Glasgow-born author Marion Chesney Gibbons, who wrote under the pen name M.C. Beaton, has died at the age of 83.
An international best-seller, her books included the detective adventures of Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin, with both spawning TV adaptations.
She passed away on December 30 after a brief illness.
A statement from her son Charles, posted on Twitter, said: “This news will sadden many of her readers almost as much as it has her family and friends.
“The support of her fans and the success she enjoyed in her later years were a source of great satisfaction to her, and for that I will be eternally grateful.”
Fellow author Stuart MacBride wrote in tribute: “Marion was wonderful lady, a proper force of nature who brought pleasure to millions with her writing, and someone I was very proud to call my friend. What an utterly terrible end to 2019.”
Crime author Val McDermid also paid tribute, saying: “Sad news. Marion’s sense of humour never deserted her, nor her determination to enjoy life to the full.”
Marion Chesney Gibbons a.k.a. M.C. Beaton: 1936-2019 pic.twitter.com/UyLuoEJmVl
— M.C. Beaton (@mc_beaton) January 2, 2020
Born in Glasgow in 1936, she worked first as a bookseller and then as a theatre critic for the Scottish Daily Mail. Her career in journalism took her to Fleet Street, where she was named chief woman reporter for the Daily Express.
She then moved to the US with husband Harry Scott Gibbons, who died in 2016.
Her publisher Little, Brown, said in a statement: “Success came to her later in life but she made up for lost time – since 2011 she had been the most borrowed UK adult author in British libraries and her M.C. Beaton titles have sold in excess of 21 million copies worldwide.
“However, she hated being referred to as a ‘cosy’ writer, saying that if anyone called her books cosy she’d give them a Glasgow Kiss. She always saw herself more as an entertainer than author.”