I've seen a few comments that Barbara Mertz, AKA Elizabeth Peters passed away, but I can't find confirmation.
If it's true, how very sad. Her character Amelia Peabody and her books had a huge influence on me. Ostensibly mysteries, the Amelia Peabody stories were adventure, mystery, comedy, and a continuing romance between a married couple. When I wrote The Devil's Concubine, I was specifically trying to write the kind of story I like to read, and the Amelia Peabody books were near the top of my list of 'stuff I want to see more of, so I might as well be the one to write it.'
It's too bad she won't be writing any more books for us to enjoy, but she left a good legacy. Go. Enjoy. And if The Crocodile on the Sandbank is a bit too romancy for you, give the second book a try before giving up on the series. Trust me.