Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Such sad news. Prolific writer, M.C. Beaton, creator of the Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin series, as well as Edwardian Murder Mysteries, Stand-alones, and historical romances, passed away yesterday at the age of 83 after a short illness.

From the Bookseller:

"Success came to her later in life but she made up for lost time - since 2011 she had been the most borrowed UK adult author in British libraries and her M C Beaton titles have sold in excess of 21 million copies worldwide," a spokesman from her publisher Little Brown said in a statement. "However, she hated being referred to as a ‘cozy’ writer, saying that if anyone called her books cozy she’d give them a Glasgow Kiss. She always saw herself more as an entertainer than author."

M C Beaton's editor Krystyna Green commented: "I’m going to miss her dreadfully as after 23 years I’d grown from being in awe of her, to thinking she was absolutely wonderful - and very kind under her rather fierce exterior. She was forthright and uncompromising and never afraid to express a view, no matter how unfashionable. She was funny, wise, and truly an inspiring, utterly unique individual. This is just such a sad end to the year."
From M.C. Beaton's website: 

M.C. Beaton was born in Glasgow, Scotland. She started her first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department at John Smith & Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by chance, she received an offer from the Scottish Daily Mail to review variety shows and quickly rose to become their theatre critic. She left Smith’s to join Scottish Field magazine as a secretary in the advertising department, without any shorthand or typing experience, but quickly got the job of fashion editor instead. She then moved to the Scottish Daily Express where she reported mostly on crime. This was followed by a move to Fleet Street to the Daily Express where she became chief woman reporter.

After marrying Harry Scott Gibbons and having a son, Charles, Marion moved to the United States where Harry had been offered the position of editor of the Oyster Bay Guardian. They subsequently moved to Virginia and Marion worked as a waitress in a greasy spoon in Alexandria while Harry washed the dishes. Both then got jobs at Rupert Murdoch’s new tabloid, The Star, and moved to New York. Anxious to spend more time at home with her small son, Marion, supported by her husband, started to write Regency romances. After she had written close to 100, and had gotten fed up with the 1811 to 1820 period, she began to write detective stories under the pseudonym of M. C. Beaton. On a trip from the States to Sutherland on holiday, a course at a fishing school inspired the first Hamish Macbeth story. Marion and Harry returned to Britain and bought a croft house in Sutherland where Harry reared a flock of black sheep. When her son graduated, and both of his parents tired of the long commute to the north of Scotland, they moved to the Cotswolds, where Agatha Raisin was created.

While Marion wrote her historical romances under her maiden name, Marion Chesney, as well as several pseudonyms (Helen Crampton, Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, and Charlotte Ward), because of her great success with mystery novels as M. C. Beaton, most of her publishers both in the U.S. and abroad use the M. C. Beaton pseudonym for all of her novels.


Willa Watson said...

Rest in peace Marion!! Have enjoyed your writing very much and will continue to do so!
Thank You
Kristine Watson
Coos Bay, Oregon USA

Eva North said...

Good evening, I'm so sorry to hear about M.c.'s passing, she will be deeply missed. Prayers and blessings going out to her family during this rough time.

Candy Kennedy said...

I will miss her new books unwritten. RIP.Saddened.

Memarge said...

May she rest in peace. I’m certainly going to miss new Agatha Raisins.

Mary said...

R.I.P., Marion. Sad news to her fans. She will certainly be missed.

LibraryJill said...

I enjoyed her regency romances so much--they compared well with Georgette Heyer's writing. She was such a talented writer and will be missed.

Susan Bernhardt said...

I loved M.C. Beaton mysteries, both the Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth series, especially her earlier books. She is the reason I started writing cozy mysteries. She will be missed.

Mary E said...

RIP. Loved all her books.