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M.C. Beaton

  • ... it was the fashion to psychoanalyse people these days and it was all so tiresome and irritating, as if one could no longer be allowed the luxury of disliking someone.

  • Just at the turn of the tide, nature held its breath — no bird sang, everything seemed to be waiting and waiting. And then, sure enough, as if someone had flicked a switch, everything started in motion again.

  • Do you know why more people don't sober up? Because they don't wear their livers on the outside. If everyone wore their liver on their forehead, say, it would be on full view and people would say, 'Heffens, Jock, that liver of yours is looking fair hobnailed,' and they would get shamed into doing something about it.

  • ... the whistle of the old steam trains ... could conjure up visions of bleak distances with one solitary wail.

  • ... religion's for those who believe in hell and a spiritual belief is for those who've been there.

  • Isn't it sad that we only get upset about nasty things happening to people and places if television decides we should?

  • That was the trouble with so many reality programmes on television — everyone wanted fame these days without necessarily working at anything to achieve it.

  • Okay, I'm lazy. But being lazy is a talent. Sometimes it takes an awful lot of work.

  • Christmas had done its usual merry work of setting husband against wife, relative against relative, and spreading bad will among men in general. People looked overfed and hung over and desperately worried about how much they had already spent.

  • She turned out to be one of those irritating people who get up to leave and then stand in the doorway chattering away.

M.C. Beaton, Scottish-born English writer


Full name: Marion  McChesney Gibbons. She writes as Marion Chesney, and as Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Charlotte Ward, and Sarah Chester. Her dependably delightful Hamish Macbeth series is one of my favorites.