M.C. Beaton is a pseudonym of Marion Chesney, an extremely prolific
author of Regency romances, who also writes the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth mystery series under
the name M. C. Beaton. A former journalist, she now writes full time, under her
own name and a variety of pseudonyms including Sarah Chester, Helen Crampton, Ann Fairfax,
Marion Gibbons, Jennie Tremaine, and Charlotte Ward. She was born in Scotland
but now divides her time between
the English Cotswolds and Paris.
At a rough count, since 1979 she has published more than 100 titles as Marion Chesney and more than 40 as M.C. Beaton - that's about five a year! 140 titles is impressive if quantity matters to you, but no where near the output of the doyenne of the romance novel, Barbara Cartland (who published her first novel at 22 and died aged 98). Cartland's publisher estimates her total books at 723 (even they can't keep count) with more than a billion in print!
TV Series: Even if you have not read a Hamish Macbeth novel you might be aware of the character from the BBC Scotland TV series that was filmed on location in and around the villages of Plockton and Klye of Lochalsh in the North-West Highlands of Scotland. It ran in the UK for 20 episodes between 1995 and 1997, and was later broadcast on BBC America and, most likely, PBS.
This article was originally published in February 2006, and has been updated for the
January 2007 paperback release.
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