Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Saturday, February 09, 2013
The mystery of crime writer MC Beaton
Jake Kerridge profiles MC Beaton, the crime writer who's the third most
borrowed adult author in Britain.
But in this who’s who of authors, there comes a who’s that? moment for many
people when they reach the third name on the list: MC Beaton.
We don’t see Beaton having chin-stroking conversations with Alan Yentob on
television à la Ian Rankin (17 places below her) because her detective stories
are light and amusing. She writes two series, one featuring the laid-back
policeman Hamish Macbeth, the other set in the Cotswolds and starring Agatha
Raisin, a retired PR queen turned amateur sleuth.
Ms Beaton, whose real name is Marion Chesney, is a small, elegant 76-year-old
Glaswegian with a waspish sense of humour. She worked for many years as a
journalist, in the days when she and her colleagues would blithely listen in to
the stolen police radios they kept on their desks.
She once told me that she turned to writing crime in the Eighties because the
sort of books she wanted to read weren’t being written: “There was nothing in
between Mills & Boon and Booker books. No books for a bad time on a wet
day.” Having produced more than 100 Regency romances under various pseudonyms,
she had no trouble in turning out crime novels at high speed. Full article at The Telegraph