It is 20 years since the publication of MC Beaton's first novel featuring PR-turned-sleuth Agatha Raisin.
Beaton began to write theatre reviews for the Scottish Daily Mail, and a career in journalism followed—including an eye-opening spell as a crime reporter for the Scottish Daily Express, where she witnessed first hand the terrible poverty in Glasgow’s crime-ridden tenements. After she married theDaily Express’ former Middle East correspondent Harry Scott Gibbons, they went travelling, had a son, Charles, and spent some eventful years in the US, including a down-and-out spell living in a doss house “with hot and cold running winos”......Beaton and her husband moved south to Gloucestershire in 1990, whereupon the character of Agatha Raisin was derived variously from E F Benson’s Lucia and Miss Mapp stories; Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair; and the thrusting PRs Beaton encountered during her newspaper days. “She’s middle- aged and rather pushy. Someone you may not necessarily like, but want to win out in the end.”
Moonlighting for Murder - Karen Russell on Agatha Raisin