Barbara Mertz (aka Elizabeth Peters & Barbara Michaels) died peacefully at home early in the morning of Aug. 8, 2013. She had put up a very tough battle against cancer for over a decade, in a style worthy of Amelia. She preferred not to be fussed over, and so did not make her illness public. She died as she had told everyone she wanted to-- unexpectedly, in her sleep. Shortly before her death, she had written a line to be posted on this webpage: “At 85, Elizabeth Peters (aka Barbara Michaels) is enjoying her cats, her garden, lots of chocolate, and not nearly enough gin.”


"In the end the clouds will blow away
and the falcon will fly through the portal of the dawn."
from The Falcon at the Portal

We thank you for your many condolence messages and fond memories sent to us since Barbara's death. Stay tuned to this website for more news and for some responses to questions we've been receiving about the status of The Painted Queen. If you know of upcoming tributes or of currently active web discussions pertaining to MPM, please let us know. Contact Us

In answer to one question we received: MPM signed many books as "Elizabeth Peters" and "Barbara Michaels." She did warn fans against buying signed PHOTOS, as she did not sign photographs. But she did sign many, many books.



MPM fans may enjoy reading the tributes to her published in the ARCE Bulletin.


Friends and fans have asked where they can send donations in Barbara's honor. The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, where Barbara received her Ph.D, is gratefully accepting donations to the Barbara G. Mertz fund, if sent to:

Tracy Tajbl, Director of Development
The Oriental Institute at The University of Chicago
1155 East 58th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Tracy Tajbl

In addition to the Oriental Institute, Barbara's family has also suggested Smile Train and Heartly House of Frederick Maryland.


Barbara Mertz's literary estate is managed by the Dominick Abel Literary Agency.

Visitors since September 8, 2008