A throwback review from May 2013! Enjoy!
Crocodile on the Sandbank is the first in the humorous historical Amelia Peabody Mystery series by Elizabeth Peters.
Independently wealthy and ready for an adventure, Amelia Peabody, Victorian spinster of thirty-two, embarks on a trip to Egypt.
Armed with all the necessities – unwavering self-confidence, sharp intelligence, and a pointy parasol – Amelia embarks and finds herself utterly enthralled with the landscape and history.
As she is ready to travel to Cairo, though, she ends up rescuing the young and lovely Evelyn Barton-Forbes, a fellow Englishwoman left disgraced and alone – abandoned by the lover that estranged her from her grandfather, ready to end it all.
Well, Amelia certainly can’t have that. Especially when the lady has been so wronged! So, instead of letting the girl go off herself she employs her as a companion and sets off to sail the Nile with her by her side.
The trip is turning decidedly enjoyable.
When they reach an archeological site ran by the Emerson brothers – one sweet and gentlemanly, the other an ogre of a man with a wit to match Amelia’s – their party is halted as a rather absorbing mystery takes place.
It appears that a mummy is haunting the dig.
Amelia is certainly going to stick around to figure that one out.
Crocodile on the Sandbank was originally released back in 1975. If it weren’t for a bookish friend that told me about it, I may have missed this delightful novel! So, I definitely wanted to make sure all of you knew about it! It’s never too late to grab up a copy, after all.
Whenever I hear of a Victorian mystery, I’m there! But when you add a headstrong, clever, unpredictable and hilarious heroine like our Amelia here? Why, you can’t keep me away!!!
The first person narration is just SO fun as we sop up Amelia’s consistently droll, amusing tone. We get enough background and history of the character to very much appreciate her and feel that it’s not too much of a stretch for this woman to be a result of this exhilarating era.
Plus, Evelyn and the Emerson brothers get enough dialogue and story to become fully lively, likable characters themselves! The exotic locales sparkle with just enough detail, the fascination with antiquities buzzes, and the mystery slowly but surely come into light with a mix of curiosity, minor creepiness, and hilarity. I’ll say it again: FUN!!!
I was happily surprised by all the twists and truly pleased with the excellent chemistry that sneaks up and sizzles between Amelia and… Are you kidding?! I’m not gonna give it away!
There are a gazillion books in this series at this point – to be more accurate, about nineteen.
I will enthusiastically be obtaining as many more as I can, as quickly as I can! How about you?
Read Crocodile on the Sandbank, you fool! :)