Her Amelia Peabody series was both a fantastic send up and celebration of early 20th century murder mystery / pulp adventure genres. Possessing a degree in Egyptology herself, it’s unsurprising that she set her novels in exotic Egypt where a remarkable British family (headed by Amelia Peabody) discovers long lost tombs and foils dastardly villains — all with proper Victorian decorum. I love these books for their humor, exotic locales, and the optimistic, hard-working decency of the characters. No dreary “dark” or flawed heroes here; these are good, likeable folk (and boy, is that refreshing in today’s landscape).
The series began in 1975 (set in 1884) and goes for 19 books (the last set in 1910). For my money, the third, The Mummy Case, is the best of the lot. They’re breezy reads but have a dictionary handy as Mrs. Mertz had quite the lexical skills which she flexes frequently throughout.
If you want to go the audiobook route, I HIGHLY recommend you seek out versions narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. She nails all the characters perfectly!
Ah, Mrs. Mertz. Know you added well to the world and that we’ll miss you and your engaging texts.