Elizabeth Peters’ main character, Amelia Peabody, stands out as one of the most distinctive voices in the mystery genre. A feminist, single woman in the 1880s, Amelia has just inherited a fortune and sets out to participate in the heyday of British Egyptian archaeology.
Amelia meets her archaeologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, and between the stilted Victorian dialogue emerges a passionate love story, accurate references to actual Egyptian digs, and of course a mystery to be solved.
Elizabeth Peters wrote twenty Amelia Peabody books, another series featuring Vicky Bliss, art historian, several non-fiction texts about Egypt under her real name, Elizabeth Mertz, (Ph.D. University of Chicago) as well as other fiction under the pen name Barbara Michaels.
I confess that I have only read a handful of the Peabody series but found them delightful, full of references to archaeologists and sites with smart dialogue and a brisk pace. I’m going to go back and read more of them.
You can start with her first, The Crocodile on the Sandbank. (What a cover!)