LIAR’S BENCH

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Kim Michele Richardson

In the summer of 1972, Ella Whitlock is found hanging from the rafters of her own home. Everyone in Peckinpaw, Kentucky assumes that Ella’s no-good, junkie of a husband did the deed, or that she just grew tired of enduring his abuse. In the wake of this devastating loss, Ella’s 17-year-old daughter Mudas (Muddy for short) discovers strange clues hidden amongst her mama’s hair ribbons and recipe cards.

Determined to uncover the truth and clear her mama’s name, Muddy enlists the help of her friend Bobby Marshall and follows the clues to Hark Hill Plantation, home of the rich and crooked Roy McGee,

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In the summer of 1972, Ella Whitlock is found hanging from the rafters of her own home. Everyone in Peckinpaw, Kentucky assumes that Ella’s no-good, junkie of a husband did the deed, or that she just grew tired of enduring his abuse. In the wake of this devastating loss, Ella’s 17-year-old daughter Mudas (Muddy for short) discovers strange clues hidden amongst her mama’s hair ribbons and recipe cards.

Determined to uncover the truth and clear her mama’s name, Muddy enlists the help of her friend Bobby Marshall and follows the clues to Hark Hill Plantation, home of the rich and crooked Roy McGee, the long-rumored leader of a gambling and prostitution ring. Though Bobby passes for white, he has mixed Indian and Black heritage (his great-great grandmother, a slave, was hanged on Hark Hill plantation nearly a hundred years before), a fact which complicates his friendship with Mudas and makes it difficult for them to be seen in public together.

In spite of this bigotry, Mudas and Bobby seek comfort in each other’s arms. On the trail to find her mama’s killer, they uncover corruption so deep that it is rooted to yesterday's sorrows—her mama’s death and the hundred-year-old lynching of Bobby’s grandmother. If Mudas doesn't piece together the past and presentand fastshe might find herself in a pine box just like her mama.

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About Kim Michele Richardson

Kim Michele Richardson is a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and an advocate for the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence. Kim Michele is also the author of the memoir The Unbreakable Child. Liar&rsquo

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