TRIBUTES have been paid to a best selling author from a Dorset village.

Rebecca Shaw, who lived in West Knighton, died in September after suffering a major stroke.

She was a bestselling author of 26 novels, which have sold more than a million copies.

The setting for the majority of her novels was the imaginary village of Turnham Malpas, with six also set in a fictional veterinary practice in a market town called Barleybridge.

The former teacher was born Shirley Crawshaw and inspired many with how she turned to writing later in life. at the age of 60, before going on to become a bestselling author.

Her funeral was held at St Peter's Church in West Knighton, with more than 50 people turning out to pay their respects, and her husband Jack still lives in the village.

Rebecca's latest book, Mystery in the Village, was published in August and was at number 21 in the UK bestseller lists when she died.

Her novels were also published in the United States, Germany, Hungary, Norway and Denmark.

Kate Mills, Rebecca’s editor at Orion books, said: "Rebecca was a much-loved part of the Orion list, having joined us a year after the company was founded with her first novel A New Rector.

"With a career spanning more than twenty years, she brought a great deal of pleasure to many, many readers with her delightfully wry take on English village life.

"A keen champion of libraries and regular speaker at local events, Rebecca was always pleasure to work with -utterly dedicated, professional, thoughtful and fun.

"She will be much missed by all of us at Orion, and our thoughts are with Jack, her children and her grandchildren."

A family statement on the writer's website said: "Rebecca was a much-loved wife, mother and grandmother.

"She was the heart of her family and her warmth, grace and wit will be greatly missed.

"Many of her happiest moments were spent in her study in Dorset dreaming up a plot or creating a new character.

"Rebecca's family would like to thank all her loyal fans for their support over the years."


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