WEDNESDAY

A few years ago, an archaeologist and an anthropologist took a cruise together down the Nile. This probably happens fairly often—but this time, the two passengers were award-winning mystery authors. Barbara Mertz holds a doctorate in Egyptology from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, but she is much better known as mystery writer Barbara Michaels and, especially, as Elizabeth Peters. Affectionately known as MPM among her fans, she has written more than 50 books. Although he has but one name, former professor of anthropology Aaron Elkins (pictured) has written three mystery series of his own (one co-written with his wife), plus the occasional one-shot, like his latest, Loot. Both MPM and Elkins write cozies, mystery novels depicting refined, ordered worlds and filled with arcane, intriguing facts. (Elkins’ novels are so well-researched that they are required texts in forensics classes.) Hammett and Chandler may have tried to bury them, but cozies do not sleep the big sleep. Indeed, the genre of Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers prospers on TV (Murder, She Wrote, Mystery!) and in bookstores. When fans of cozies read new books by their favorite authors, they are as interested in catching up with old friends like Peters’ Amelia Peabody and Vicky Bliss and Elkins’ Chris Norgren and Gideon Oliver as they are in finding out whodunit. Now, years after that Nile journey, MPM and Elkins meet again to discuss mysteries, murder, and archaeology at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I St. NW. Free. (202) 331-7282. (Mark W. Sullivan)