Sad News Amelia Peabody Fans

Sadly, Barbara Mertz, who wrote under the pen names Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters died last Thursday. I just tuned in to the news today. Sorry if you are hearing it from me for the first time.
I read both Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters books. As Elizabeth Peters, Mertz wrote the Amelia Peabody series. I like Peabody for the first five books or so, but then I didn’t read any more. Crocodile on the Sandbank hooked me on the series and the author, but the series didn’t keep me interested. I’m not sure why. I’m still a big fan of Crocodile though — my copy has survived many library purges. My Aunt Nan introduced me to Peters and was the one who told me that Michaels and Peters were the same person. I think the first Peters book I read was a Vicky Bliss mystery, The Camelot Caper. It was from Aunt Nan’s shelves. Nan told me to move on to Crocodile which was MUCH better in her opinion (emphasis hers).
My favourite Barbara Michaels book, the only one to survive repeated library purges, is Houses of Stone. The copy I have I bought new when the book came out in paperback in 1994. It is about a female academic discovering a woman writer of the nineteenth century. Hmm, wonder why I like it. Note, however, that this book survived library purges BEFORE I became an academic working on women writers of the nineteenth century. Maybe this book subconsciously influenced my academic work? Who knows.
Thus I was sad today when I read that Barbara Mertz died last week. She left a literary legacy that is undervalued.


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