Oh, sadness. I just saw the news that Barbara Mertz, better known to the world as Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters, has passed away.
This one hurts, folks. Ms. Mertz, as many of you know, was a huge formative influence on both my reading as an adolescent and my writing once I began to put stories together myself. She was my gold standard for how to create memorable, vivid leading characters, and especially, in the case of the Amelia Peabody series, how to make a married couple have a dynamic relationship over many, many novels.
I have every single one of her novels under both her pen names, and I’ve adored every one. Not only the Emersons (and oh god Ramses! And Nefret! And so, so many wonderful cats!), but also her Vicky Bliss series and her many wonderful standalone suspense/Gothic novels written as Barbara Michaels.
Many condolences to her family and loved ones, and to all of you who loved her novels as much I do.
ETA: Here’s another, longer story on her from CBS News.
ETA #2: CriminalElement.com has a post up about her passing, now.