Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody Series #1)

Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody Series #1)

by Elizabeth Peters

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Overview

Meet Egyptologist Amelia Peabody in the first mystery in the Victorian-era set, New York Times bestselling "sparkling series" (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review).

"If Indiana Jones were female, a wife, and a mother who lived in Victorian times, he would be Amelia Peabody Emerson."—Publishers Weekly

Amelia Peabody, that indomitable product of the Victorian age, embarks on her debut Egyptian adventure armed with unshakable self-confidence, a journal to record her thoughts, and, of course, a sturdy umbrella. On her way to Cairo, Amelia rescues young Evelyn Barton-Forbes, who has been abandoned by her scoundrel lover. Together the two women sail up the Nile to an archeological site run by the Emerson brothers-the irascible but dashing Radcliffe and the amiable Walter. Soon their little party is increased by one-one mummy that is, and a singularly lively example of the species.

Strange visitations, suspicious accidents, and a botched kidnapping convince Amelia that there is a plot afoot to harm Evelyn. Now Amelia finds herself up against an unknown enemy-and perilous forces that threaten to make her first Egyptian trip also her last . . .

Praise for Elizabeth Peters and Crocodile on the Sandbank
"A writer so popular that the public library has to keep her books under lock and key." -Washington Post Book World

"Grand views of Egyptian antiquities . . . a sparkling series." -Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455572359
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 05/28/2013
Series: Amelia Peabody Series , #1
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 51,178
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Peters was born and brought up in Illinois and earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. Peters was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America at the Edgar Awards in 1998. She lives in a historic farmhouse in western Maryland.

You can learn more at:
ameliapeabody.com

Hometown:

A farm in rural Maryland

Date of Birth:

September 29, 1927

Place of Birth:

Canton, Illinois

Education:

M.A., Ph.D. in Egyptology, Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1952

Read an Excerpt

Crocodile on the Sandbank


By Elizabeth Peters

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2013 Elizabeth Peters
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4555-7235-9



CHAPTER 1

When I first set eyes on Evelyn Barton-Forbes she was walking the streets of Rome—

(I am informed, by the self-appointed Critic who reads over my shoulder as I write, that I have already committed an error. If those seemingly simple English words do indeed imply that which I am told they imply to the vulgar, I must in justice to Evelyn find other phrasing.)

In justice to myself, however, I must insist that Evelyn was doing precisely what I have said she was doing, but with no ulterior purpose in mind. Indeed, the poor girl had no purpose and no means of carrying it out if she had. Our meeting was fortuitous, but fortunate. I had, as I have always had, purpose enough for two.

I had left my hotel that morning in considerable irritation of spirits. My plans had gone awry. I am not accustomed to having my plans go awry. Sensing my mood, my small Italian guide trailed behind me in silence. Piero was not silent when I first encountered him, in the lobby of the hotel, where, in common with others of his kind, he awaited the arrival of helpless foreign visitors in need of a translator and guide. I selected him from amid the throng because his appearance was a trifle less villainous than that of the others.

I was well aware of the propensity of these fellows to bully, cheat, and otherwise take advantage of the victims who employ them, but I had no intention of being victimized. It did not take me long to make this clear to Piero. My first act was to bargain ruthlessly with the shopkeeper to whom Piero took me to buy silk. The final price was so low that Piero's commission was reduced to a negligible sum. He expressed his chagrin to his compatriot in his native tongue, and included in his tirade several personal comments on my appearance and manner. I let him go on for some time and then interrupted with a comment on his manners. I speak Italian, and understand it, quite well. After that Piero and I got on admirably. I had not employed him because I required an interpreter, but because I wanted someone to carry parcels and run errands.

My knowledge of languages, and the means which enabled me to travel abroad, had been acquired from my late father, who was a scholar and antiquarian. There was little else to do but study, in the small country town where Papa preferred to live, and I have an aptitude for languages, dead and alive. Papa preferred his languages dead. He was a devoted student of the past, and emerged from it only occasionally, when he would blink at me and express surprise at how I had grown since he last noticed my existence. I found our life together quite congenial; I am the youngest of six, and my brothers, being considerably older, had left the nest some time before. My brothers were successful merchants and professional men; one and all they rejected Father's studies. I was left, then, to be the prop of my father's declining years. As I have said, the life suited me. It allowed me to develop my talents for scholarship. But let not the Gentle Reader suppose that I was ill equipped for the practical necessities of life. My father was disinclined toward practicalities. It was left to me to bully the baker and badger the butcher, which I did, if I may say so, quite effectively. After Mr. Hodgkins the butcher, Piero gave me no trouble.

My father died, eventually—if one may use so precise a word for the process that took place. One might say that he gradually shriveled up and ran down. The rumor, put about by a pert housemaid, that he had actually been dead for two days before anyone noticed, is a complete exaggeration. I must admit, however, that he might have passed away at any point during the five hours I spent with him in his study on that particular afternoon. He was leaning back in his big leather chair, meditating, as I assumed; and when, warned by some premonition, I hurried to his side, his wide-open eyes held the same expression of mild inquiry with which they had always regarded me. It seemed to me quite a respectable and comfortable way in which to pass on.

It came as no surprise to anyone to discover that he had left his property to me, the aforesaid prop, and the only one of his children who had not an income of its own. My brothers accepted this tolerantly, as they had accepted my devoted service to Papa. They did not explode until they learned that the property was not a paltry sum, but a fortune of half a million pounds. They had made a common mistake in assuming that an absentminded scholar is necessarily a fool. My father's disinclination to argue with Mr. Hodgkins the butcher was due, not to lack of ability, but to disinterest. He was very much interested in investments, " 'change," and those other mysterious matters that produce wealth. He had conducted his business affairs with the same reticence that marked his habits in general; and he died, to the surprise of all, a wealthy man.

When this fact became known, the explosion occurred. My eldest brother James went so far as to threaten legal proceedings, on the basis of unsound mind and undue influence. This ill-considered burst of temper, which was characteristic of James, was easily stopped by Mr. Fletcher, Papa's excellent solicitor. Other attempts ensued. I was visited by streams of attentive nieces and nephews assuring me of their devotion—which had been demonstrated, over the past years, by their absence. Sisters-in-law invited me, in the most affectionate phrases, to share their homes. I was warned in the strongest terms against fortune hunters.

The warnings were not unselfish; they were, however, unnecessary. A middle-aged spinster—for I was at that time thirty-two years of age, and I scorned to disguise the fact—who has never received a proposal of marriage must be a simpleton if she fails to recognize the sudden acquisition of a fortune as a factor in her new popularity. I was not a simpleton. I had always known myself to be plain.

The transparent attempts of my kin, and of various unemployed gentlemen, to win my regard, aroused in me a grim amusement. I did not put them off; quite the contrary, I encouraged them to visit, and laughed up my sleeve at their clumsy efforts. Then it occurred to me that I was enjoying them too much. I was becoming cynical; and it was this character development that made me decide to leave England—not, as some malicious persons have intimated, a fear of being overborne. I had always wanted to travel. Now, I decided, I would see all the places Father had studied—the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome; Babylon and hundred-gated Thebes.

Once I had made this decision, it did not take me long to prepare for the journey. I made my arrangements with Mr. Fletcher, and received from him a proposal of marriage which I refused with the same good humor that had characterized the offer. At least he was honest.

"I thought it worth a try," he remarked calmly.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained," I agreed.

Mr. Fletcher studied me thoughtfully for a moment.

"Miss Amelia, may I ask—in my professional capacity now—whether you have any inclinations toward matrimony?"

"None. I disapprove of matrimony as a matter of principle." Mr. Fletcher's pepper-and-salt eyebrows lifted. I added, "For myself, that is. I suppose it is well enough for some women; what else can the poor things do? But why should any independent, intelligent female choose to subject herself to the whims and tyrannies of a husband? I assure you, I have yet to meet a man as sensible as myself!"

"I can well believe that," said Mr. Fletcher. He hesitated for a moment; I fancied I could see him struggle with the desire to make an unprofessional statement. He lost the struggle.

"Why do you wear such frightful clothes?" he burst out. "If it is to discourage suitors—"

"Really, Mr. Fletcher!" I exclaimed.

"I beg your pardon," said the lawyer, wiping his brow. "I cannot think what came over me."

"Nor can I. As for my clothes, they suit the life I lead. The current fashions are impractical for an active person. Skirts so tight one must toddle like an infant, bodices boned so firmly it is impossible to draw a deep breath.... And bustles! Of all the idiotic contrivances foisted upon helpless womankind, the bustle is certainly the worst. I wear them, since it is impossible to have a gown made without them, but at least I can insist on sensible dark fabrics and a minimum of ornament. What a fool I should look in puffs and frills and crimson satin—or a gown trimmed with dead birds, like one I saw!"

"And yet," said Mr. Fletcher, smiling, "I have always thought you would look rather well in puffs and frills and crimson satin."

The opportunity to lecture had restored my good humor. I returned his smile, but I shook my head.

"Give it up, Mr. Fletcher. You cannot flatter me; I know the catalogue of my faults too accurately. I am too tall, I am too lean in some regions and too amply endowed in others. My nose is too large, my mouth is too wide, and the shape of my chin is positively masculine. Sallow complexions and jetty black hair are not in fashion this season; and I have been informed that eyes of so deep a gray, set under such forbidding black brows, strike terror into the beholder even when they are beaming with benevolence—which my eyes seldom do. Now, I think I have dealt with that subject. Shall we turn to business?"

At Fletcher's suggestion I made my will. I had no intention of dying for a good many years, but I realized the hazards of travel in such unhealthy regions as I proposed to visit. I left my entire fortune to the British Museum, where Papa had spent so many happy hours. I felt rather sentimental about it; Papa might just as well have passed on in the Reading Room, and it would possibly have taken the attendants more than two days to realize he was no longer breathing.

My last act before departing was to engage a companion. I did not do this for the sake of propriety. Oppressed as my sex is in this supposedly enlightened decade of 1880, a woman of my age and station in life can travel abroad alone without offending any but the overly prudish. I engaged a companion because—in short, because I was lonely. All my life I had taken care of Papa. I needed someone, not to look after me, but the reverse. Miss Pritchett was a perfect companion. She was a few years my senior, but one never would have supposed it from her dress and manner. She affected dainty frilled gowns of thin muslin which hung awkwardly on her bony frame, and her voice was a preposterous high-pitched squeal. She was clumsy; her stupidity was so intense it verged on simplemindedness; she had a habit of fainting, or, at least, of collapsing into a chair with her hand pressed to her heart, whenever the slightest difficulty occurred. I looked forward to my association with Miss Pritchett. Prodding her through the malodorous streets of Cairo and the deserts of Palestine would provide my active mind with the distraction it needed.

After all, Miss Pritchett failed me. People of that sort seldom fall ill; they are too busy pretending to be ill. Yet no sooner had we reached Rome than Miss Pritchett succumbed to the typhoid, like the weak-minded female she was. Though she recovered, she delayed my departure for Egypt for two weeks, and it was manifest that she would not be able to keep up with my pace until after a long convalescence. I therefore dispatched her back to England in the care of a clergyman and his wife, who were leaving Rome. Naturally I felt obliged to pay her salary until she was able to secure another post. She left weeping, and trying, as the carriage left, to kiss my hand.

She left a vacuum in my carefully laid plans, and she was the cause of my ill humor when I left the hotel that fateful day. I was already two weeks behind schedule, and all the accommodations had been arranged for two persons. Should I try to find another companion, or resign myself to solitary travel? I must make my decision soon, and I was musing about it as I went for a final visit to the desolate Cow Pasture which was the seat of the ancient Forum of Rome.

It was a brisk December afternoon; the sun was intermittently obscured by clouds. Piero looked like a cold dog, despite the warm jacket I had purchased for him. I do not feel the cold. The breezy day, with its alternating shadow and sunshine, was quite appropriate to the scene. Broken columns and fallen stones were obscured by tumbled masses of weeds, now brown and brittle. There were other visitors rambling about. I avoided them. After reading a few of the broken inscriptions, and identifying, to my satisfaction, the spots where Caesar fell and where the senators awaited the arrival of the Goths, I seated myself on a fallen column.

Piero huddled at my feet with his knees drawn up and his arms wrapped around the basket he had been carrying. I found the hard, cold seat comfortable enough; there is something to be said for a bustle, in fact. It was compassion for Piero that made me order him to open the basket the hotel kitchen had provided. However, he refused my offer of hot tea with a pitiful look. I presume he would have accepted brandy.

I was drinking my tea when I noticed that there was a cluster of people some distance away, who seemed to be gathered around an object that was concealed from me by their bodies. I sent Piero to see what it was, and went on drinking my tea.

After an interval he came bounding back with his black eyes gleaming. Nothing delights these gentry quite so much as misfortune; I was therefore not surprised when he reported that the "turisti" were gathered around a young English lady who had fallen down dead upon the ground.

"How do you know that she is English?" I inquired.

Piero did not reply in words; he went through an extraordinary series of grimaces to indicate a certainty so profound it requires no evidence. His eyes rolled, his hands flew about, his shoulders rose and fell. What else should the lady be but English.

English or not, I doubted that the lady was dead. That was only Piero's Latin love of the dramatic. But so far as I could see, no one in the crowd was doing anything except stare. I rose to my feet, therefore, and after brushing off my bustle, I approached the group. My parasol proved useful in passing through it; I had to apply the ferrule quite sharply to the backs of several gentlemen before they would move. Eventually I penetrated to the center of the circle. As I had surmised, no one was behaving with sense or compassion. Indeed, several of the ladies were pulling their escorts away, with comments about infection and criticism of the fallen lady's probable character.

She was so pitiful as she lay there on the cold, damp ground that only a heart of stone could have been unmoved. There are many hearts of that composition, however.

I sat down upon the ground and lifted the girl's head onto my knee. I regretted very much that I had not worn a cloak or mantle. However, that was easily remedied.

"Your coat, sir," I said to the nearest gentleman.

He was a stout, red-faced person whose extra layers of flesh should have been enough to keep him warm, without the fur-lined greatcoat he wore. He carried a handsome gold-headed stick, which he had been using to poke at the fallen girl as a lecturer in a waxworks indicates the exhibits. When I addressed him, he turned from his companion, to whom he had been speaking in an undertone, and stared at me.

"What—what?" he snorted.

"Your coat," I said impatiently. "Give it to me at once." Then, as he continued to stare, his face getting redder and redder, I raised my voice. "Sir—your coat, at once!"

I put the coat over the girl. Having assured myself that she was only in a faint, I was at leisure to look at her more closely. I was not a whit distracted by the whalelike sputterings of the red-faced gentleman whose coat I had appropriated.

I have said that I am a plain woman. For this reason I have a quite disinterested love of beauty in all its forms. I could therefore disinterestedly admire the girl who lay unconscious before me.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters. Copyright © 2013 Elizabeth Peters. Excerpted by permission of Grand Central Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 279 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my third time reading this book that is how much I love it. I haven't read the whole Amelia Peabody series yet but that's why I'm reading this book again, so I can read it in cronological order. Like Publishers Weekly's review says 'If Indiana Jones were female,a wife and a mother who lived in Victorian times, he would be Amelia Peabody Emerson!'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed the Amelia Peabody series for years (my sister has lent me her collection), although I have never owned a copy till today. That has been gladly remedied. To my sister's joy, I am on a mission to purchase the entire series for my own enjoyment. I urge everyone to read this series because one you've read the first book you will be hooked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In today's world of angsty vampires, lovesick werewolves, and teen wizards, it's refreshing to discover the Ameilia Peabody series. These books feature a good old fashioned adventure - dastardly deeds, villains, and a plucky heroine. Some readers will find them to be a bit slow compared to today's teen lit, but keep reading - they offer plenty of excitement and even some romance. They are well-written with just enough of a challenging vocabulary to actually teach you a few new words as you go. Overall, a good choice for teens and adults looking for something different.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I listened to this on audiobook and was pleasently surprised. I had never heard of this work or author before. I chuckled to myself in many places and love the aserbic wit of the heroine. My only complaint was the length it took the charecters to solve the mystery, it was painful. I felt the heroine was much smarter than she was allowed to be.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once you read this book you will never be able to stop reading the Amelia Peabody series, the greatest female detective ever. This is what started my addiction.... I read and re-read this book. I can't wait for the next one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up 'He shall thunder in the sky' (another of Ms. Peters Peabody books) on vacation last summer and fell desperately in love. I read that book twice more before finally returning home to purchase the entire series. I must say that Ms. Peters books only got better. I barely ate, slept, or really do anything until I'd finished all of the fifteen that I'd bought. The books are charming, clever, enthralling, and beautifully written. So far, I haven't found anyone who hasn't fallen in love with this wonderful series, so why wait to pick up one of the books?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had read one Amelia Peabody book and I really wanted to find out how she and Emerson met, so I picked up 'Crocodile on the Sandbank.' Little did I know that this book was to hold me hostage until I finished the last page. I enjoy it that much. I love the mystery itself, but I love how Emerson and Peabody fell in love. I always go back to my favorite parts and reread them over and over. I highly recommend this book! Ms. Peters certainly has a talent for writing literature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Amelia Peabody books are my all-time favorite series, and this is the first. This book has it all - murder, mayhem, Victorian humor, and a little romance for good measure. It's best to read these books in order, even though there are a lot (14 in April), because there are some threads throughout the series. Elizabeth Peters is a master storyteller. Her characters are wonderfully and realistically developed, and they get better with every book. You'll be hooked after the first chapter!
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
Amelia Peabody is a woman who can stand on her own two feet. She is smart, witty, a bit snappish, sometimes tart, always ready to tackle the situation, and knows exactly what she's about. Amelia Peabody is my new best parasol-wielding friend. I immediately fell in love with the way the author describes everything vividly and with the perfect personality of Amelia Peabody, spinster, lover of history and artifacts, archeologist in training. Amelia has the curiosity of a cat, the logic of Sherlock Holmes, and the delightful tact of Mary Poppins. The knowledge that the author has of Egypt (or the rest of the world, for that matter) is wonderful for the reader, because the scenes jump right out of the book in clarity. Her vocabulary is also one to speak of, and she also picks just the right word choice to give a sentence a special feeling. "Crocodile on the Sandbank" was so thrilling and went beyond my expectations. I can't imagine there is a whole series just like it, waiting for me to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read so many of the Amelia Peabody Series by Elizabeth Peters but had never read this first one. Sometimes a mention is made of some action that took place years before and I have wondered about it, so I was very glad to finally read the very first book in the series. As you read these books you get to know all the people and want to have have the best happen to them. The knowledge of archeology that you gain from the books is quite interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book before and I always find it entertaining. It's and easy read and Elizabeth Peters describes everything so that it makes you feel like you are right there. I have read all of the Amelia Peabody Series and am looking forward to reading them again.
Para-Fan More than 1 year ago
Ms. Peters never fails to give us a fantastically good read. Amelia Peabody makes all of us want to be married to Emerson and live in Egypt while exploring the Pyramids. Ramses is the brightest kid ever and his exploits alone can give any parent gray hair! Nefret and her beauty keeps everyone hopping. On their new dig at the tomb of Queen Tetisheri Amelia, Emerson, Ramses, Nefret and Emerson' brother and sister-in-law, plus the new governess Miss Marmaduke (who is not what she seems) all find themselves knee deep in murder, mayhem, grave robbers and ancient Egyptian curses. A very fun romp through the dunes and Pyramids of Egypt in a time of great exploration. A book and series to enjoy over and over.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have only read four Peabody books so far, and all of them are great. Each book begs you to read another. But CROCODILE ON THE SANDBANK is, indeed, a great book. It is funny, somewhat romantic--not really, but somewhat--and full of adventure and suspense. It is the first Peabody book and it is well worth a read. Even if you are not a great mystery reader--I, myself, am not--you are still to love Peabody. And since this is the first book in a long line of wonderful storeis, I recomend it (especially if you want to learn about how Emerson and Peabody meet).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!! My good friend Kyrstina, who shares my interest in egyptology, and world history, recommended this book to me. She told me it had everything in it, action, humor, romance, and best of all EGYPT!! I hope others read this book and all the rest that Elizabeth Peters has written! Don't miss out on a wonderful story!!!
Anonymous 7 months ago
I+would+love+to+see+it+on+the+screen+as+well.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Recommend the whole series .... Engaging and fun.
Anonymous 10 months ago
An amazing journey is what this book delivers. It entertains, educates and makes you laugh. I am transported to another time, another place where I can almost smell the desert air and see the dramatic sunsets. I love this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Different type of horror/mystery. Very enjoyable read.
wiremonkey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
And I'm back to the 19th century murder mysteries with strong female characters who fall for arrrogant, proud, preferably large and hairy men (the hairy chest thing seems to be a big turn-on in these books).Amelia Peabody, a wealthy old maid of 32 decides to go travelling after the death of her beloved, scholarly father. She is headstrong, smarter than most and does not suffer fools gladly (my favourite kind of heroine).She's bound for Egypt via Italy when her plans are delayed by the very inconvenient illness of her companion whom she must send back to England. Ms. Peabody is wondering what to do when she comes across a damsel in distress in a cemetery, in a melodramatic moment that is only saved from complete sentimentality by Amelia's biting tongue and common sense. She takes the girl Evelyn back home, nurses her and makes her a companion despite Evelyn's self-professed ruin (she eloped with her Italian art teacher who then left her when she was disinherited before marrying her). Together, they travel to Egypt. There they meet with more adventure than they bargained for in the form of a ghost of a mummy.While the actual mystery was predictable, and the voice of the narrator used for Evelyn sickeningly insipid, Amelia's first person account is hilarious. There is also a nice love story threading its way through out the novel , complete with a rough hewn Darcy-esque Egyptologist. Definitely a fun listen, though I am not sure if I need to read more.
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love, love, love this series. Amelia Peabody is that anachronistic Victorian female who wishes she could wear trousers and is intelligent, independent and completely unwilling to entertain the ridiculous notion that women are inferior to men.In this first book in a long series, Amelia discovers her love of Egyptian archaeology after saving the life of a young English woman, alone in Rome after being abandoned by her lover. Amelia and Evelyn travel together to Egypt, where they meet the handsome Emerson brothers, and Evelyn quickly falls in love. Amelia and Radcliffe, however, nearly come to blows. When the four meet again, it is at the brothers' dig in Amarna, where Radcliffe has been struck down with a dangerous fever which Amelia takes upon herself to nurse him out. Radcliffe is not, of course, appreciative, especially since Amelia has become entranced with archaeology and decided to stay on to help with the dig. Soon, however, the four are caught up in a mystery involving a mummy and a curse, and must figure out what is happening before the mummy achieves its goal, which seems to be to carry Evelyn away.Utterly charming, funny and smart - highly recommended!
cyderry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First in the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters, Crocodile on the Sandbank introduces the reader to Amelia Peabody, a wealthy spinster of Victorian times, determined to see the world. In her first adventure, she meets up with a "ruined" young woman down on her luck at a time when Amelia needs a companion. Together the two set off for Egypt to see the Pyramids and Egyptian artifacts. The two ladies encounter two gentlemen in Cairo who allow them to join their expedition and dig. The book is well written since the plot builds and there is rarely a lull in the action. Full of historical background, the story does not lack for mystery or romance. The characters are vibrant and forceful. The heroine is witty and charming and the gentlemen are just what you expect for the time period. This book was delightful and informative while being very entertaining and I look forward to the next in the series.
lexxa83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had high expectations for this book, and was slightly disappointed as it seemed to drag in some parts, and generally got off to a slow start. However, I persevered and was glad to see that many other readers have pointed out that the first of this series is the weakest, and to keep on reading. I think that the premise of these books are great, and the characters interesting and amusing. I am liking the second book in the series more than Crocodile on the Sandbank, but think that this will be a series that I pause to take breaks from, rather than devouring one book after another.
LARA335 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Spirited gung-ho heroine, in sensible Amelia Peabody, light and amusing read.
cathymoore on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love. love, love Amelia Peabody!! I challenge anyone to read this book and not finish it with a big smile on their face. Amelia Peabody is a forthright feminist charging up the Nile like a whirlwind. Add in a touch of romance and what appears to be a living mummy rampaging around the desert and we have a real recipe for adventure. Highlyrecommended, can't wait to get hold of some more in this series!
brodeurbunny30 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Crocodile on the Sandbank had been recommended to me numerous times through different sources because of my absolute love of the Alexia Tarabotti novels by Gail Carriger so I finally gave in and ordered it.I was a little hesitant at first to read something that seemed to be a parallel universe to Carriger's paranormal one, especially not sure whether this other series can hold up to the amusement of the Tarabotti novels.As it goes, this introductory novel to Amelia Peabody's world is a lovely predecessor. Her heroine is strong-willed, forthright, intelligent and as one reviewer states, "...feminist and yet still feminine." As any Alexia Tarabotti fan would know, reading about the characters becomes the basis of the enjoyment and the mysterious plot plays a small role by comparison.Amelia Peabody's interactions with her companion Evelyn Barton-Forbes are endearing and heartwarming, a fantastic depiction of strength, love and friendship that any good hearted woman empathizes with. As the intrepid Emerson brothers are introduced, the reader is sucked into a page-turning mini-soap opera style chain of shenanigans and flirtations that are both amusing and exciting. Truly, it's difficult to not like either.I'd say more about the villains except that the thin veil of a mystery is so easily deciphered that to describe them at all is to spoil the reader.The details of the landscape and history of Egypt are absolutely divine to read though. I've had an astute interest in Egyptology since a very young age, so that the added setting of the series had sealed my fate in beginning the series. And truly, you can tell that the author is well versed in all things Egypt when you read, the descriptions are lavish and beautiful and really have you right there with Amelia and her cohorts. I loved it.I'm only knocking down my rating because of the shoe-string plot, the characters alone are worth reading the novel and I'm absolutely excited to pull out book two once I've finished posting this review.Honestly, if you have been contemplating reading this series because of the closeness in recommendation and style as Gail Carriger's Alexia Tarabotti series, then I do suggest you take them up. Although, if Egypt really isn't your thing you'll gloss over many of the factual details of the landscape and history that are depicted within like a non-steampunk loving reader would in a Carriger novel. Overall, a fantastic, light-hearted mid-afternoon read, with tea, of course.