M.C. Beaton 1936 – 2019


Sadly the author M.C. Beaton’s son has announced that she died on the 30th of December, you can read the Guardian article here. She was 83 years old and I saw her being interviewed on the BBC fairly recently. I had never seen or heard her before so I was very surprised that she was a very ordinary wee Scottish woman, sounding very similar to me accent wise. Apparently she wasn’t happy with the ‘cosy’ description of her books:

“It is patronising and implies that my books, which are easy to read, must be easy to write. Nobody calls Agatha Christie cosy,” she told the Crime Hub in 2019. “To keep writing in clear well-balanced sentences takes a lot of hard work and if anyone doesn’t want a Glasgow kiss, swallow that opinion and put it where the sun don’t shine.”

Honestly she was such a typical Glaswegian woman, not to be messed with! In the interview I saw she came over as being very genuine and funny.

In the Guardian article there’s absolutely no mention of the many Regency Romance books that she wrote in a light parody of Georgette Heyer, those seemed to be churned out at such a rate that I began to wonder if they were being ghost written, but maybe not. I’m not sure if it was the interview below that I watched, but it’s interesting anyway.

10 thoughts on “M.C. Beaton 1936 – 2019

  1. I had the pleasure of meeting M.C. Beaton at a publisher’s party in 2008. She had lost sight of her agent, in the loud crush of people who were mostly taller than either of us, and I heard her saying over and over in her lovely Scottish accent, “I can’t find my agent. I can’t find my agent.” As a librarian, it’s in my nature to connect people to what they’re looking for, so I took M.C. in tow and reunited her with her agent. I loved her books and felt as though I’d had a brush with royalty. Such a sad loss.

    • Molly MacRae,
      What a lovely memory of her you have, thank you for sharing it. I can just imagine the scene and your instinct to help her out. Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment. I haven’t read any of her Hamish Macbeth books so I have those to look forward to.

        • Molly MacRae,
          I went to the library today and borrowed the Hamish Macbeth book Death of an Honest Man although I feel I should probably read them in the correct order. Also Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer. I think Agatha will be good bedtime reading.

  2. Quite a shock, I have fallen behind in Agatha Raisin books in recent years. She is so delightfully awful that you can’t help but like her.

    Never read Hamish Macbeth. Perhaps one day.

    Be interesting to see if her work stops or someone tries to take on the mantel and carry on…….

    • Jo,
      I was thinking that too. So many publishers are disinclined to give up on successful series and characters so I suspect that someone else will take over, after a wee while.

  3. I like the Hamish Macbeth TV series but loathe the Agatha Raisin productions. I might give the latter books a try.

    I suspect you need to be well versed in the various types of Scottish character to appreciate the HM books. That is why the TV series is good for the broader audience. I cannot believe a Londoner could envision the accents nor the scenery in HM.

    • Hamish,
      I’ve read a lot of the Agatha Raisin books, they’re easy reading, can be quite silly but fairly entertaining. I only saw a very wee bit of one of them on TV.
      I think it was a holiday in Scotland that inspired her to write the Hamish Macbeth books. I’m always amazed when English people come to Scotland for the first time and are surprised at how different it is from England, even in atmosphere. I don’t know why they would expect it to be the same as England!

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