MC Hammer was great, wasn’t he? Back in the Eighties, with his baggie trousers that made him appear like a Gene on speed.
Well, MC Beaton is, oh sooo much better. I’m talking ‘addictive’ better, not ‘just guilty pleasures’ better;
and ‘when is her next book (number 24) out, because until then I will neither sleep nor eat?’ better;
or ‘why have I introduced her to friends and family and lent my own Agatha Raisins’ books – they don’t know how to treat other people’s property?’ kind of better;
and ‘my own precious copies are missing from my bookshelves – somebody will pay for this!’ panic attack sort of better. (I need not remind my kind and patient bloggers about how touchy I can be about my own books and their allocated position on my own bookshelves…)
OK, enough with erratic and hormonal behaviour. This is the deal: Agatha Raisin is MC Beaton’s middle aged dragon lady detective who owns her own detective agency in a picturesque Cotswolds village in England. (For bloggers outside the UK, the Cotswolds are one of the most picturesque areas of the English countryside, and becoming rather trendy too amongst celebs and the like). Agatha’s breakfast consists of two cigarettes and two cups of coffee; she’s temperamental and impulsive; swears (‘snakes and bastards!’); when in love meticulously dresses up and applies and re-applies make up, stalks, travels half the world and back in pursuit of her loved one, with rather mixed results, usually unhappy.
MC Beaton is the creator of another fascinating detective, Hamish Macbeths, a quartet of Edwardians murder mysteries and a number of Regency romances. But if I had to pick one, it would be former PR executive Agatha.
The UK Public Lending Right organisation, which administers royalty payments to authors based on library lending, has published its figures for 2011-2012. “The figures show that M.C. Beaton has risen one place since last year to be the 7th most borrowed author overall, and the 3rd most borrowed in adult fiction since six of the top ten are children’s authors. It also means that she is the top British adult fiction author in the list with over a million books borrowed in the last year.” (http://www.mcbeaton.com/uk/news/m.c._beaton_3rd_most_borrowed_adult_author_in_uk_libraries/)
Sure, after 17 consecutive Agatha Raisin’s detective stories I had to dip my feet into other literary genres, but I did go to some lengths to read all others right to her latest (number 23!) soon afterwards.
I’m counting the days until her next book is out. Number 24 is called Something Borrowed Something Dead and is available to pre-order! Should I look at myself in the mirror and say: ‘STOP! YOU NEED HELP!’? No, I shouldn’t. I don’t need help to click yes on ‘would you like to pre-order?’
In the meantime I will need something to keep my mind off my Beaton’s addiction. Here’s the simultaneous list: Susan Hunter – Windy City by our own Maddie Cochere @ breezybooks.wordpress; Gone Girl (truth be told the plot is turning a bit too twisted for night time reading, but I’m nearly finished and I might as well go for it, endure some nightmares and be over and done with); Tuesdays at the Castle (such a great children’s book); and Dark Lord (Dirk Lloyd) (of course another children’s book, and an excellent one too).
Have you got a personal reading addiction? How many books in the same series have you read in a row before realising that you were slowly spiralling out of control?
Our zealous Zemanta has spotted the following related articles:
- M.C. Beaton (thestoryreadingapeblog.com)
- PR in Fiction: MC Beaton Agatha Raisin (publicsphere.typepad.com)
- Why Country? (countrycrime.wordpress.com)
- AudioBook Review: Animating Maria by M. C. Beaton (iam-indeed.com)
Maddie’s fantastic creation Susan Hunter can be found @ http://breezybooks.wordpress.com