M.C. Beaton

(Agatha Raisin series, Hamish Macbeth series)

Marion Chesney uses the pseudonym M.C. Beaton for her two cozy mystery series, starring the amateur/private detective Agatha Raisin and the Scottish police detective Hamish Macbeth, respectively.  The appeal of Beaton’s books lies in her quirky and eccentric yet believable characters.  Her mysteries have a classic flair—they’re focused on plot and good story construction, puzzles that the attentive reader can solve.  Last, there’s a great sense of humor, a wit that ranges from gentle to cutting (but always entertaining!).   The Agatha Raisin series begins with Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, and the Hamish Macbeth series begins with Death of a Gossip.

If you enjoy books by M.C. Beaton, try:

Agatha Christie (an obvious first choice, really! Readers who are after something very similar to the Agatha Raisin series should try the Miss Marple books, especially The Murder at the Vicarage)

Caroline Graham (if you enjoy the setting of the Hamish Macbeth books just as  much as their British wit, you might like her series starring Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby—try Death of a Hollow Man)

Alexander McCall Smith (both the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency or Isabel Dalhousie series might appeal to Beaton fans—both have very strong and entertaining female leads, well-constructed puzzles, great sense of place, and a tone and style that evokes classic writing)

Frank Parrish (the style and wit of the Dan Mallett series might appeal to those who enjoy the Hamish Macbeth series—try Snare in the Dark)

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