Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Barbara Mertz  

Pen Name: Elizabeth Peters, Barbara Michaels

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1928

-- Website --
-- Barbara Mertz on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Mertz grew up in small-town Illinois during the Depression. Her family moved to a Chicago suburb when she was in 4th grade. She attended Oak Park-River Forest High School and went to the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Mertz wrote more than 35 mysteries under thename Elizabeth Peters, including her most popular series about a daring Victorian archaeologist namesd Amelia Peabody. She also wrote 29 suspense novels under the pen name Barbara Michaels, and under her own name, she wrote nonfiction books about ancient Egypt. In 1950, Mertz received her MA from the University of Chicago. She so loved archaeology and was drawn to Egyptology that she received her Ph.D in 1952 from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Mertz married in 1950. After moving to Germany with her husband, she tried her hand at writing. She wrote two nonfiction books about Egypt under her name before having her first fiction book published, ''The Master of Blacktower'', under the Michael's name.Mertz passed on August 8, 2013 at her home in Frederick, Maryland.

Published Works

    Under the name, Barbara Mertz:
  • Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs
  • Red Land, Black Land

    Under the Pen Name, Elizabeth Peters:''Amelia Peabody Series:
  • Crocodile on the Sandbank, Mysterious Press, 1988
  • The Curse of the Pharaohs, Mysterious Press, 1988
  • The Mummy Case, Harper, 2011
  • Lion in the Valley, Harper, 2011
  • Deeds of the Disturber
  • The Last Camel Died at Noon
  • The Snake, the Crocodile & the Dog, Grand Central Publishing, 1994
  • The Hippopotamus Pool, Grand Central Publishing, 1997
  • The Ape Who Guards the Balance
  • The Falcon at the Portal
  • He Shall Thunder in the Sky, Harper, 2010
  • Lord of the Silent
  • The Golden One
  • Children of the Storm
  • Guardian of the Horizon
  • The Serpent on the Crown, Avon, 2006
  • Tomb of the Golden Bird, Harper , 2007
  • A River in the Sky, William Morrow, 2010Vicky Bliss Series:
  • Borrower of the Night
  • Street of Five Moons
  • Silhouette in Scarlet
  • Trojan Gold
  • Night Train to Memphis
  • The Laughter of Dead KingsJacqueline Kirby Series:
  • The Seventh Sinner
  • Murders of Richard III
  • Die for Love
  • Naked Once MoreNonseries:
  • The Jackal's Head
  • The Camelot Caper
  • The Dead Sea Cipher
  • The Night of 400 Rabbits
  • Legend in Green Velvet
  • Devil-May-Care
  • The Love Talker
  • Summer of the Dragon
  • Copenhagen Connection''Under the Pen Name, Barbara Michaels:
  • The Master of Blacktower
  • Sons of the Wolf
  • Ammie Come Home
  • Prince of Darkness
  • The Dark on the Other Side
  • The Crying Child
  • Greygallows
  • Witch
  • House of Many Shadows
  • Sea King's Daughter
  • Patriots Dream
  • Wings of the Falcon
  • Wait for What Will Come
  • The Walker in Shadows
  • The Wizard's Daughter
  • Someone in the House
  • Black Rainbow
  • Here I Stay
  • The Grey Beginning
  • Be Buried in the Rain
  • Shattered Silk
  • Search the Shadows
  • Smoke and Mirrors
  • Into the Darkness
  • Vanish with the Rose
  • Houses of Stone
  • Stitches in Time
  • The Dancing Floor
  • Other WorldsShort Stories:'
  • The Runaway (Barbara Michaels)
  • The Locked Tomb Mystery (Elizabeth Peters)
  • Elizabeth Peters, P.I.'' (Elizabeth Peters)

Selected Titles At Your Library

Crocodile on the sandbank /
ISBN: 0445406518. OCLC Number:

Dodd, Mead,. New York :. [1975]

32-year-old Victorian gentlewoman, Amelia Peabody receives a rather large inheritance and decides to use it for travel. On her way through Rome to Egypt, she meets a young woman abandoned by her lover and left with no means of support. Amelia promptly takes Evelyn under her wing, insisting that the young lady accompany her to Egypt, where Amelia plans to indulge her passion for Egyptology. When Evelyn becomes the target of an aborted kidnapping and the focus of a series of suspicious accidents, Amelia becomes convinced of a plot to harm her young friend. Like any self-respecting sleuth, Amelia sets out to discover who is behind it all.

The curse of the pharaohs /
ISBN: 0445406488. OCLC Number:

Mysterious Press,. New York :. [1988], ©1981.

The witty, indefatigable Amelia Peabody--now married to the woman-hating archaeologist Radcliffe Emerson--eludes the villains and solves three murders in this adventure set among the archaeological digs in the Valley of the Kings.

The snake, the crocodile, and the dog /
ISBN: 0446364789. OCLC Number:

Warner Books,. New York :. ©1992.

Amelia Peabody and her husband's lives are threatened when they embark for the pyramids of ancient Egypt.

The hippopotamus pool /
ISBN: 0446603988. OCLC Number:

Warner Books,. New York, NY :. ©1996.

The 19th Century archeologists, Amelia Peabody and Radcliffe Emerson, arrive in Egypt with children to explore the site of Queen Tetisheri's tomb in Thebes. All goes well until their son, Ramses, is kidnaped. By the author of The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog.

The serpent on the crown /
ISBN: 006059179X. OCLC Number:

William Morrow,. New York :. 2005.

The Emersons learn of a mysterious death that has been attributed to a curse, a situation that enables Amelia Peabody and her family to enter the banned Valley of the Kings in order to return a stolen statue.

Tomb of the golden bird /
ISBN: 0060591811. OCLC Number:

PerfectBound,. Pymble, NSW ;. 2006.

The Emerson clan is a hairsbreadth away from unearthing the legendary site they've been searching for. But a sinister plot and a dark family secret stand in the way of their ultimate ambition and threaten to change things forever.

He shall thunder in the sky :
ISBN: 006195165X. OCLC Number:

W. Morrow,. New York :. ©2000.

Intrepid archaeologist/sleuth Amelia Peabody and her family, back in Egypt in 1914 for another season of archaeological excavation, become caught up in the political turmoil sweeping the country, and when an exquisite artifact from a Giza dig is found where it ought not be, Amelia realizes her villainous arch-nemesis Sethos is at work.

A river in the sky :
ISBN: 0061246263. OCLC Number:

William Morrow,. New York :. 2010.

Amelia and Emerson follow an expedition searching for the vanished treasures of the Temple in Jerusalem. Besides suspecting the leader of the expedition of inept excavation practices, they believe him to be secretly working for German intelligence.

The mummy case /
ISBN: 0061999202. OCLC Number:

. .

Disgusted when he is denied access to the pyramids of Dahshoor, Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson, aided by his archaeologist wife Amelia Peabody, finds his curiosity piqued when an antiquities dealer is murdered and a mummy case disappears.

Amelia Peabody mysteries.
ISBN: 0061999210. OCLC Number:

. .

The 1895-96 season promises to be an exceptional one for Amelia Peabody, her dashing Egyptologist husband, Emerson, and their wild and precocious eight-year-old son, Ramses. The much-coveted burial chamber of the Black Pyramid in Dahshoor is theirs for the digging. But there is a great evil in the wind that roils the hot sands sweeping through the bustling streets and marketplaces of Cairo. The brazen moonlight abduction of Ramses?́?and an expedition subsequently cursed by misfortune and death?́?have alerted Amelia to the likely presence of her arch nemesis the Master Criminal, notorious looter of the living and the dead. But it is far more than ill-gotten riches that motivates the evil genius this time around. For now the most valuable and elusive prize of all is nearly in his grasp: the meddling lady archaeologist who has sworn to deliver him to justice ... Amelia Peabody!


Grandmaster Lifetime Achievement Award

from the Mystery Writers of America, 1998