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Famous in Cedarville

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  102 ratings  ·  36 reviews
From one of the most original writers in crime fiction comes a diabolical mystery wrapped in Hollywood tinsel.

When reclusive, retired silver screen actress Barbara Lace dies in her bed, only the young widower of Cedarville suspects a crime. But Samson Delaware has always been something of an outsider, and his wife’s death hasn’t exactly improved his reputation. In fact, t
Hardcover, 266 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by Polis Books
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Average rating 3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  102 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Erica Wright
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Giving my own book all the stars, then hiding from this page. There are only eight snakes in it (and three of them are fake). Thanks for reading!
Daniela Petrova
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Erica Wright’s Famous in Cedarville is a twisty and engrossing thriller, one of those rare page-turners that you have to force yourself to slow down and savor the lyrical prose and atmospheric scenes. Full of colorful, complex characters, old Hollywood allure and aging mafia types, it’s simultaneously a portrait of a small town and an exploration of how place and the past make us who we are. It’s the kind of book that stays with you long after you’ve read it.
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was ok

Samson heard the gunshot ran up the stairs to find the body.
Where did the shooter go? Out a window? Down another stairway?

This book was confusing.
There was a good story to be told but the telling of it wasn't good.
A small town mystery of the death of a retired Hollywood starlet.
Well that sounds interesting but it didn't take long for the story to turn into a dog with fleas.
Samson, an antique appraiser, was creepy. Creeping around the dead starlets home looking to steal some prized anti
I am delighted to have discovered Erica Wright. She is a skilled writer and her novel, Famous in Cedarville , totally captured my heart. This author has the ability to create characters that we don’t always meet in our mysteries. Too often the novels we read are almost predictable in their adherence to certain patterns, which is not a bad thing. I mean, that is why I read mysteries and thrillers. I’ve come to expect a certain amount of familiarity with writing and storylines that I enjoy.

Halley Sutton
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Twisty and Old Hollywood glamorous and beautifully written and genuinely surprising. I loved it!
Sue Em
Dec 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Barbara Lace left Cedarville after high school for Hollywood and a life on the silver screen. Unlike most aspirants, she achieved a level of success. Returning to Cedarville, she became a recluse until her death at 73. The murder of her assistant shortly after her death raises questions as to her death Samson Delaware has lived in Cedarville his whole life, but is fascinated with the estate of Barbara Lace which leads to his involvement in figuring out her mysteries. Thanks to netgalley and the ...more
John Vercher
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Erica Wright's modern mystery transports you back to the not-so-Golden Age of cinema, with all the corruption, graft, and backstabbing that took place behind the scenes. It's a compelling story, complete with a flawed protagonist—and even more flawed supporting players—that makes you question who to root for in the ways the best crime novels do. ...more
Michael Ritchie
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure why this is getting so many 5-star reviews (in addition to the one that the author gave herself--bad form, I think). It starts out well and the set-up--a classic-era movie starlet dies in the small town where she retired, then her secretary is found murdered--is good. But the writing is muddled and the characterizations are weak. I was never clear when this was set (90s maybe?--given the movie star's age, it couldn't have been set in the present day, but time references are sloppy h ...more
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written and atmospheric mystery, infused with both small-town charm and Hollywood glamour.
David Gerrard
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun whodunit that is also a moving meditation on the meaning of success, fame, and friendship. I won't give away the ending, but it's a knockout. Highly recommended. ...more
John Sargent
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
It did not hold my interest. The print was very small. The two story lines did not make a lot of sense to me. I finished it because I want to give any author their due. Wasted my time
Criminal Element
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Famous in Cedarville by Erica Wright, author of the acclaimed Kat Stone series, is a standalone novel and a diabolical mystery wrapped in Hollywood tinsel.

Erica Wright, creator of the Kat Stone series, has written her first standalone novel with Famous in Cedarville. Whereas the Stone books are about a former cop turned private detective working in New York City, her new work gives us a central character who serves as an amateur sleuth. She combines a small-town, southern-set murder mystery with
Randee Green
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Erica Wright’s FAMOUS IN CEDARVILLE is a twisting thriller that follows Samson Delaware’s amateur investigation into the death of semi-famous Hollywood actress Barbara Lace and the brutal murder of her assistant. After turning her back on fame and fortune in Hollywood, Barbara returned to her small hometown in Tennessee and lived a reclusive life until she passed away. Much like Barbara, Samson is also an outsider and a mystery to the people of Cedarville. Samson’s motivation to find out what re ...more
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A well written and well crafted mystery, gripping and entertaining.
I loved the complex plot, full of twists and turns, the well thought cast of characters and the well researched historical background.
it was an excellent read, highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Kay Mcleer
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love old Hollywood so when I saw that this was a mystery in Hollywood I was sold. I'm glad I did because it was really good, I had a great time reading this as it's what I was looking for in a mystery. ...more
Heather Bennett
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Famous in Cedarville is a fantastic mystery with interesting and wonderful characters. Well written and I would read more by this author.
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
Reading this book made me think of that overused 90's-era sitcom line: Who are you, and what have you done with Erica Wright? Famous in Cedarville and its protagonist, Samson Delaware are so far removed from Kat Stone and her world, it's hard to believe they come from the same mind. That said, as much as I want to see more of Kat Stone, if Wright's going to give us more like this? I won't complain too loudly.

I'm getting ahead of myself, we
Jennie Winters
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love a small town mystery, with shadowy characters and creeping uneasiness and Famous in Cedarville delivers. Samson’s grief over the loss of his wife is palpable and puts a pall over his life. The book begins as Samson helps the undertaker move Barbara Lake’s body from her home. Barbara was a longtime Hollywood character actress who’d come back home to Cedarville when she retired. She lived as a hermit upon returning to Cedarville, avoiding reporters and attention, and the town was protective ...more
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've read other books by Ms. Wright and they are always very engaging and entertaining. This one doesn't disappoint either! Famous in Cedarville falls technically in the mystery genre, but I felt as strongly, if not more strongly, connected to the characters, their histories and how their life stories intertwined with the murder that sets everything and everyone into motion. And the author really nails describing the titular locale of Cedarville - so much so, that the small town becomes an integ ...more
Jesse Bornemann
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
There’s lots to enjoy in this small-town/big-city mystery—old Hollywood glamour, the intricacies (and eccentricities) of Southern culture, a couple of plot twists, and an unlikely heroine. What I appreciated most, though, was author Erica Wright’s sensitive and observant portrayal of grief.

When murder rears its head in tiny and generally sleepy Cedarville, resident middle-aged widower Samson Delaware latches onto the investigation. Piecing together clues allows Samson to move forward, but he ha
Nov 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
3.5 stars

Quirky mystery about faded Hollywood actress Barbara Lace who ended up back in her home town of Cedarville, TN. The story begins when the main character, Samson Delaware, helps the local undertaker carry Lace's body out of her home after her death. Delaware is an interesting character -- he has not recovered from his young wife's death, and is just managing to get through each day by staying busy at his antique and refinishing business.

There are lots of secrets in this novel and much re
Carol Custer
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it
The first half of this book sort of lumbered along and I wasn't quite sure what it was about Sampson that didn't ring true. Then suddenly - wait - what?! - and it was as if he was a whole new character. This worked in some ways for me and in some ways - not. Throughout the book, Sampson seemed to talk like a much older person than he was (my perception). The 'hokiness' of Cederville seemed a bit overdone at times.

The characters were well done and vivid but the narrative had so many plot lines it
Virginia Kessen
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I would give the first half of this book 5 stars and the second half 3 so I'm averaging it to 4. The first half of the book, set in Cedarville is a wondrous thing. It was no surprise to read that the author is also a poet. The character's come to life. The protagonist's wrestling with grief and his place in the world are very authentic.
After the book changes locations and a big plot twist takes place, the book becomes a more conventional semi-noir mystery. It's fine but the first half was so exc
Kevin Jones
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
The myths and realities of life in Hollywood and rural Tennessee collide in this deeply satisfying crime thriller. I really liked this story of an unlikely detective wrestling with the ghosts of his past and present. The writing itself was beautiful and lyrical and the twists and turns of the plot well done. Ms. Wright played expertly with noir conventions (i.e., Los Angeles setting; haunting pasts; a femme fatale and a hard boiled detective; disjointed story line) and made them her own in a fre ...more
Don Gorman
Dec 03, 2019 rated it liked it
(2 1/2). A little Noir, a little California, a little complicated; this little book packs a pretty good punch. A couple of big twists and reversals towards the end really drives this one, along with a great protagonist with a great name, Samson Delaware. We sort of have good guys and bad guys along with a duality of love interests as well. Not the best thing I have read lately, but awfully engaging and very well stylized. Good stuff.
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
A recent widower is still a stranger in the small town of Cedarville after living there happily with his beloved wife for many years when a local aged movie star , famous in Cedarville is found dead. A page turner to be read slowly and enjoyed. You find that everyone has secrets of their own that lead back to past lives, old Hollywood, the glamour and betrayals-to an ending you may or may not see coming. One of the most creative mysteries I have read in a while. Well done Erica!
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Serviceable mystery/thriller about a grieving widower in a (very) small Tennessee town who regains his interest in life when he begins to investigate the death of the local celebrity, a woman who’d run away to Hollywood as a teenager and achieved a decades-long career as a B list actress in the movies before returning to her hometown and becoming a recluse. A few interesting twists.
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it
While I enjoyed the characterizations, the plotting was a bit muddled. I don't know if the novel was over or under-edited as a result. It could have been a better noir.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Didn't like the way Samson's background came out of nowhere halfway through the book - just couldn't accept it. ...more
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Erica Wright's essay collection Snake was recently released as part of Bloomsbury's Object Lessons series. Her latest crime novel Famous in Cedarville received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. She is the author of three previous novels including The Red Chameleon, which was one of O: The Oprah Magazine's Best Books of Summer 2014 and was called "riveting" by Publishers Weekly. ...more

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