buhmann, Author of Lay Death at Her Door (Red Adept Publishing, May 2013)

Imagine you are sitting in the shade of a palm tree on Maui. The sun sparkles on the sea, a light breeze keeps you cool, and you’re in the middle of a great book…

Or maybe you’re just sitting in a glider on the back porch drinking sassy water. But you’ve gotta have that great book!

What makes a great summer beach read? For me, partly it’s a great setting, with a touch of the exotic. Did you know that MM Kaye (Far Pavillions) wrote a series of romantic suspense novels? Death in Kenya, Death in Kashmir, Death in Zanzibar, and so on.  She lived in all of these faraway places and describes them beautifully.

I like a bit of mystery and suspense in my summer reads. I’ve discovered a couple of great new detective series this year: Malla Nunn’s Emmanuel Cooper series is set in South Africa in 1953, during the height of the Apartheid era. Fascinating. Arnaldur Indridason’s Inspector Erlender series is set in Reykjavik, Iceland. I love to read about a cold place on a hot day!

And what could be a more perfect book for a summer afternoon than Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca? A mansion in Cornwall, a handsome, brooding hero with a mysterious and tragic past, a nail-biter of a climax—Rebecca has it all.

If you haven’t read Rebecca, then oh my, you should. If you are one of the umpty-million people who already have read Rebecca, then how about Lay Death at Her Door? It’s set in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and in the plantation country around Richmond. An old murder comes  unsolved, when the man who went to prison for it is exonerated by new evidence.

Lay Death at Her Door is told from the point of view of the woman on whose eyewitness testimony the wrong man was convicted. 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.

Lay Death has gotten great reviews from bloggers so far. The Chaotic Reader said, “Buhmann’s storytelling is in a class with Lolita.” I’m a Voracious Reader said, “Totally. Awesome!” Big Al said, “A well written, unpredictable story. You’ll love it.” This book appeals to readers who enjoy the dark characters and stories of Gillian Flynn and Tana French, “with a twist… or three!” (Amazon review)

Try it! And let me know what you think.

Lay Death at her door

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.


Amazon  | IndieBound  | Book Depository

About 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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