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Authors: Rebecca Shaw

Whispers in the Village

BOOK: Whispers in the Village
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‘Turnham Malpas rectory. Anna Sanderson speaking.’

‘Anna! Good morning. Craddock Fitch here. I’ve just heard some gossip about you and I think you ought to know. They’re saying in the village that Paddy Cleary is living with you. I mean really living, as in live-in lover.’ He left a pause, didn’t get an answer, so continued, ‘It needs scotching straight away, it’s very damaging gossip. Don’t know how, but scotch it otherwise it’ll be at the Abbey before nightfall, and the balloon will go up.’ Still no reply. ‘It’s not true, obviously, but it still needs dealing with, as of now. Good morning to you. Sorry to be giving you such bad news.’

Anna put down the receiver, sick at heart.

Rebecca Shaw is a former school teacher and the bestselling author of many novels. She lives with her husband in a beautiful Dorset village where she finds plenty of inspiration for her stories about rural life. She has four children and eight grandchildren.
 

Educated at a co-educational Quaker boarding school, Rebecca Shaw went on to qualify as a teacher of deaf children. After her marriage, she spent the ensuing years enjoying bringing up her family. The departure of the last of her four children to university has given her the time and opportunity to write.
Whispers in the Village
is the latest in the highly popular Tales from Turnham Malpas series. Visit her website at
www.rebeccashaw.co.uk
.

By Rebecca Shaw
TALES FROM TURNHAM MALPAS
The New Rector
Talk of the Village
Village Matters
The Village Show
Village Secrets
Scandal in the Village
Village Gossip
Trouble in the Village
A Village Dilemma
Intrigue in the Village
Whispers in the Village
THE BARLEYBRIDGE SERIES
A Country Affair
Country Wives
Country Lovers
Country Passions
Whis
pers in the V
illage
 

Rebecca Shaw

Contents
 

Cover

Title

About the Author

By Rebecca Shaw

Inhabitants of Turnham Malpas

Map

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Copyright

INHABITANTS OF TURNHAM MALPAS

 

 

Willie Biggs

Retired verger

Sylvia Biggs

His wife and housekeeper at the Rectory

Sir Ronald Bissett

Retired Trade Union leader

Lady Sheila Bissett

His wife

James ( Jimbo) Charter- Plackett

Owner of the Village Store

Harriet Charter-Plackett

His wife

Fergus, Finlay, Flick and Fran

Their children

Katherine Charter-Plackett

Jimbo’s mother

Alan Crimble

Barman at the Royal Oak

Linda Crimble

His wife

Lewis Crimble

Their son

H. Craddock Fitch

Owner of Turnham House

Kate Fitch

Village school headteacher

Maggie Dobbs

School caretaker

Jimmy Glover

Taxi driver

Mrs Jones

A village gossip

Vince Jones

Her husband

Barry Jones

Her son and estate carpenter

Pat Jones

Barry’s wife

Dean and Michelle

Barry and Pat’s children

Revd Peter Harris MA (Oxon)

Rector of the parish

Dr Caroline Harris

His wife

Alex and Beth

Their children

Jeremy Mayer

Manager at Turnham House

Venetia Mayer

His wife

Neville Neal

Accountant and church treasurer

Liz Neal

His wife

Guy and Hugh

Their children

Tom Nicholls

Assistant in the Store

Evie Nicholls

His wife

Anne Parkin

Retired secretary

Jenny Sweetapple

Complementary medicine practitioner

Sir Ralph Templeton

Retired from the diplomatic service

Lady Muriel Templeton

His wife

Andy Moorhouse

Social Worker

Dicky & Georgie Tutt

Licensees at the Royal Oak

Bel Tutt

Assistant in the Village Store

Don Wright

Maintenance engineer (now retired)

Vera Wright

Cleaner at the nursing home in Penny Fawcett

Rhett Wright

Their grandson

 
Chapter 1
 

So, now they’d all got over saying
au revoir
to Peter, Caroline and the twins, and the rectory had stood empty and abandoned for a week, there were lights on once more. Some of the villagers had caught a glimpse now and then of her emptying the van she’d hired to transport her belongings and they had introduced themselves, but tonight everyone was going to a ‘get-to-know-you’ party in the church hall.

It had been a serious shock when they found out their locum rector was a woman. A
woman
! They’d narrowly escaped having their own railway station, tolerated the coming of the wireless, then the telephone poles and TV, they’d embraced computers, mobile phones – and a blessed nuisance they were on the Saturday shopping bus – and digital this and DVD that, but a woman rector! This was one step too far.

‘She’ll have to be blinking good to replace Peter,’ someone could be overheard saying in the pub, at the table nearest the bar.

But then someone else added, ‘No one living could replace Peter. He was one in a million. And so was Caroline.’

Sylvia Biggs dabbed at her eyes and sniffed loudly. ‘Well, there’s one thing certain: I shall miss them. I’ve worked at the rectory since the twins first came home from the hospital; they’re like my own grandchildren, and I’m worried to death. All that heat and them nasty crawly things. They could catch anything in a blasted hot place like Africa.’

BOOK: Whispers in the Village
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