M.C. Beaton

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M.C. Beaton

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jan 9, 2011, 12:20 pm

Just joined this group and wanted to make sure to recommend Ms. Beaton. She is the queen of the English village cozy. Both her series (Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth) are wonderful examples of the genre. My personal favourite is Hamish though, but she's certainly worth a read.

feb 4, 2011, 6:13 am

I love Agatha Raisin :)

feb 4, 2011, 8:46 am

Hamish is just wonderful ... I've only read a handful of them; fortunately, there are plenty more!

feb 7, 2011, 6:31 pm

I love Agatha Raisin too. I have one Hamish Macbeth book but have not yet read it. I am watching the Hamish Macbeth series via NetFlix. and I really enjoy the series so I'm sure I'll love the books.

jul 23, 2012, 2:34 am

I've just read the first Agatha Raisin and thought it was hilarious. Normally I don't read series book consecutively but this time I really wanted the next one straight away. I have to wait for it to come back to the library or find a copy in an op shop. I bought 9 of the books at an op shop based on the book design by Pete Rozycki. They are just lovely looking books.

nov 7, 2012, 1:24 pm

I am a big fan of M.C. Beaton and love both her Agatha Raisin and Hamish McBeth series. I wondered if anyone had read any of her last Agatha Raisin books/stories - As the Pig Turns, Christmas Crumble or Hiss and Hers. For some reason, I just don't find them as well-written as the earlier books.

They seem more simplistic somehow - just not as complex and interesting as they used to be. They basically are now just using the same old formula: Charles in and out of her life; Toni successful on cases and Agatha a bit jealous; Agatha getting into some kind of trouble for which Bill must bail her out; Roy coming down for the weekend, egging her on and then running back home; James hovering somewhere in the background, and Mrs. Bloxby there for moral support.

Does anyone else notice this? To me it is a bit like the Cat Who... series by Lilian Jackson Braun, they were great in the beginning, but around the 17th book started to fall apart, yet she wrote another 12 books. I don't want to be premature, but I certainly hope that this is not happening with M.C. Beaton because she has been one of the few cozy mystery authors whose plots are complex and who do not rely on gimicks, in my opinion.

nov 7, 2012, 2:13 pm

Her wikipedia page has a mention (un-cited) that she's had a lot of pressure on her to write for those series (even having to put aside others she worked on under her actual name). That, plus the fact that she's approaching 80, could easily lead to some more formulaic writing...

nov 16, 2012, 1:35 pm

<7 That would certainly explain it. I'm still a fan, of course, and will continue to read/purchase her books as I did with Lilian Jackson Braun, but I'm crossing my fingers that she still has quite a few novels left to write. Just look at PD James...she's still writing at over 80 and quite well - although she has never churned them out like MC Beaton.

nov 16, 2012, 2:06 pm

Oh yes, I'm sure if she chooses to she could still produce work of her typical caliber. Didn't mean to imply that 80 was "too old" or anything. Just that pressure+age=rough, ya know. But if the quote is truly accurate, she might also feel a little resentful towards being pushed in that direction when she also wanted to focus on the others, which could lead to purposeful "slipping up" a bit. But these are all just suppositions on my part.