Elizabeth Peters biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Elizabeth Peters
© George Johnson

Elizabeth Peters

Elizabeth Peters Biography

Barbara G. Mertz studied at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, receiving an M.A. in 1950 and a Ph.D. in Egyptology in 1952. In 1950 she married Richard Mertz and had two children, Elizabeth and Peter. She was divorced in 1969. A past president of American Crime Writers League, she served on the Editorial Advisory Board of KMT, A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt. She was also a member of the Egypt Exploration Society and the James Henry Breasted Circle of the Oriental Institute. Under her own name she is the author of Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs, A Popular history of Ancient Egypt and Red Land, Black Land, Daily Life in Ancient Egypt.

Under her pseudonym Barbara Michaels, she wrote twenty nine novels of suspense. As Elizabeth Peters, she produced thirty seven mystery-suspense novels, many of them set in Egypt and the Middle East. Dr. Mertz was awarded a D.H.L. from Hood College in 1989. The Mystery Writers of America awarded her the MWA Grandmaster in 1998. She also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Malice Domestic and the Grandmaster Award from Bouchercon.

She died in early August 2013 aged 85

Elizabeth Peters's website

This bio was last updated on 08/09/2013. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Interview

Barbara Mertz, also known as Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters, explains how she started writing and offers encouragement to young people to follow their dreams - wherever they may lead.

What made you want to be a writer?
I didn't want to be a writer. I wanted to be an archaeologist. My parents wanted me to be a teacher; it was a nice practical career for a woman. When they discovered, somewhat belatedly, that I had changed my major (I had been at the Oriental Institute for six months), they were bewildered, but bless them, they didn't try to make me change my mind. I still believe, with all my heart, that young people should be allowed to follow their own aspirations and inclinations, however impractical these may seem. If they don't try, they will never know whether or not they might have succeeded; and who's to say what is practical? Egyptology was an impractical career, especially for a young married woman forty years ago. Writing was, and still is, an impractical career, because so few people succeed in earning a living that way. I was one of the lucky ones; and if I hadn't been so obsessed with ancient Egypt (as I still am) I might have noticed that I did enjoy writing, and that some people thought I was pretty good at it. But I've never regretted studying Egyptology even though I was unable to make it my career.

So how did you become a writer?
Luck, accident, or ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Elizabeth Peters at BookBrowse
The Painted Queen jacket A River in the Sky jacket Laughter of Dead Kings (Vicky Bliss, No. 6) jacket Tomb of the Golden Bird jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Elizabeth Peters but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

We recommend 19 similar authors

View all 19 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Book of Goose
    The Book of Goose
    by Yiyun Li
    Yiyun Li's The Book of Goose is a story of childhood friendship between narrator Agnès, a one-...
  • Book Jacket: Big Red
    Big Red
    by Jerome Charyn
    Jerome Charyn made his name as an author of detective novels, and over the years he has taken his ...
  • Book Jacket: If I Survive You
    If I Survive You
    by Jonathan Escoffery
    In If I Survive You, author Jonathan Escoffery portrays a family falling apart with grace. Main ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Bell in the Lake
by Lars Mytting
The engrossing epic novel - a #1 bestseller in Norway - of a young woman whose fate plays out against her village's mystical church bells.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Our Missing Hearts
    by Celeste Ng

    From the author of Little Fires Everywhere, the inspiring new novel about a mother’s unbreakable love in a world consumed by fear.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

G R T Bad R

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.