Talk of the Village
The village is bedevilled by talk and all is not as it seems in the village of Turnham Malpas.Does pushy newcomer Venetia have her eye on Peter, the handsome rector. Is Jeremy, her husband, really making a success of the new health club. And why does Willies new love set a vicious tongue wagging. In the Royal Oak, the usual banter has turned to bitter wrangling as the rector's wife Caroline makes a challenge over an ancient country tradition and splits the village her husband had so recently united.As the people of the village use the power of words to reconcile or divide, Peter finds it is what isn't talked about that threatens to cause madness, confusion and tragedy.
Times are changing in Turnham Malpas.Brash Craddock Fitch up at the Big House seems determined to make his mark on the village - and the village is determined to put him in his place. Sir Ralph is having trouble adjusting to his more modest status and timid Muriel to her exalted one while a change of fortune surprises Jimmy Glover too. It's all Jimbo Charter-Plackett, fount of all gossip, can do to keep up.But these concerns are eclipsed by tragedy when Flick, Jimbo's daughter, is knocked down by the unpopular barman Alan. And before the shock of the accident has passed, a bitter dispute springs up that could affect the entire village ...
The village school is to get a new head, and the inhabitants of Turnham Malpas await her arrival with curiosity. At first sight, Kate Pascoe seems ideal. She's young, pretty and obviously loves her job. But when she introduces meditation classes for her ten-year-olds, and even tree-hugging, the villagers begin to think again. Then a strange malaise afflicts the whole village: lights are seen in Sykes Wood at night; a dog long dead appears to come to life, and a sudden shocking death plunges the village into a state of superstitious dread. And always at the eye of the storm is Kate Pascoe.
A Country Affair
Kate arrives at Barleybridge Veterinary Practice on her first day as the new receptionist. The hills rise almost immediately from the edge of the car park, dotted all over the slopes are sheep grazing. Turning round she can see the town which has now crept up the foothills making the Practice the last bit of civilisation before the hills. The setting is idyllic.Kate quickly gets to know the other staff and becomes engrossed in the work and drawn into the lives of her colleagues and those of the animals and their owners. But as she gets more and more involved with the Practice, Kate realises she has a very difficult decision to make...
The Village Show
Craddock Fitch is a relative newcomer to the village of Turnham Malpas and is keen to make a splash by holding a village show - the best ever - in the grounds of his large house. Committee secretary and co-ordinator of the show Louise Bissett is the spoilt daughter of Sir Ron and Lady Sheila. Although a brilliant organiser, Louise is in deep personal trouble - and her growing obsession with the married rector, can only end in tears. As the weeks roll by into summer and nerves tighten in anticipation of the great day, romances heat up and then cool down, tempers flare and misunderstandings multiply ...
When Dan, one of the farm vets, is seriously injured in a car accident everyone at Barleybridge Animal Hospital is shocked. But they have even more to cope with when Scott Spencer, back from Australia, steps in to cover for him.Joy, the Practice Manager, remembers the hearts he broke when he last worked there and also his abrupt departure. She refuses to agree to this appointment, however temporary it turns out to be. So Joy leaves, and Scott slips seamlessly into the Practice routine. But Scott is in for a shock himself, when secrets are revealed which turn his life upside down and amend his attitude to women.COUNTRY PASSIONS is a wonderfully compelling and tender novel in which Rebecca Shaw weaves her magic around the animals and the people in this busy veterinary hospital, bringing them to life and sharing with us their troubles and triumphs.
For the locals of Turnham Malpas the rural peace is disrupted when a famous actor comes to stay to recuperate from illness. Before long he is bored by village life and when he meets Caroline, the rector's wife, he is instantly attracted to her. He agrees to direct and star in a play with the villagers as his supporting cast and Caroline as his leading lady...
Before long, the villagers' lives are turned upside down: a marriage is wrecked, a proud man humbled and two people are brought closer together as gossip, scandal and jealousy mount..
The New Rector
When Peter Harris arrives in Turnham Malpas as the new rector, he finds the village people welcoming but set in their ways. Yet despite his own weaknesses and the sadness of his childless wife, he comforts and advises his new parishioners, growing more and more involved with the rural way of life.Then the whole village is rocked by spiteful trick that goes terribly wrong, and a gruesome murder that points to a killer in its midst. Now, more than ever, Peter's pastoral role is crucial - and yet he is wrestling with his own private hell that may still wreck his own life.
Scandal in the Village
When Jimbo asks his mother, Katherine, to come and live near him in Turnham Malpas, his kindness has rather more repercussions than he anticipated. Before long Katherine is organising the harvest festival display, and causes uproar with her high-handed ways. But Katherine goes too far when she petitions to rid the village of some of its residents. Only Peter, the rector, can control Katherine's more outrageous actions. Finding it hard to resist his natural charm and diplomacy she gradually begins to mellow as the village works its magic on her.
Whispers in the Village
When the rector, Peter, takes his family to Africa for a year so that he can work in a Mission, the villagers are bereft. What's more, the locum, Anna, has rather modern ideas and the parishioners determined to keep an eye on her. Then she brings a down-and-out petty thief into their midst sparking conflict within the community. The Women's Institute comes up with the idea of raising funds for Peter's Mission, and holds an upmarket pyjama party, midnight skinny dipping and an afternoon's horse racing. Then a message arrives from Peter with the most devastating news - and the villagers are more determined than ever to raise a substantial sum for the Mission.