studied at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, receiving an MA
and a PhD in Egyptology. A former president of the American Crime Writers
League, she presently serves on the editorial advisory board of KMT,
A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt and the board of governors of the American Research
Center in Egypt, as well as the editorial board of The Writer. She is also a member of the Egypt Exploration
Society, the James Henry Breasted Circle of the Oriental Institute, and the
National Organization for Women. Under her own name she is the author of Red Land, Black Land, Daily Life in Ancient Egypt.
Under her pseudonym Barbara Michaels, she has written many novels of suspense.
As Elizabeth Peters, she has produced numerous mystery-suspense novels, many of
them set in Egypt and the Middle East. The Mystery Writers of America awarded
Dr. Mertz the MWA Grandmaster in 1998.