Three Of My Favorite Authors #MondayRecommends #NailArt

Barbara Mertz, Barbara Michaels, Elizabeth Peters.

In case you don’t know (and I didn’t until I was middle-aged), they’re all the same person.

Barbara Mertz, the woman’s born name, was a regular kid from Chicago who grew up to earn a PhD. in Egyptology. My friend and fellow writer T. Lee Harris (who writes terrific books, including historical mysteries set in Ancient Egypt) told me about Barbara Mertz, because T uses her books as references. “In 1964, she published Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs:  A Popular History of Ancient Egypt, which was followed by a second well-received non-fiction book, Red Land, Black Land:  Daily Life in Ancient Egypt.” —

I went on a woman-in-peril mystery kick in my teen and early adult years, and, upon looking up my favorites to re-read, discovered they were all by Barbara Michaels, one of Barbara Mertz’s pen names.

But my favorite of those three writers is Elizabeth Peters, the name under which are written the Amelia Peabody mysteries. Amelia Peabody is a Victorian maiden lady, despised by her brothers, willingly caring for her aging father, who encourages her self-teaching in a variety of subjects, especially Egyptology. When her father dies, leaving her a fortune, she (of course) goes to Egypt. Headstrong, self-righteous, generous-hearted, and interfering, she butts heads with “the foremost Egyptologist of this or any age”, Radcliffe Emerson, a rude, quick-tempered paragon of manly good looks. Mystery, murder, and marriage ensue.

But the adventures have only begun. There are twenty books in the “Amelia Peabody” series, from 1885 to 1922. I haven’t read them all, but I’ve read some of them twice.

Highly recommended. Don’t let the stiff purple prose put you off: The unconventional Amelia writes in the style of her time, and often says a great deal between the lines.

Here is a list of the books in publication order and another in chronological order.

My nails today:

My accent nails are painted with Polished for days’ Hitchhiking Ghosts and my other nails with Maniology’s Fireside. I stamped my accent nails with Maniology’s Fireside, and my accent nails with Maniology’s Prana, since Ghosts isn’t a stamping polish and didn’t pick up well. The plate was Maniology’s MXM013, which is exclusive to Mani X Me members, but Maniology has many gorgeous pattern plates.

And remember, if you buy from

10% off with coupon code MomGoth10

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Someone digs up something startling.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Three Of My Favorite Authors #MondayRecommends #NailArt

  1. acflory

    August 16, 2021 at 7:21am

    Drat. I wish I’d read this post sooner. I had to buy new books today. The nails look good. 🙂

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      August 16, 2021 at 7:57am

      The author passed away years ago, so you can probably find her books used online. They’re worth looking up.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. joey

    August 17, 2021 at 9:50am

    Amelia Peabody is an excellent read! I have read several, but my mother may have read them all.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      August 17, 2021 at 1:06pm

      My favorites are when Ramses is a little boy, but I love most of the ones I’ve read. Not really crazy about The Last Camel Died At Noon, although it has one of the Best. Titles. Ever.

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      • joey

        August 17, 2021 at 3:35pm

        I sincerely do not recall titles I read and had to go look for jackets — which have changed in art since I read them. The only one I’m certain of is The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog.

        Permalink  ⋅ Reply
        • Author

          Marian Allen

          August 18, 2021 at 10:38am

          I have trouble matching titles to plots, but I can do some. They’re all good!

          Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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