Radcliffe Emerson, the irascible husband of fellow archaeologist and Egyptologist Amelia Peabody, has earned the nickname "Father of Curses" -- and at Mazghunah he demonstrates why. Denied permission to dig at the pyramids of Dahshoor, he and Amelia are resigned to excavating mounds of rubble in the middle of nowhere. And there is nothing in this barren area worthy of their interest -- until an antiquities dealer is murdered in his own shop. A second sighting of a sinister stranger from the crime scene, a mysterious scrap of papyrus, and a missing mummy case have all whetted Amelia's curiosity. But when the Emersons start digging for answers in an ancient tomb, events take a darker and deadlier turn -- and there may be no surviving the very modern terrors their efforts reveal.
Barbara Mertz was born on September 29, 1927 in Astoria, Illinois. She received a bachelor's degree in 1947, a master's degree in 1950 and doctorate in Egyptology in 1952 from the University of Chicago. She wrote a few books using her real name including Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs (1964), Red Land, Black Land (1966), and Two Thousand Years in Rome (1968). She also wrote under the pen names Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters. She made her fiction debut, The Master of Blacktower, under the name Barbara Michaels in 1966. She wrote over two dozen novels using this pen name including Sons of the Wolf, Someone in the House, Vanish with the Rose, Dancing Floor, and Other Worlds. Her debut novel under the pen name Elizabeth Peters was The Jackal's Head in 1968. She also wrote the Amelia Peabody series and Vicky Bliss Mystery series using this name. She died on August 8, 2013 at the age of 85.