From the author of the Amelia Peabody series.
What is the Vicky Bliss series about?
Historical mystery novels written by American author and Egyptologist Barbara Mertz under the pen name Elizabeth Peters (also known as Barbara Michaels when she wrote Gothic novels), the Vicky Bliss novels are set in late 20th century Europe and Egypt.
The story focuses on Doctor Victoria Bliss, a beautiful art historian who specializes in medieval art and works for Herr Professor Anton Z. Schmidt at the National Museum in Munich. She has expertise in lost museum treasures that often leads her into the most dangerous of situations.
How to Read the Vicky Bliss Books in Order?
Every book in the Vicky Bliss series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- The Camelot Caper (1969) (Not a Vicky Bliss novel, but it introduced the John Smythe character) – For Jessica Tregarth, an unexpected invitation to visit her grandfather in England is a wonderful surprise-an opportunity to open doors to a family past that have always been closed to her. But sinister acts greet her arrival. A stranger tries to steal her luggage and later accosts her in Salisbury Cathedral. Mysterious villains pursue her through Cornwall, their motive and intentions unknown. Jessica’s only clue is an antique heirloom she possesses, an ancient ring that bears the Tregarth family crest.
- Borrower of the Night (1973) – A missing masterwork in wood, the last creation of a master carver who died in the violent tumult of the sixteenth century, may be hidden in a medieval German castle in the town of Rothenburg. The prize has called to Vicky Bliss, drawing her and an arrogant male colleague into the forbidding citadel and its dark secrets. But the treasure hunt soon turns deadly. Here, where the blood of the long-forgotten damned stains ancient stones, Vicky must face two equally perilous possibilities. Either a powerful supernatural evil inhabits this place. . .or someone frighteningly real is willing to kill for what Vicky is determined to find.
- Street of the Five Moons (1978) – Vicky Bliss, a brain with a body like a centerfold, often has a tough time getting people to take her seriously. But when it comes to medieval history, this blonde beauty knows her stuff — and she’s a master at solving mysteries that would turn the art world upside down. Vicky gasped at the sight of the exquisite gold pendant her boss at Munich’s National Museum held in his hand. The Charlemagne talisman replica, along with a note in hieroglyphs, was found sewn into the suit pocket of an unidentified man found dead in an alley.
- Silhouette in Scarlet (1983) – One perfect red rose, a one-way ticket to Stockholm, and a cryptic “message” consisting of two Latin words intrigue art historian Vicky Bliss-as they were precisely intended to do. Vicky recognizes the handiwork of her former lover, the daring jewel thief John Smythe. So she takes the bait, eagerly following Smythe’s lead in the hope of finding a lost treasure. But the trail begins at a priceless fifth-century chalice that will place Vicky at the mercy of a gang of ruthless criminals who have their eyes on an even more valuable prize.
- Trojan Gold (1987) – A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words. But the photograph art historian Vicky Bliss has just received gives rise to a thousand questions instead. A quick glance at the blood-stained envelope is all the proof she needs that something is horribly wrong. The picture itself is familiar: a woman adorned in the gold of Troy. Yet this isn’t the famous photograph of Frau Schliemann-no, this picture is contemporary. The gold, as Vicky and her fellow academics know, disappeared at the end of World War II.
- Night Train to Memphis (1994) – Vicky Bliss is the first to admit she doesn’t know a thing about Egyptology. But her familiarity with criminality brings an intelligence agency to her office with an offer she can’t refuse: they want her as an undercover operative on a luxury Nile cruise because certain information has come their way that a major theft of Egyptian antiquities is in the works. Vicky suspects the man they are seeking is her occasional lover and frequent adversary, Sir John Smythe…
- The Laughter of Dead Kings (2008) – Beautiful, brainy art expert and sometimes sleuth Vicky Bliss and her colorful entourage are racing across modern-day Egypt to investigate the brazen theft of one of the ancient desert land’s most priceless treasures…and a superior mystery fit for a King Tutankhamen.