The Elizabeth Peters books in order mostly focus on the author’s popular Amelia Peabody series, maybe the most popular author of archaeological mysteries ever written. Sadly the British author passed away a few years ago, in August 2013, however, she left behind a powerful legacy that is difficult to top.
Here are the Elizabeth Peters books in order for her writing to date. Do note that the Amelia Peabody series, due to its popularity, is listed on a separate page which is constantly updated with all the books in reading and chronological order.
Amelia Peabody Series
The books in the Amelia Peabody series are listed on the Amelia Peabody books in order page, which is also constantly updated.
Jaqueline Kirby Series
Vicky Bliss Series
- Borrower of the Night, 1973
- Street of the Five Moons, 1978
- Silhouette in Scarlet, 1983
- Trojan Gold, 1987
- Night Train To Memphis, 1994
- The Laughter of Dead Kings, 2008
Elizabeth Peters’ married name was Barbara Mertz. An American author, she was born in Canton, Illinois in 1927, under the name Barbara Louise Gross. She has in fact been an archaeologist herself, so her books were written with her career knowledge in mind.
At the age of 13 an aunt took her to visit the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, and since then she became obsessed with archaeology and the Ancient Egypt.
After graduating from the University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in 1947 at the age of 20, she earned her master’s degree three years later, in 1950. Then two years later, in 1952 she received her Ph.D. in Egyptology. During the school time, she studied with Egyptologist John A. Wilson. Sadly, she was unable to find work apparently due to sexism in the academic field.
Between 1950-1969 she was married to Richard Mertz, however, she divorced him after 19 years of being together. Nevertheless, from that marriage came two children, Peter and Elizabeth Mertz. The children’s names are actually the origin of the author’s name as Elizabeth Peters.
Until her death in 2013 at the age of 85, she lived in a historic farmhouse in Frederick, located in western Maryland.
Under the name Elizabeth Peters, she has written 3 series, with her most popular one being Amelia Peabody, a fun archaeologist who solves crimes with her husband and fun child. The series includes 19 books.
The Vicky Bliss series involves an art historian with her best knowledge about medieval Europe, who has a job at the Munich National Museum. All the cases she solves are related to art theft and other crimes. There are 6 books in the series.
Elizabeth Peters’ third series is called Jaqueline Kirby, who is an ex-librarian, now a bestselling author who also solves crimes. The series includes 4 books.
Barbara Mertz has also written additional books under the pen name Barbara Michaels. Using this name, she wrote gothic and supernatural thrillers, including the Georgetown trilogy, the Someone in the House series, as well as several standalone novels.
Under her real name, she also wrote several non-fiction books on archaeology.
Over the years, author Elizabeth Peters received numerous awards and was nominated for several others for her work in the mystery genre. In 1989, her book Naked Once More received the Agatha Award in the Best Novel category. The previous year, in 1988, the book Trojan Gold was nominated for an Anthony Award in the same Best Novel category. Her non-fiction book, Amelia Peabody’s Egypt: A Compendium, won the Agatha Award for the Best Non-Fiction Work in 2003.
In addition, Elizabeth Peters as an author also received several grandmaster and lifetime achievement awards over the years, such as the Grandmaster at the Anthony Awards in 1986, followed by the Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America in 1998. A few years later, in 2003, just 10 years before her death, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Malice Domestic Convention. At the same convention, in 2013, she was the first to be awarded the Amelia Peabody Award, named, of course, after her well-known character.
Many of the Elizabeth Peters books take place in the Middle East and they usually deal with Etruscan archaeology, 19th-century Italian unification, which are scholarly areas of expertise. With close to 70 books written in her long career, she is one of the most – if not the most – popular archaeological mystery author of our times. For all her books, Elizabeth Peters did thorough research for the background of her stories.
While the name Elizabeth Peters comes from the first names of her two children, the name Barbara Michaels was chosen by her publicist agent who wanted to keep the Barbara Mertz non-fiction books separate from the author’s fiction stories.
The Elizabeth Peters books in order are a joy to read if you love classical mysteries, archaeological mysteries and those that feature heroines full of wit, charm, and courage who are not afraid to face the difficulties they encounter.