Barbara 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. 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 twenty-nine novels of suspense. As Elizabeth Peters, she has produced twenty-nine 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.
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