NEW YORK (AP) — Barbara Mertz, an Egyptologist who wrote dozens of mystery and suspense novels under two pen names, has died. She was 85.

Mertz's daughter Elizabeth told her publisher HarperCollins that her mother died Thursday morning at her home in Frederick, Md.

Mertz wrote 29 suspense novels under the pen name Barbara Michaels and more than 35 under the name Elizabeth Peters, many of them set in Egypt and the Middle East. Under her own name, she wrote nonfiction books about ancient Egypt.

Mertz grew up in small-town Illinois and went on to receive a Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago.

She is survived by her children, Elizabeth and Peter.