Known for such Agatha and Anthony Award-winning novels as, respectively, Naked Once More and Trojan Gold, this American author of mystery novels, thrillers, and works of Gothic fiction also published several acclaimed nonfiction works, including Amelia Peabody's Egypt: A Compendium and Two Thousand Years in Rome.
After earning a Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago, she wrote her first nonfiction book, Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs, in 1964. Her first novel, The Master of Blacktower, was published two years later.
Writing under the pen name of Elizabeth Peters, she penned the popular Amelia Peabody, Vicky Bliss, and Jacqueline Kirby adventure and mystery series. Using the alternate pseudonym of Barbara Michaels, she wrote the Someone in the House Series and the Georgetown Trilogy.
A native of Illinois, she later settled in Maryland. She created her Elizabeth Peters pen name by combining the names of her two children, Elizabeth and Peter Mertz.
Actress Barbara Stanwyck starred in a television movie based on Mertz's 1968 novel Ammie Come Home.