Barbara Mertz (aka Barbara Michaels, Elizabeth Peters) Passes Away

The great author Dr. Barabara Mertz died this morning in her Maryland home. She was 85.

Barbara was an Egyptologist by training (and wrote two good books on the subject), but found her fame as a writer of best-selling thrillers (under the name of Barbara Michaels) and mysteries (as Elizabeth Peters).

If you’re counting, that’s three writing careers under three names, and she aced all three.

I interviewed Barbara a couple times for various publications, and she was terrific: sharp, funny, outspoken, and always entertaining. We used to talk now and then when I was still writing about genre fiction and attending cons. Like most writers, she was widely read, and I remember chats about Plato (she told me that the title for “The Dark on the Other Side” was prompted by a thought about the allegory of the cave: “What’s beyond the light that casts the shadows?”) and other writers (she was a loyal friend and a great supporter of upcoming writers) and Egypt. She was a lot of fun and a terrifically talented lady.

You can read some more about her here.

One of our interviews can be found in The Fine Art of Murder.

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  • Will Duquette

    Oh, that’s too bad. (I have both of her books on Egypt.)

  • Maggie Goff

    Oh, I am so sad. I loved her writing, although I haven’t read any in years now. My sisters loved her, too.

    Thank you for providing the link to Amazon. I just got a great bargain on a used copy of The Fine Art of Murder and should have it on Monday. I am looking forward to reading your interview with her. What a blessing.

  • victor

    Yes, thanks for the Amazon links. I’m going to pick up TT&H. It looks like a good introduction to Egyptian history.