Allen & Unwin

Cedar Valley


Watch Studio 10’s review here.
Watch the Dymocks Book of the Month review here.
Listen to 2ser’s review here.

“This is a masterful novel. Throsby has a feel for small towns, as first evidenced in her debut novel, Goodwood, and once again in this second novel. There’s a fragility at the core of her characters and an intimacy that adds depth to their quirks and peccadillos; there is such heart in her storytelling. Throsby has artfully used a true unsolved Australian mystery as a plot device and it works remarkably well here. Cedar Valley is written with an assured hand and is essential reading for those who like their Australian rural tales with a touch of mystery. Readers who loved Goodwood will find even more to love here.★★★★” – BOOKS + PUBLISHING

“What a ripping yarn. Holly Throsby’s second book is a page turner and then some . . .  What a joy to live in Cedar Valley for a spell. I loved this so much.” – ZAN ROWE

“For a novel that can be read on one level as a conventional detective story, Cedar Valley is bracingly alive to the complexities and ellipses of existence and to the novelist’s task to seize and transcribe life rather than to explicate it neatly. The unexplained death of a stranger is the conundrum around which the narrative coalesces, but Throsby understands that the greater mysteries are those that unfold quietly behind the closed doors of every small town. Her exceptional openness to the inscrutable lives and sensitivities of other people is what makes Cedar Valley feel so large and luminous, and it is also what drives the narrative forward, chapter after compulsive chapter.” – AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW

“Ingenious . . . beautifully intertwined fact and fiction. Throsby has a way with all characters, whether primary or secondary, and is able to pin down in just a few choice words their innate driving force . . . Cedar Valley is a sweet and sad ode to loss in all its guises.” – THE AUSTRALIAN

“Holly Throsby’s Cedar Valley is another triumph from this brilliant storyteller . . . Every character in this novel is perfectly formed, and it’s a real pleasure getting to know both Benny and the eccentric and endearing locals. While some mystery stories set in small towns focus on the isolation or paranoia that can manifest in such places, Cedar Valley is delightfully different, focusing instead on the strong sense of community and connection between the townsfolk. It’s a town and a story with warmth and heart, and the mysteries at its centre will keep you guessing until the end. If you loved Goodwood, we just know you’ll love Cedar Valley, too.” – BETTER READING

“A charming and compelling tale of personal pain, long-held secrets and mystery, set amid gossip, innuendo and the inescapable fact that everyone seems to knows everyone else’s business in a small town. Throw in parallels with a real-life Adelaide mystery and Sydney author and musician Holly Throsby has concocted a page-turner with a distinct Aussie flavour. It’s a worthy follow-up to her acclaimed debut novel, Goodwood . . . If you can wait a few weeks, Cedar Valley would make a perfect Christmas holiday read.” – THE HERALD SUN

“Aficionados of Australian true crime may find particular resonance in the whydunnit here but the mystery is only part of a rich patchwork . . . [Cedar Valley] reflects on how a strange happening can tear at the delicate social fabric of a town but also how its strong communal spirit can go some way to fulfilling a person’s deepest longing. Originally known for her carefully crafted music, Throsby’s fiction debut, Goodwood, sparkled with humanity and descriptive power. Cedar Valley offers a smaller cast of characters but interesting new elements to the author’s prowess, not least a strong ear for dialogue and a knack for capturing the wry humour and laconic idiom of rural Australia. Throsby has talked of Cedar Valley as existing in the same fictional world as its predecessor, something akin to Kent Haruf’s Holt, Colorado novels or Thomas Hardy’s Wessex tales. By the end of the beautiful and humble Cedar Valley, you may yearn for another dot on the map of Throsby’s imagination.” – THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Cedar Valley is enormously entertaining. It’s heartfelt and it’s thought provoking. Holly Throsby is creating these fantastic fictions of Australia, and shrouding them in mysteries that explore and reveal so much of who we are and who we have been. I loved it.” – ANDREW POPLE on 2ser’s TUESDAY BOOK CLUB

“In Cedar Valley Holly Throsby has crafted a quiet mystery which brims with the energy of its characters’ inner lives . . . What is wonderful about Cedar Valley is the sense of a complete community. Throsby keeps a skilful pace, checking in with the towns inhabitants, both old and new. She moves you along so well at the pace of the people of Cedar Valley that you do not realise straightaway the ways in which she is subverting the expectations of the small-town mystery . . . a very satisfying journey.” – READINGS MONTHLY

“[Cedar Valley] delivers in spades . . . Throsby’s rich characterisation left this reader feeling as though she’d made lifelong friends by the final page.” – SUNDAY TIMES (WA)

“This second novel is even richer than her first . . . Sometimes it is hard to imagine how a seemingly inconsequential death of an unknown person can have such as ripple effect on a small town. Cedar Valley shows the care, concern, support, intrigue and effective nature of communities, such as the endearing one represented on the pages of this novel. Throsby has extended herself and has provided readers with another profound small town Australian mystery novel. ★★★★” – MRS B’S BOOK REVIEWS

“A must-read. Holly Throsby’s Cedar Valley is equally engaging as her debut novel Goodwood. The solo musician, and member of the Seeker Lover Keeper project with Sarah Blasko and Sally Seltmann, has created a delightful page-turner – the perfect summer companion.” – BROADSHEET

“Compelling . . . immensely readable . . . Cedar Valley is a richly depicted novel . . . full of humorous details and pithy observations.  It’s hard to imagine anyone not liking this book.” – COMPULSIVE READER

“The second novel from beloved Australian singer-songwriter Holly Throsby, Cedar Valley opens and unfolds like a murder mystery, but it is really a love story— or its inverse: Cedar Valley is an unloved story . . . it is Benny Miller’s hunger for love that kept me reading.” – LOUD MOUTH

“Holly Throsby’s Cedar Valley is fantastic . . . The mystery of Benny’s mother and the unidentified man run parallel throughout the novel. Through many twists and turns Throsby weaves these two stories together, eventually coming to an excellent and unexpected ending.” – OSCAR & FRIENDS BOOKSELLERS

“Holly Throsby coolly carves out her own piece of real estate rich with gently nostalgic ’90s Australiana . . . The central mystery itself is actually less compelling than Throsby’s portrayal of grief and identity through 21-year-old Benny, as she navigates a community whose closed doors hide a nagging conservatism, disappointment and occasional misogyny . . . Throsby’s talent for affectionate, satirical portraiture is sharper the second time around with moments of real heart that make [Cedar Valley] difficult to leave.” – THE ADELAIDE REVIEW

“As someone who grew up in regional Australia, albeit in a larger population centre, I thoroughly enjoyed Cedar Valley. Holly Throsby writes with a dry wit and a keen eye for the characters and the town itself. In telling stories set in rural Australia authors can sometimes be guilty of condescension, to almost sneer at the quietness of rural life, Holly Throsby beautifully avoids this with a gentle wry affection for Cedar Valley and it’s residents.” – AUSTCRIME

“One of my favourite books in ages . . . An incredible little mystery . . . I absolutely loved it, and this is the novel I am going to be buying everyone at Christmas . . . [Cedar Valley] is such a worthy Book of the Month for us” – THE DYMOCKS BOOKS OF THE MONTH, OCTOBER 2018

So you’d like an occasional letter? Very good. I hope you find them relaxing and informative.