Barbara Mertz, who published mysteries and romantic suspense stories under the pen names of Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels, passed away in 2013. She was one of my favorite authors and I looked forward to each new book of hers, especially the ones that featured intrepid archaeologist Amelia Peabody. Back in 2012, I posted about the news that she had another Amelia Peabody book in the works. I know I joined her fans everywhere in the wait for this book. It was not finished at the time of her passing, and most of us thought we’d never see her last work.
I hadn’t heard anything about the book until last week, when I was delighted to get an email from Ms. Mertz’ family company, which is managing her literary estate:
“I just wanted to let people know about some recent developments: The crew at mpmmanor, Barbara’s family company, is continuing to post on her books and any related news. The best guess right now is that if the final A Peabody novel is going to appear, it won’t be before 2017. But hopes run high that this may happen yet. News and remembrances are posted on the blog firstname.lastname@example.org, as well as on twitter, with occasional tumblr and facebook posts as well, and now a little bit on instagram. All the contact information is on mpmmanor.wordpress.com . The official webpage has encountered some problems and is not being updated, but hopefully this will change soon. Hope that helps! So happy to read this conversation!!!”
This is great news! I’ll post if I hear more. If any fans out there want to follow the company on twitter, the handle is @MPMManor.
And here’s my original post, including a listing of the Amelia Peabody books in chronological order. (the best way to read them!)
I was very happy to read that Elizabeth Peters (Barbara Mertz) is at work on another Amelia Peabody mystery. The series ranks as one of my top four mystery series, those that I read over and over. According to the information on her website, the book has a working title of THE PAINTED QUEEN, and Ms. Peters says she hopes to turn in the manuscript this spring. If we are lucky, that means fans might see the book in 2013!
The new story is set during the 1912-1913 season. I find that time period fascinating, and suspect there will be many new fans of these books, as the popularity of Downton Abbey is raising interest in existing books about those pre-World War II years and the war years as well.
If you are not familiar with the series and want to try them, they are best read in chronological order. They were not all published in order though, so don’t go by the dates of publication. The books span the time period from 1884-1923 and follow Amelia and her family on their excavations in Egypt with a few side adventures in other countries. If you have only read some of the earlier books, I’d encourage you to read the later ones, when Amelia’s son Ramses begins to play a larger role in the books. His character goes from a precocious, somewhat annoying little boy to one of the more romantic Indiana Jones-type characters in modern fiction. Ms. Peters’ portrayal of him inspired me to try to create my own intriguing hero in the Victorian-era mysteries I write.
Here’s the list of Amelia Peabody books in order of time period:
Crocodile on the Sandbank (1884-1885)
Curse of the Pharaohs (1892-1893)
The Mummy Case (1894-1895)
Lion in the Valley (1895-1896)
Deeds of the Disturber (1896)
The Last Camel Died at Noon (1897-1898)
The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog (1898-1899)
The Hippopotamus Pool (1899-1900)
Seeing a Large Cat (1903-1904)
The Ape Who Guards the Balance (1906-1907)
Guardian of the Horizon (1907-1908)
A River in the Sky (1910)
The Falcon at the Portal (1911-1912)
He Shall Thunder in the Sky (1914-1915)
Lord of the Silent (1915-1916)
The Golden One (1916-1917)
Children of the Storm (1919-1920)
Serpent on the Crown (1921-1922)
Tomb of the Golden Bird (1922-1923)
I hope we can soon add a new book to the list!