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.” — BarbaraMertz.org
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 Maniology.com:
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Someone digs up something startling.