Author Elizabeth Peters, the pen name of Egyptologist Barbara Mertz, has created a universe around the fictional Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson, his wife Amelia Peabody, their relatives, children, servants and Egyptian workers. Characters such as Cat Bastet, the Master Criminal and the Father of Curses delight her legions of fans. She has dozens of pleasing mysteries spanning four decades around the turn of the Nineteenth Century. The doyenne of this mystery genre, her website is well-developed and great fun to visit for a list and summary of all the books. www.ameliapeabody.com Her warmhearted support of ARCE-OC’s fundraising event “Tea with Amelia Peabody” makes us twice as fond of her!

Author Lauren Haney establishes Lieutenant Bak as the protagonist solving mysteries at the gigantic real life fortress of Buhen, on the Nile at Egypt’s southern border. There is fertile ground for ill doing along this trade route with Africa. She is no longer writing these, but a small series exists in paperback and can be found from used booksellers. No website.

Author Linda Robinson’s key character is Lord Meren, a nobleman ill treated by the late and unloved Pharaoh Akhenaten. Meren is part of young Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s cabinet, and solves mysteries that threaten Tut’s life and his fragile rule. He interacts with all kinds of high-ranking and overly self-important nobles, army commanders, priests in temples and other suspicious types. Meren has grown-up daughters who do not always behave with the decorum he expects. The series has ended, but books can still be found from used booksellers. http://www.meren.com/

Author Pauline Gedge does the best job of describing the environment of Ancient Egypt, with lavish palaces, harem quarters, river front estates and life among the upper classes. Her debut novel was a chilling mystery about the terrible toll extracted by the dead brought back to life by the inadvertent speaking of a magical spell. Mirage [US] Scroll of Sakkara [UK]. Child of the Morning is about Queen Hatshepsut. The Twelfth Transforming is about the Amarna era told from Queen Tiye’s POV. Gedge has a two-volume series focused on the harem conspiracy against Ramses III,  House of Dreams and The House of Illusion/The Lady of the Reeds. Two other longer series are the Lords of the Two Lands and the King’s Men Trilogy. Later books are still in print; earlier ones available from used booksellers. www.paulinegedge.com/

Back in the 1960s, political novelist Alan Drury produced a two-volume set on the politics of the Amarna heresy: A God Against the Gods and Return to Thebes. Fast-paced, it features plotting by Nefertiti, Akhenaten, the Priests of Amun, Pharaoh Amenhotep III, the Great Royal Wife Tiye and everybody else on the family tree. This can be found from used booksellers.

Wilbur Smith has written a couple of utterly preposterous but fast-paced adventure novels about hunting for treasure amidst the cataracts of the Nile.



French author Christian Jacq is a prolific writer whose novels have been translated into English. Jacq does an exceptional job in creating the magical worldview prevalent in Ancient Egypt; this is not to everyone’s taste. His books feature well-known historical characters, along with simply named, low-class companions who interact with, rescue and run errands for the royals. He has a five- volume set on Rameses II, as well as The Black Pharaoh, The Tutankhamun Affair, He has no website but is on Facebook.

Mika Waltari’s book, The Egyptian, was the basis for the movie of the same name, basically a retelling of the tale of Sinuhe.

Moyra Caldcott is a British Author who writes books about key figures in Egyptian history, like Hatshepsut and Akhenaten, infused with mysticism. Her books can be purchased in paperback
and in Kindle editions. www.moyracaldecott.co.uk/

Children’s Books
Mara, Daughter of the Nile and The Golden Goblet by Eloise J. McGraw are Newberry Award winners and used in schools in California.

Lucille Morrison’s Lost Queen of Egypt, out of print and selling for $300 online when it does show up, is still available at the L.A. Public Library and probably elsewhere. Written at the middle-school level, it follows the life of Ankhesenpaaten, the princess who wed King Tutankhamun.

Two books, The Winged Cat and Zekmet, the Stone Carver: A Tale of Ancient Egypt by ARCE member Deborah Nourse Lattimore have lush illustrations and a nice storyline.

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