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.

Something Borrowed, Someone Dead by M.C. Beaton and Sleeping Tiger by Rosamunde Pilcher

Agatha Raisin and Something Borrowed, Someone Dead was published in 2013 and was a last second choice as I was about to leave my local library. I had previously decided not to read any more in this series as I had decided that it had definitely come to the end of the line. I should have stuck to my guns about that as this one was just the same old Agatha stuff, including her ‘excellent legs’. Remind me not to read any more, please!

Sleeping Tiger by Rosamunde Pilcher is a very quick and light read, not in the same class as The Shell Seekers or September but it’s a mildly diverting romance set on a Spanish island where Selina has gone in search of her father.

I read this one as part of the Scotland 2014 challenge.

Agatha Raisin Hiss and Hers by M.C. Beaton

At last Agatha seems to have got over her obsession with her ex-husband James Lacey, and she has transferred her affections to a local gardener, George Marston, who if I recall correctly from a previous book is an ex-soldier who has left one of his legs behind in Afghanistan.

George is playing hard to get though, in fact he’s going out of his way to avoid Agatha and in desperation she decides to throw a charity ball in the hope of at least being able to get a dance with him. When George doesn’t even bother to turn up to the ball, Agatha goes looking for him and isn’t happy with what she finds.

This one is a disaster for poor Agatha’s ego, but an enjoyable light read – again.