Shaw, Rebecca 1931-

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Shaw, Rebecca 1931-

PERSONAL:

Born 1931; married; children: four.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Dorset, England. Agent—Liza Dawson, Liza Dawson Associates, 240 W. 35th St., Ste. 500, New York, NY 10010.

CAREER:

Writer. Qualified as a teacher for deaf children.

WRITINGS:

"TALES FROM TURNHAM MALPAS" SERIES

The New Rector, Orion Publishing (London, England), 1994.

Talk of the Village, Orion Publishing (London, England), 1995.

Village Matters, Orion Publishing (London, England), 1996.

The Village Show, Orion Publishing (London, England), 1997.

Village Secrets, Orion Publishing (London, England), 1998.

Scandal in the Village, Orion Publishing (London, England), 1999.

Village Gossip, Orion Publishing (London, England), 1999.

Trouble in the Village, Orion Publishing (London, England), 2000.

Three Great Novels: The New Rector, Talk of the Village, Village Matters (omnibus), Orion Publishing (London, England), 2002.

A Village Dilemma, Orion Publishing (London, England), 2002.

Intrigue in the Village, Orion Publishing (London, England), 2003.

Three Great Novels: The Village Show, Village Secrets, Scandal in the Village (omnibus), Orion Publishing (London, England), 2003.

Two Great Novels: The New Rector, Village Gossip (omnibus), Orion Publishing (London, England), 2003.

Whispers in the Village, Orion Publishing (London, England), 2005.

A Village Feud, Orion Publishing (London, England), 2006.

"BARLEYBRIDGE" SERIES

A Country Affair, Orion Publishing (London, England), 2001, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Country Wives, Orion Publishing (London, England), 2001, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Country Lovers, Orion Publishing (London, England), 2003.

Country Passions, Orion Publishing (London, England), 2004.

Three Great Novels: The Barleybridge Novels: A Country Affair, Country Wives, Country Lovers (omnibus), Orion Publishing (London, England), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS:

Rebecca Shaw began writing as a second career. She had been certified as a teacher for the deaf, and raised her own four children, before deciding it was time to do something new. After her last child left for college, she looked through a course catalog and decided a writing class sounded intriguing. She fell in love with the process from the very first class. In an interview posted on her Web site, Shaw remarked that what she enjoyed the most was "creating and living in another world." Shaw has gone on to write a number of best-selling novels. Her first series takes place in the village of Turnham Malpas, and the second in Barleybridge, a town in Dorset. The New Rector launched Shaw's first series, in which the village of Turnham Malpas proves as much of a character as any of its citizens. New pastor Peter Harris finds himself playing the role of detective when he moves to town, solving the murder of the local schoolteacher as well as finding out who is behind a series of pranks. The book sets the tone for the series, where Shaw pokes fun at the stereotypes so common in British country novels. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly found Shaw's effort to be an "entertaining first novel about life among the mannered, self-conscious British."

Shaw's "Barleybridge" novels center around a smalltown veterinary practice, where, in the first book, A Country Affair, nineteen-year-old Kate decides to take a position as a bookkeeper following her disappointing exam results. Her success in her new position, and unexpected pleasure in her coworkers, drives a wedge into her relationship with her longtime boyfriend. In the follow up novel, Country Wives, a new vet joins the practice and initially disrupts the harmony of the group. However, when he proves capable of bringing in much-needed new clientele, opinions begin to shift. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called the book "a pleasant diversion, especially for animal lovers." Stephanie Zvirin, writing for Booklist, found it to be "a genial, old-fashioned, yet still modern tale."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 15, 2006, Stephanie Zvirin, review of A Country Affair, p. 46; September 1, 2006, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Country Wives, p. 59.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2006, review of Country Wives, p. 750.

Kliatt, September, 2002, Vivian E. Berg, review of Country Wives, p. 50.

Library Journal, May 15, 2006, Beth Lindsay, review of A Country Affair, p. 91.

Publishers Weekly, August 29, 1994, review of The New Rector, p. 63; April 15, 1996, review of Talk of the Village, p. 51; July 17, 2006, review of Country Wives, p. 133.

ONLINE

Armchair Interviews Web site,http://www.armchairinterviews.com/ (March 6, 2007), Andrea Sisco, review of Country Wives.

Chat Show Web site,http://www.chatshow.net/ (March 29, 2005), Roz Clarke, review of Whispers in the Village; (March 20, 2006), Roz Clarke, review of Country Passions.

Fantastic Fiction Web site,http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ (March 6, 2007), list of author's works.

Rebecca Shaw Home Page,http://www.rebeccashaw.co.uk (March 6, 2007).