Achievers: Mystery Tours

Barbara Mertz (a.k.a. Elizabeth Peters) takes her readers on suspenseful trips through Egypt

Barbara Mertz has as many aliases as a bank robber. But her profession, although equally lucrative, is more honorable. Mertz is the author of 65 books, most of them mysteries written using the pseudonyms Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters, some of them books about Egypt under her own name. It is her Peters alter ego who has the latest book out: Children of the Storm (Morrow). It continues the Egypt-based saga of heroine Amelia Peabody, a spirited archaeologist, and her headstrong archaeologist husband Radcliffe Emerson.

The glamour of Egypt, the mummies, the pyramids and the shifting sands ensnared Mertz, 75, when...

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