I was so sad at the very end of last year when I learned of the death of one of my favourite writers of all time, MC Beaton. I absolutely loved all her novels from the Regency romances to her cosy mystery series featuring Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin.

One of my favourite things about her (apart from her amazing plots, superb use of the English language, wry humour, and fantastic dialogue) was the way she wrote character descriptions. I loved how she described people without having to mention all the boring things like hair and eye colour! So in honour of her and her awe-inspiring career, here are my five favourite lines:

“Mrs. Wellington was wearing a voluminous flannel nightgown when she answered the door. Hamish was glad Mr. Wellington had found God, because it certainly looked as if he would need to wait until he got to heaven to get his reward.” Death of a Cad

“We forgive beauty such a lot, thought Agatha suddenly. If he was a little balding man with thick glasses, I might get a bit tetchy.” Agatha Raisin: A Spoonful of Poison

“Her mirror showed a reflection of a well-upholstered woman of middle years with gold-tinted hair and a pugnacious face, Mrs Fleming saw in her glass someone several inches slimmer and with dazzling charisma.” Death of a Dustman

“That woman has halitosis of the soul.” Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death

“They slipped quietly away while Heather continued her lecture, her eyes half-closed so that she could better enjoy the sound of her own voice, which went on and on.” Death of a Snob