M.C. Beaton, born Marion Chesney, was a beloved author known for her extensive body of work in the cozy crime genre.

She created memorable series like "Agatha Raisin" and "Hamish Macbeth," featuring quirky, endearing characters who solve mysteries in charming, small-town settings.

Beaton's writing is cherished for its wit, engaging plots, and the warmth she brought to her stories.

Her ability to weave humour and suspense into everyday life made her books a comforting escape for readers, establishing her as a favorite in the world of cozy crime fiction.

The "Agatha Raisin" series follows a sharp-tongued, retired PR executive who moves to the Cotswolds and stumbles upon various mysteries that she can't resist solving. Agatha's bold personality and humorous escapades have won her a dedicated following.

The "Hamish Macbeth" series, set in the Scottish Highlands, features a laid-back village policeman whose cleverness and intuition often lead him to uncover the truth behind local crimes.

Both series are beloved for their rich character development, vivid settings, and the blend of lightheartedness and intrigue.

M.C. Beaton's novels offer a respite from the complexities of modern life, drawing readers into quaint villages and close-knit communities where even the most puzzling crimes are approached with a touch of humour and heart.

Her legacy continues to enchant new generations of readers, who appreciate her unique style and the delightful worlds she created.

M.C. Beaton

Mini Biography

Marion Chesney, born on June 10, 1936, in Glasgow, Scotland, grew up with a keen interest in literature. After completing her education, she did not immediately set out to become a writer.

Instead, she started her career working as a bookseller. This job played a crucial role in nurturing her love for books and storytelling.

Being surrounded by books and interacting with readers every day deepened her appreciation for the written word and inspired her to consider a career in writing.

Her next job was as a theater critic for the Glasgow Evening Times. In this role, Marion attended various theater performances, which required her to write detailed and engaging reviews.

This position not only improved her writing skills but also exposed her to different styles of storytelling and narrative structures used in plays.

Following her time as a theater critic, Marion transitioned to working as a journalist for the Scottish Daily Mail. There, she covered a range of topics, from local news to human interest stories.

This experience was invaluable as it taught her how to write succinctly and compellingly under tight deadlines.

Her journalistic work required thorough research, attention to detail, and the ability to convey stories in an engaging manner – skills that would later serve her well in her fiction writing.

Marion Chesney's diverse experiences in the literary and journalistic fields ultimately paved the way for her to become a successful author.

These early jobs helped her develop a strong foundation in writing, which she carried into her prolific career as a novelist, writing under her own name and her famous pen name, M. C. Beaton.

Marriages and Family

Marion Chesney married Harry Scott Gibbons, a Middle East Correspondent for the Daily Express, in 1969.

Harry's career as a journalist took the couple to various parts of the world, giving Marion a wealth of experiences and perspectives that would later influence her writing.

Despite their travels, they maintained a strong family bond and eventually settled in the United Kingdom.

The couple had one son, Charles Gibbons. Charles was a source of great pride for Marion, and she often balanced her prolific writing career with her responsibilities as a mother.

The family's shared experiences and the support they provided each other were crucial in Marion's successful career as an author.

agatha raisin quiz

Literary Achievements

Marion Chesney was an incredibly prolific writer and authored over 160 books during her career.

While she is best known under the pseudonym M.C. Beaton for her cozy crime series, she also wrote extensively under several other names.

These pseudonyms include Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Charlotte Ward, and Sarah Chester, each representing different genres she explored.

Under her own name, Marion Chesney, she primarily wrote historical romance novels. 

As M.C. Beaton, she gained widespread fame for her detective fiction. Her "Agatha Raisin" series follows a witty, sometimes irascible, retired PR executive who relocates to the Cotswolds.

Her "Hamish Macbeth" series, set in the Scottish Highlands, revolves around a charming yet unambitious village policeman.

In addition to her famous series, Marion Chesney's other pseudonyms allowed her to explore a variety of themes and settings.

As Ann Fairfax, she wrote Regency romances filled with wit and social commentary.

Jennie Tremaine's works were more contemporary romances, while Helen Crampton and Charlotte Ward offered a mix of historical and modern romantic tales.

Sarah Chester's books delved into lighter, comedic romances.


Marion Chesney passed away on December 30, 2019, in Gloucester, England, at the age of 83.

The adaptations of her "Agatha Raisin" and "Hamish Macbeth" series into television shows have helped to keep her legacy alive. 

Her work has been continued by author R.W. Green, a close friend of Chesney, who had her blessing to continue her work.


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  • Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death (1992)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet (1993)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener (1994)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley (1995)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage (1996)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist (1997)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death (1998)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham (1999)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Witch of Wyckhadden (1999)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam (2000)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Love from Hell (2001)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came (2002)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Case of the Curious Curate (2003)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House (2003)
  • Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance (2004)
  • The Perfect Paragon: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2005)
  • Love, Lies and Liquor: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2006)
  • Kissing Christmas Goodbye: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2007)
  • A Spoonful of Poison: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2008)
  • There Goes the Bride: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2009)
  • The Busy Body: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2010)
  • As the Pig Turns: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2011)
  • Hiss and Hers: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2012)
  • Something Borrowed, Someone Dead: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2013)
  • The Blood of an Englishman: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2014)
  • Dishing the Dirt: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2015)
  • Pushing Up Daisies: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2016)
  • The Witches’ Tree: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2017)
  • The Dead Ringer: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2018)
  • Beating About the Bush: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2019)
  • Hot to Trot: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2020)
  • Down the Hatch: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2021)
  • Devil’s Delight: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2022)
  • Dead on Target: An Agatha Raisin mystery (2023)
  • Death of a Gossip (1985)
  • Death of a Cad (1987)
  • Death of an Outsider (1988)
  • Death of a Hussy (1990)
  • Death of a Snob (1992)
  • Death of a Prankster (1992)
  • Death of a Glutton (1993)
  • Death of a Travelling Man (1993)
  • Death of a Charming Man (1994)
  • Death of a Nag (1995)
  • Death of a Macho Man (1996)
  • Death of a Dentist (1997)
  • Death of a Scriptwriter (1998)
  • Death of an Addict (1999)
  • Death of a Dustman (2001)
  • Death of a Celebrity (2002)
  • Death of a Village (2003)
  • Death of a Poison Pen (2004)
  • Death of a Bore (2005)
  • Death of a Dreamer (2006)
  • Death of a Maid (2007)
  • Death of a Gentle Lady (2008)
  • Death of a Witch (2009)
  • Death of a Valentine (2010)
  • Death of a Chimney Sweep (2011)
  • Death of a Kingfisher (2012)
  • Death of Yesterday (2013)
  • Death of a Policeman (2014)
  • Death of a Liar (2015)
  • Death of a Nurse (2016)
  • Death of a Ghost (2017)
  • Death of an Honest Man (2018)
  • Death of a Green-Eyed Monster (2022)
  • The Travelling Matchmaker

    1. Emily Goes to Exeter (1990)
    2. Belinda Goes to Bath (1991)
    3. Penelope Goes to Portsmouth (1991)
    4. Beatrice Goes to Brighton (1991)
    5. Deborah Goes to Dover (1992)
    6. Yvonne Goes to York (1992)


  • The Daughters of Mannerling

      1. The Banishment (1995)
      2. The Intrigue (1995)
      3. The Deception (1996)
      4. The Folly (1996)
      5. The Romance (1997)
      6. The Homecoming (1997)


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