Rebecca Pawel was born and raised in New York City. She grew up traveling between New York and Puerto Rico, and began studying Spanish seriously in high school. A summer spent studying in Madrid cemented a life-long love of Spain, and laid the foundation for a major in Spanish Language and Literature at Columbia University.
Pawel has published four novels set in the immediate aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. These books begin with DEATH OF A NATIONALIST (2003) which won an Edgar® for best first novel by an American author. DEATH OF A NATIONALIST was followed by LAW OF RETURN(2004), THE WATCHER IN THE PINE(2005) and THE SUMMER SNOW, which was listed as one of Publisher’s Weekly’s best mysteries of 2006.
Pawel teaches in a public high school in New York, which at times feels like being a member of the International Brigades, and at times -- given the climate at the Department of Education -- feels like belonging to the Falange. She has written a (still unpublished) novel about the Spanish Empire in Renaissance Flanders, and her writing interests have led her to study French, Dutch, and Catalan, as well as Spanish. In her not very plentiful spare time, she dances, plays the flute, and tries to keep writing more historical novels.