Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jumble Sale

An illustration from Jane Shaw's last short story, Jumble Sale, published in 1963. Lindy is breaking and entering to retrieve Mark Lamont's pots, which have been sold to her future brother-in-law Tim. This story forms part of what I like to call the author's Mature Phase, when her characters became more realistic and grown-up. This phase began with Family Trouble, her short story published in 1961 and continued with the unpublished The Picture, a review of which can be read here, and the present story, Jumble Sale, in which Lindy, besides wanting to be a bridesmaid, also looks ahead, imagining that Mark Lamont might make a good husband. Next year, the author published Anything Can Happen, featuring her oldest leading characters, Dizzy and Alison. However, the Mature Phase was short-lived, ending in 1965 with the publication of Nothing Happened After All. As her career wound down, she returned to the Susan series and contributed to the Collins Spitfire books for younger readers with Paddy Turns Detective and The Penhallow Mystery, using the pen name Jean Bell. Why the Mature Phase was so short is hard to fathom because the Dizzy and Alison books are high quality writing, as is Jumble Sale, the only story featuring Lindy and her friends Jill and David.