Prolific author Barbara Mertz, better known as mystery authors Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels, died last week at the age of 85. Born in Astoria, Illinois in 1927, she received a PhD in Egyptology from the University of Chicago at the age of 23. Ms. Mertz wrote two nonfiction books under her own name, including Temples, Tombs & Hieroglyphs before her first work of fiction The Master of Blacktower was published under the Barbara Michaels name. As Elizabeth Peters she wrote the popular Amelia Peabody mystery series about the adventures of the feisty Victorian archaeologist, beginning with Crocodile on the Sandbank in 1975. In 1998, Mertz received the grandmaster lifetime achievement award from the Mystery Writers of America, the top award from the mystery writers group. Check out the library catalog for works by this “novelist of many names” and read the obituary here.