Read Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters Online


Set in 1884, this is the first installment in what has become a beloved bestselling series. At thirty-two, strong-willed Amelia Peabody, a self-proclaimed spinster, decides to use her ample inheritance to indulge her passion, Egyptology. On her way to Egypt, Amelia encounters a young woman named Evelyn Barton-Forbes. The two become fast friends and travel on together, encoSet in 1884, this is the first installment in what has become a beloved bestselling series. At thirty-two, strong-willed Amelia Peabody, a self-proclaimed spinster, decides to use her ample inheritance to indulge her passion, Egyptology. On her way to Egypt, Amelia encounters a young woman named Evelyn Barton-Forbes. The two become fast friends and travel on together, encountering mysteries, missing mummies, and Radcliffe Emerson, a dashing and opinionated archaeologist who doesn't need a woman's help -- or so he thinks....

Title : Crocodile on the Sandbank
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780445406513
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 337 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Crocodile on the Sandbank Reviews

  • Celia
    2019-06-26 16:56

    What a marvellous, marvellous book. I've seen Elizabeth Peter's books around, of course, but knew nothing of what they were about, and the covers never particularly attracted me. After seeing them recommended on someone's blog, I thought I'd pick up the first of her Amelia Peabody series - and what a joy it was. This is a nominally a mystery, but it's not really the meat of the book, nor what is so enjoyable about it. Amelia Peabody - strong-minded, independent, sarcastic Amelia, striding along in her restrictive skirts in Victorian Egypt, fascinated by the country and its ancient history - is what makes this book so thoroughly delightful. What a wonderful character. Her exchanges with Emmerson (a grumpy Egyptologist) are hilarious (the part where she smugly notes that his jacket is on fire from his pocketed pipe after he has harangued her about something or other is hilarious). I can't wait to pick up the next one.

  • Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
    2019-06-07 17:02

    “Men are frail creatures, of course; one does not expect them to exhibit the steadfastness of women.”Barbara Mertz was one creative gal - she hooked me with her gothic mysteries under the Barbara Michaels penname, but I never indulged as much in her straight mystery stories under the name Elizabeth Peters. I finally took the plunge and tried the first book in her long-running series set around Egyptian adventures. Amelia Peabody is quite a character - feminist for her times, tough and determined, loyal and intelligent. She can get down and dirty with the best of them when it comes to discovering, uncovering and fixing up artifacts. Without intention, she amuses characters and readers alike with her antics and attitude. She may be stuffy, but she's fun to like. Prim and proper can deliver the most giggles, especially with bad luck befalls on her and her companion on their travels. In this first book she discovers her love of ancient artifacts and Egypt. Side characters give fun times too - where would Amelia be without her loyal and sweet companion, Evelyn, and the brothers Walter and Emerson? It's not a particularly romantic book and it's kept completely PG, but sparks start to fly and I'm sure most readers were happy when Emerson finally starts losing his prejudice towards Amelia and sees her for what she is: an ideal partner in exploration, both Egypt and life. The mummy stuff was just funny. Practical Amelia refuses to be scared off by demented legends of the small minded populace, but even she must face stumbling mummies wrapped in bandages when they try to break into her camp! It's a mystery without a murder, but there's plenty to figure out. The ambience of Egypt erupts through the pages, making me feel a bit of an itch myself when it comes to traveling and marveling at the world's mysteries. Nah, I'll just sit at home and read (I'm not luckily wealthy like Amelia and fear Egyptian snakes too much), but still...let's hear it for the Armchair Travelers.

  • Hayes
    2019-06-08 19:56

    I'm sick of reading tiresome things, so I'm going to read this fun thing and the next two in the series... so there!That was fun. Cheered me up immensely.

  • Emily
    2019-06-17 15:57

    This book made me laugh out loud several times, but that's not the only reason I loved it! It also introduced me to Amelia Peabody, no-nonsense lady archaeologist-doctor and resident badass, whose travels through Egypt are full of interesting characters and settings. I mean, you can't not love a Victorian lady who's as practical as they come. When she needs to stay by a patient in the desert, there's only one habitation that will do: So I directed Walter to pick out a nice tomb for us.He was staring at me in the most peculiar fashion. He did not speak, but he kept opening and closing his mouth. If he had not been such a handsome fellow, he would have reminded me of a frog."There is a nice tomb close by, I trust," I repeated, resisting the desire to poke at him with my parasol. "Go along, Walter, we mustn't waste time; I want the place all swept out and tidy by the time our luggage arrives."The mystery is secondary to the interactions between the characters, and the pacing could definitely be better, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. As Amelia and the rather boorish Radcliffe Emerson begin to excavate in the heretic pharaoh's city, a full-blown mummy begins to appear at night and throws everything into disarray - both the excavation and the dynamics of the group. Amelia treats it as a minor annoyance, of course (love her):Really, the Mummy was becoming ridiculous! Its repertoire was so limited; why didn't it do something different, instead of creeping around waving its arms?The only quibble that I have with this book is that it's weirdly racist at times - though I suppose it's not weird, since it's unfathomable that a Victorian woman would have the modern sensibilities to comprehend that. Amelia is a thoroughly Victorian narrator, and she frequently disdains the "primitive" villages the Egyptians live in. However, these passages are followed by Amelia stating in her matter-of-fact way, "And if only the women weren't trapped into marriage in their teens, perhaps things would be better here!", so she's believably modern in that regard.Anyway, this book was awesome. I want to be a lady archaeologist in divided skirts, traveling on a boat with a piano. I can't believe I didn't discover these books sooner. The best part is that there are eighteen more!!!!!

  • Phrynne
    2019-06-02 14:34

    What a pleasant, well written and entertaining book! I guess I have found myself another series and I believe this is a pretty long one!Amelia Peabody is a wonderful character, sometimes verging on becoming a caricature but the author writes subtly enough to prevent this happening. The same applies to Emerson who despite all his apparent failings of temperament is still someone the reader can like enormously. I can see a great future for the pair of them!I enjoyed the mystery, the historical setting and the descriptions of the country at that time. Imagine being able to investigate pyramids and tombs with no guide and just a candle or two. They were certainly brave in those days.I am very glad I found this first book in the series and will certainly read more.

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-06-05 18:46

    I was happy to find this on audio at the library, although I have a paper copy. It’s easier to squeeze in an audiobook sometimes, and I thought this would be an enjoyable listen. I was right. The narrator drew me right into the story. I loved the manner in which Barbara Rosenblatt endowed these characters with a distinctive voice in the audiobook. They were real to me as I listened, and I was quite vocal in my reactions to this book. In other words, I was fully engaged! At first I thought she made Amelia sound rather superior and stuffy at times, but I came to appreciate the irony she underlined her pompous-sounding narrative with. Amelia seems able to laugh at her own foibles, which is nice, although it doesn’t compromise her strong sense of self. Amelia is a very confident person and this comes through in the narration. She is also very set in her ways and used to being authoritative. It was really interesting seeing her meet her male counterpart, the singular Mr. Radcliff Emerson. While this isn’t a steamy book in the slightest, the sparks did fly. I loved the journey of seeing these two fall in love. I could predict that they would end up together, and this process was highly enjoyable. They met on an equal level, and while they clashed in some ways, it was in the way that makes for a very interesting life together full of good tension and mutual challenge. They will never be bored with each other. My manner of listening to audiobooks can make things feel rather disjointed, because I can only dedicate an hour or two a night to listening or longer if I am doing something that I can devote my mind to while keeping on task. So it did take a while to see where the story was going. But this is one of those books where you enjoy the trip and don’t worry so much about the destination.Peters endows this book with very rich atmosphere. I was on the trip to Egypt along with Amelia, Evelyn, Emerson and Walter. Most interesting is how we see Egypt through the eyes of an upper-class educated British female. While I would not in any way classify Amelia as a racist, she does have a gentle sense of superiority that comes through in her tone. I had to decide if that was offensive to me, and ultimately it wasn’t. It was realistic, honestly. I can’t expect a 19th century person to view things through the same 21st century multiculturally-aware viewpoint that I have as a reader. Although risky to compromise some degree of likability with Amelia, it turned out to be a wise artistic decision on Peters' part. While that superiority is there, it is mingled with a sense of awe, respect, and love for Egypt that encompasses its people, even if their ways and culture may strike her as peculiar and lacking to her British sensibilities.Even though the story is through Amelia’s point of view, I felt I gained a very complex vantage point of its characters. Yes, Amelia tinges their descriptions with her personal views, I still felt like the characters had a realism that went above and beyond her perceptions. Of course, my favorite character other than Amelia was Emerson. What can I say? I love grumpy heroes. Yes, he is a bit of a sexist. I think it’s too much to call him misogynistic, although he can be rather unkind in his descriptions of women. He spoke to me of a man who was quite inexperienced and somewhat awkward with women and tended to mask these feelings of insecurity by projecting his negative opinions on women based on his limited experience with them. That’s why I was glad that Amelia met him head on. A strong, confident woman like her was the only kind of women that he could fall in love with, and the only kind of woman who would put up with him. I also enjoyed Evelyn and Walter. They were a bit more typical for a historical novel, but their characters were very appealing. Evelyn is a sweetheart, and Walter was a genuinely nice man. Evelyn’s journey spoke a little bit about the status of women in 19th century society, and I loved how Amelia raged about the situation and the actions and choices the more conventional-thinking Evelyn was forced into making. Their friendship was another powerful aspect of this book. I can see these women being friends until their dying day.My favorite scene in the book was when (view spoiler)[Emerson saves Amelia from the snake. It was very romantic to me. You could see very clearly how much Emerson cared for her, even though he was completely inept in expressing it verbally. Of course, I also enjoyed his proposal near the end. Peters understands how to write romantic tension!(hide spoiler)]. While not a romance, the romance was very satisfying. And we get two for the price of one with Evelyn, Amelia’s companion, and Walter, Emerson’s younger brother. And while I didn’t care for him at all, Lucas was also an interesting character and a good foil for the Emersons. The secondary characters don’t quite get as much point of view, but we gain knowledge of them through Amelia’s vivid descriptions.If there was one aspect that felt a little weaker to me, it was the mystery component and its resolution. It was a bit predictable. I had figured out most of it earlier on, although I almost talked myself out of it. Maybe that was a good twist that I was forced to reevaluate my thought processes and still end up surprised that they were right, with one part I didn’t suspect. The mummy aspect could have been cheesy, but surprisingly it wasn’t. I would say that readers shouldn’t go looking for a hard mystery here, but more of a travelogue, light mystery with romance set in a very vivid historical landscape of late Victorian Egypt. With that expectation, this book is very enjoyable. The characters make this book shine, and I loved the ironic and British-flavored humor. I am glad that I was able to listen to it, and I can see myself doing a reread and continuing the series. This is a very solid 4.5 star read. I recommend it to fans of Victorian set-historical fiction and lighter mystery with a nice dose of romance.

  • Werner
    2019-05-31 11:56

    This book launched a prolific historical mystery series featuring Amelia Peabody, which makes use of the author's expertise in ancient Egypt and the archaeology that studies it. Peters' real name is Dr. Barbara Mertz, a well-respected Egyptologist in real life. (She also writes acclaimed "romantic suspense" under the name Barbara Michaels.) It was an absolute treat to read; I hated to put it down!Set in 1884 (the date isn't given, but can be deduced from the few references to Gordon at Khartoum), the novel is narrated by Amelia herself; Peters gives her diction a Victorian flavor which adds verisimiltude, and appeals to readers like me who enjoy 19th-century fiction. Amelia, though, isn't a typical Victorian female. 32 years old and still single, she's knowledgable (her father, who's just died, was a famous scholar), headstrong but practical, unintimidated by danger or physical hardship, with a liking for adventure and no false modesty. She's also a genuinely compassionate person, a good judge of character, and a Christian who shows her faith not only by a few verbal references to it but by the way she cares about and treats others. And last but by no means least, she possesses a rich strain of dry humor that adds enormously to the reader's enjoyment here. Comparisons of her character to Indiana Jones are misplaced; she's not a female Indy or a Modesty Blaise type. She doesn't like guns --though she's not reluctant to hit or jab somebody with her parasol if he needs it :-)-- and in situations that call for action, she tends to trip over her encumbering skirts, which are one of the banes of her existence (she much prefers trousers). But she's a feisty, tough-inside lady who won't run from a challenge and keeps her cool in an emergency. Her take-charge attitude can come across as abrasive (though she doesn't mean for it to); but for all that, she's one of the most likable fictional heroines to come down the pike in a long time.Left alone and in good financial shape, Amelia resolves to do some traveling that takes her to Egypt (by way of Rome) and introduces her to the other main characters here, especially Evelyn Barton-Forbes and the archaeologist Emerson brothers. Though they're overshadowed by Amelia, all Peters' charcters here are vividly real and well-drawn. (Radcliffe Emerson is particularly well-done; several blurbs, including the description above, call him "dashing," but that's not a term I'd use. To me, he actually comes across as more like Doyle's Prof. Challenger: both physically, with his bear-like build and that black beard, and in his irascible, pugnacious personality and opinionated approach to the science that he cares passionately about.) The author takes awhile to introduce the mystery elements of the plot, because she's setting the stage and letting us get to know the characters and their situation; but she keeps our interest as she does it. In fact, the book isn't only a mystery; it's as much a high Victorian novel of manners and social relationships, and the two strands blend together surprisingly well: sort of a "Henry James meets The Mummy" effect. There's also romance --two romances, in fact, both having a bit of complication to overcome (what fictional romance doesn't? :-))-- and though one of my Goodreads friends has complained that romances in mysteries tend to be poorly integrated with the rest of the plot, that's not the case here. The mystery itself doesn't involve murder, a refreshing change of pace from the usual fare in the genre; I guessed the basic truth behind the situation well before the denouement, but in this type of fiction, that kind of guessing is part of the pleasure. Peters also does a good job introducing period and archaeological background detail and weaving it smoothly into the story --where it serves as another ingredient of a very delicious literary main dish!I read this inside of two weeks --a fast read for me. My only regret is that I took so long to get around to reading this series! I'd most definitely be enthusiastically game for another installment.

  • Wanda
    2019-06-16 13:00

    If Jane Eyre starred in an H. Rider Haggard novel written by Agatha Christie….you would get Crocodile on the Sandbank. First published in 1975, Peters overlays feminism over the gothic romance (which usually had mysterious goings-on too) and produces this engaging mystery. Extra points for using an Egyptian setting and getting the archaeology right. Amelia Peabody is a bit of a bossy bones, but you get enough of her history to see the why of it. (I’m probably more like her than I care to admit.)If you enjoy a good mystery set among pyramids and ancient tombs, this book is for you.

  • Lyuda
    2019-05-28 17:34

    “My name is Amelia Peabody… I am a spinster of independent means, traveling for pleasure…I have been accused of being somewhat abrupt in my actions and decisions, but I never act without thought; it is simply that I think more quickly and more intelligently than most people. I am an excellent judge of character.”I simply adored Amelia! She is my kind of heroine - intelligent, bold, courageous, and outrageous with a propensity for using her parasol as a weapon. She is opinionated and willfully blind on many occasions, yet with a generous heart and a well-hidden romantic soul. And the best part - she is a narrator of the story! I normally don't care for the first person's POV but this is one of these rare exceptions where it works beautifully. The novel is tongue-in-cheek satire, light romance, mystery and adventure. It’s witty, sometimes deliberately so, and sometimes because Amelia's superb inability to see herself as others see her. As our heroine often points out, she doesn't go looking for trouble... it simply finds her despite her best efforts. Independent after inheriting her father's estate, Amelia embarks on a tour of Egypt via Rome. While in Rome she stumbles across Evelyn - a fellow English woman who has 'ruined' her reputation. Amelia, undaunted by convention, hires her as a companion and travels on to Egypt. There they meet the brooding bad-tempered Radcliffe Emerson and his charming younger brother Walter.The irritable Radcliffe is a perfect foil to Amelia's tendency to take charge of any situation. From their very first encounter all throughout the story, their interactions are priceless. Here is how their first meeting went down:“I do not know you—” “But I know you, madam! I have met your kind too often —the rampageous British female at her clumsiest and most arrogant. Ye gods! The breed covers the earth like mosquitoes, and is as maddening. The depths of the pyramids, the heights of the Himalayas—no spot on earth is safe from you!” He had to pause for breath at this point, which gave me the opportunity I had been waiting for. “And you, sir, are the lordly British male at his loudest and most bad-mannered. If the English gentlewoman is covering the earth, it is in the hope of counteracting some of the mischief her lord and master has perpetrated. Swaggering, loud, certain of his own superiority…” I think the weakest element of the story is a mystery with transparently obvious from the start “who did it" solution. Yes, it's predictable, but sometimes, as they say, it's the journey - not the destination. And what a journey this was! The tombs, the sand, the pyramids, the terrace at Shepheard's...they are enough to carry one away. It's just like being in Raiders of the Lost Ark, or King Solomon's Mines. The descriptions of Egypt are breathtaking and fascinating and, with the author's doctorate in Egyptology, historically accurate.I don't know what took me so long to find this story! Lucky for me, there are 18 more in the series.

  • MomToKippy
    2019-06-19 14:39

    This book is a complete winner in its genre! It offers warm friendships, engaging characters, sweet clean romance, mystery, humor, atmosphere, plenty of interesting and technical historical details, impeccable writing. Loved the quirky narration in which the main character addresses the reader. I totally felt that Amelia was real while reading this. Ok, I may be a bit of a pushover but still. I was completely impressed with the way the author drew a visual picture to accompany dialogue. She describes the characters' gestures, facial expressions, their entire countenance in such a way that one can not help but feel it as well as hear it. Elizabeth Peters is a genius in every sense. So happy to discover her and to find that she is a very prolific author.

  • Ashley
    2019-05-29 11:52

    This was SO MUCH FUN.Almost immediately, like after the very first sentence, I was quite enamored with the whole thing. The tone, the characters, the setting, the banter. Amelia is SO SASSY. She’s an example of one of my favorite character types: a person who can afford to disregard the limitations put on her because of some sort of exception or power. It’s delicious, really, watching her come into her own.So basically Amelia Peabody is a “spinster”* in the late 1800s England. Her father has just died and because she spent her life taking care of him, he’s left her his entire fortune (excluding her brothers). Amelia considers herself quite plain and unappealing, and has resigned herself to being a spinster for the remainder of her days. But now that she has this money, she’s going to make the most of it. A lifelong scholar, she decides to indulge her passion for Egyptology and spend a few months traveling the Nile. She engages a traveling companion and sets out. Of course, the companion she’s chosen comes with some baggage, and adventure and mystery ensue, involving mummies, archaeology, and great burly Englishmen with righteous beards.*If Amelia Peabody is a spinster at 28 years old, I hate everything. Which reminds me of a theory I developed while reading this book. It’s called Chekhov’s Spinster. It’s like Chekhov’s Gun but with ladies who feel bad about the institution of marriage: You show me a spinster in act one, she will no longer be a spinster by the end of the story.What I loved most about this was the subtleties Peters works in there. Little commentaries about colonialism and classism and sexism. And as previously mentioned, Amelia often flouts feminine convention because: a) She’s not worried about her reputation or landing a man, and b) she’s not worried about those things because she has her own income and can afford not to. Suddenly she’s dressing in trousers and saying inappropriate things and nobody can do anything about it at all.And oh! The banter. Such good banter in this book. I laughed out loud while reading it, and several times dissolved into fits of manic giggling because I was so tickled about what was going on. Example:“You are the one who loves this life,” Evelyn said, watching me curiously. “What an archaeologist you would make, Amelia!” “Hmmm,” I said. “That is true. It is most unfortunate that I was not born a man. Emerson would accept me then as a colleague; my money would support his work; what a splendid time we would have, working and quarreling together. Oh, it is a pity I am a woman. Emerson would agree.” “I am not so sure,” said Evelyn. There was a faint smile on her lips.Also, every time Amelia called Emerson “that bearded person.” I love that forever. I will definitely be reading more in this series, and I hope they all continue to be this much fun.

  • Katie
    2019-06-17 17:41

    If my memory serves me correct, this is the first Amelia Peabody mystery novel. I now have probably at least 15 of these books on my shelf and Elizabeth Peters keeps popping a new one out every year. Amelia is a Egyptologist at the beginning of the 20th century. Each book contains new mysteries ("every year, another body") that threaten the archeological digs in which she participates. You get to watch the characters grow over the years, deal with real historical issues (Britain's occupation of Egypt, Arab Nationalism, WWI). These books are much more than simple historical mysteries, they're also comedies and romances. Amelia's wit and attitude are addictive and the books just keep getting better.Update: Reread the entire series from late 2008 through 2009. It took me awhile, what with work. But soooo enjoyable. And I really thought Tomb of the Golden Bird was the end of the series but I'm ecstatic to hear there's a new Amelia Peabody book out!

  • Julianna
    2019-06-01 12:04

    Reviewed for THC ReviewsIt has been many years since I've read a mystery story, and I wasn't quite sure if I would still like them as much as I had in my youth. Either I do, or I simply chose the right book with which to renew that genre interest, because I found Crocodile on the Sandbank to be an enjoyable read. It reminded me of a cross between Indiana Jones and a younger version of Miss Marple or Jessica Fletcher (I loved Murder, She Wrote when I was a kid), or perhaps a more mature version of the Nancy Drew books that I was crazy about in my tweens/teens, only in a more exotic location. Crocodile on the Sandbank, and the entire Amelia Peabody series, fall into the cozy mystery genre as they are very gentle mysteries that aren't particularly frightening and don't have any objectionable elements. Even more mature content like Evelyn's affair is merely alluded to and never spelled out in so many words. This made for some fun, old-fashioned sleuthing that is, in my opinion, appropriate for mystery aficionados of all ages, although the advanced vocabulary and authenticity of the historical voice would probably be more suited for teen and adult readers. Elizabeth Peters began writing the Amelia Peabody series in the 1970s, and had I heard of it back then, I may have been reading them as a teen.Amelia was a fun character to read about. She is a firmly on-the-shelf spinster who has no intentions of marrying and an independent woman of means, so she decides to indulge her passion for history and her dream of traveling by going on a trip to Egypt. Amelia is an unflappable, no-nonsense woman with a plucky, adventurous spirit and a very straight-forward way of dealing with life. This forthright nature was very much in evidence in the first question that she asked Evelyn after her friend confessed to having had an affair. Somehow, it didn't really surprise me, but it did make me laugh nonetheless. Amelia is also a feminist who has little use for the traditional Victorian conventions, and sometimes wishes she had been born a man, so that she would be more respected. Even though Amelia is very much a thinker and a scholar, it is obvious that she has a very kind heart and a willingness to help others. She is quite skilled in medical matters and assists many people along the way who are sick or injured which always seems to help put her in their good graces. She is also the consummate matchmaker when she realizes that Evelyn has fallen in love. I found it interesting and amusing that Amelia immediately recognized Evelyn's love for Walter, but when she started falling for Emerson, she didn't initially discern it as the same emotion in herself. All in all, I really admired Amelia, and a part of me would love to be her, but in reality, I'm probably much closer in personality to Evelyn.Crocodile on the Sandbank is told in first-person perspective with Amelia, of course, as the narrator. It is written in a slightly different style than other first-person books that I have read, so it took me a little while to get used to it. For me, the reading of the book was rather like sitting down to tea with Amelia while listening as she related her story. It had a rather quaint, intimate feel to it. The book takes a “just-the-facts” approach and is a little light on descriptive details of the environment. In fact, early in the story, Amelia comments that she will not indulge in such descriptions so as not to bore the reader, and if the reader wants more detail, they should go read a travelogue. Normally, this would be a downside for me, because I tend to enjoy lush, vivid depictions of the setting, but for the most part, enough information was given to make me feel like I was in the hot sands of the Egyptian desert with Amelia. There are also not a lot of deep insights into the secondary characters. The reader really only gets to know them through Amelia's eyes. Even though I usually prefer to know the other characters' thoughts and feelings, I once again, for the most part, did not view this as a weakness as I normally would. I think this was owing in large part to the genre. Since the story is primarily about the mystery of a mummy stalker who appears to be trying to scare them away from their archaeological dig site, rather than the relationships, I didn't necessarily feel a burning need to get inside the other characters' heads like I would if it were a romance.As things were, I got to know the other characters well enough. I liked Amelia's friend, Evelyn. She is a sweet, and perhaps slightly naïve, young woman who allowed herself to be seduced by a scoundrel which ruined her relationship with her grandfather and left her destitute. Amelia rescues her off the street and hires her as a companion for her trip. On the outside, Evelyn seems very delicate, but on the inside she is made of much sterner stuff than one might think at first glance, and in spite of her indiscretion, she has a certain strength of character as well. I adored Evelyn's love interest, Walter, the more charming and amiable of the two Emerson brothers, a team of archaeologists who are working to unearth the history and treasures of Egypt. If he were one of my romance heroes, he'd be the sweet beta who gets all moony-eyed over his lady love, but can't quite bring himself to declare his feelings. Yet, when he finally does (at Amelia's prodding), it was in the most romantic way possible, giving me a major, “Awwwww!” moment. Then there is Emerson. Actually his name is Radcliffe, but Amelia never calls him by his first name. It's OK though, because he always call her Peabody instead of Amelia too. If Walter is the romantic beta, Emerson is the alpha. He's rude and abrasive, rarely having anything nice to say about anyone, and he gets under Amelia's skin in more ways than one right from the moment they meet. Although Emerson certainly tries his best, Amelia never allows him to run rough-shod over her, instead giving back as good as she gets whenever he let the insults fly which made for some fun bantering. Even though he could be a real bear sometimes, I liked that Emerson's heart was in the right place when it came to the preservation and proper study of the antiquities that were being treated with flippancy even by the government agency that was supposed to be protecting them. Other than the antiquities though, Emerson could seem pretty cold and indifferent at times, so it took me a while to really warm up to him. When he finally started to reveal his feelings, it was worth the wait.Aside from the colorful characters, Crocodile on the Sandbank had a fun plot. In fact, I waffled a bit on my star rating, and the only thing that really prevented it from earning keeper status from me was that the pacing is a little too slow in places. Especially during the first half of the book, there are several long passages of narration where there isn't much excitement or action. There are also a couple of passages where a secondary character goes off into what is essentially a soliloquy of narration. Preferring a more liberal mixture of narrative and dialog, I found these passages to be a bit too sluggish for my taste, leaving my mind occasionally wandering. Once the mystery portion of the story really got going, I thoroughly enjoyed the action, adventure and intrigue, as well as trying to figure out the answer to the puzzle. I did correctly discern the culprit and their motive (although not all the details of “how”) before it was revealed, but it didn't detract from the fun of getting there, as I ended up second guessing myself more than once. Overall, the narrative built very nicely to an exciting conclusion. Anyone who enjoys a good mystery/adventure yarn with a plucky heroine, an exotic setting and a dash of romance, should like this book. Crocodile on the Sandbank is the first of the Amelia Peabody series, and my first read by Elizabeth Peters. I found it to be a nice departure from my usual romance fare that has left me looking forward to trying the next book in the series when I'm, once again, in the mood for something different. There are currently 18 books in the Amelia Peabody series. A complete list of all the books and their recommended reading order can be found on the official Amelia Peabody website.

  • Allison
    2019-06-12 14:53

    Very enjoyable. There's no murder in this historical mystery, just a mummy terrorizing an archaeological site, and Amelia terrorizing everyone else with her parasol in a much more violent fashion than genteel or flirtatious. Feisty isn't quite a strong enough word for Amelia. I thought she was a bit too much at first, but decided I liked her once Evelyn began to have an effect on her. And Emerson - he was just right for a hot-headed archaeologist and as an opponent for Amelia, and I liked how their relationship played out.There was also more to the mystery than I thought at first, which made this more than just a pleasant bit of fun in Egypt with artifacts laying around everywhere. Although, if you're looking for the kind of mystery that actually gets investigated and solved with clues, this is not that kind of mystery. It's more of a (polite, Victorian-style) adventure with some suspense and then all is revealed. The setting is a big part of the fun, and what makes it different from other Victorian cozy mysteries. Very enjoyable.

  • Amy
    2019-06-21 20:04

    March 31st, 2017Even better than I remembered. Amelia Peabody is wonderful. If I rated this book today, I would probably give it 5 stars because it remains enjoyable after multiple reads. In fact, I rather want to re-read the rest of the series! ............................December 4th, 2014Love. Seriously, how have I survived unaware of Amelia Peabody? Though the novel occasionally gets weighed down by its description of Egypt, digs, and archaeology I loved the intelligent female heroine, her perchance for matchmaking, and her stubbornness. It's so nice to find a character who combines intelligence with a independent spirit and yet does not bog the reader down with pages and pages of feminist tirades (well perhaps only a page or two.) The mystery was perhaps a hint predictable but outrageous and fun enough to make it worth reading.Most importantly, my Mom liked this one and immediately got herself the sequel!

  • Marcy
    2019-06-06 15:36

    I always enjoy a little Amelia Peabody. I put an * next to my favorites (since they get a bit formulaic), and I just bought those 5 to add to my library. If you do read them all I recommend skipping #11. I think she's now written more in the series, too.1. Crocodile On The Sandbank*2. The Curse Of The Pharaohs3. The Mummy Case4. Lion In The Valley* 5. Deeds Of The Disturber6. The Last Camel Died At Noon* 7. The Snake, The Crocodile & The Dog8. The Hippopotamus Pool9. Seeing a Large Cat10. The Ape who Guards the Balance11. Guardian of the Horizon—this was written later, I think, and I didn’t like a part of it (could skip it!)12. The Falcon at the Portal*—better have the next one available; you’ll want to pick it right up13. He Shall Thunder in the Sky*14. Lord of the Silent15. The Golden One16. Children of the Storm17. The Serpent on the Crown18. Tomb of the Golden Bird

  • Althea Ann
    2019-06-26 12:59

    An Amelia Peabody Mystery'Apparently, this book was the first of a long series featuring the character of Amelia Peabody. I was interested because it took place in Egypt!I enjoyed reading the book because the character is really very appealing - Amelia, in Victorian times, is an 'old maid' at 29, but is also a feminist, independent, and smart, but with an obvious, if hidden-from-herself romantic streak.In this story, she rescues a young 'fallen' woman and then proceeds to stick by her when, at an archaeological site staffed by two appealing Egyptologists, a seemingly supernatural animated mummy attacks...However, the book was published in 1975. I don't know, but I think maybe if it was written today, it would have been better.Because, although she's supposed to be this liberated woman, and the heroine, Amelia never really solves the mystery! The guys around do, and she just sort of blunders through the situation. (In addition, the 'mystery' is really obvious, from the first page the culprit appears in the book). Romance is at least as important as crime here, and I kinda object to books that HAVE to end up with the 'old maid' heroine happily married and pregnant. Bleah.The tone of the book reminded me of Gilman's Mrs. Pollifax books, but this was not as good as those.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-06-10 15:47

    My wife loved all these books (and a great many other things Elizabeth Peters, Barbara Michaels, Barbara Mertz wrote). I'm giving it 3 stars as I recognize that this/these are very well written books. They are well constructed, the characters are fully fleshed out and if you follow the series they will remain fairly true to themselves. So, why only 3 stars? First, I like very few mysteries. While these are well crafted mysteries it's not a genre I find a "go-to" for myself...that's one reason. There is one other. Where my wife really like these, I just can't really. For one thing, I suppose the main thing, I really don't "like" Amelia Peabody...we just probably wouldn't get along. I'm sure she's one of the world's great archeologists/Egyptologists (or was as the books are placed back in the hay-day of the British Empire), but she just rubs me the wrong way. These are well written books and if they are your cup of tea (as Amelia's English it would definitely be tea) you will probably love them. Please, I know my wife and others loved these so, if you're a mystery buff, if you think you might get along with Amelia...try them. They're just not my favorites. i listened to several just to have something to listen to on long drives, as I preferred a book to radio, but I probably would never have picked them up to read.

  • Vimal Thiagarajan
    2019-06-24 11:48

    I got into this book due to the all too apparent Egyptian lure and the lure of archaeological fiction, and though I wasn't let down on both counts, the thing that stumped me the most was an entirely unanticipated facet of this book - the raging maelstrom of unbridled antagonism between a Victorian feminist-Amelia Peabody and an eternal misogynist-Radcliffe Emerson, which is at the center of this entertaining Haggardian adventure set in the enterprising archaeological milieu of Egypt in the Victorian era.The mystery component is readily guessable even before the half-way mark, but despite that I was glued to the book due to the fantastic character building.And to say anything about how beautiful the ending was, it would suffice to say that I spent 2 hours out of the total 9 or so hours that it took me to complete the book, in the last 15 pages.Hoping to explore more of this series in the future.

  • Linda
    2019-06-15 18:02

    Amelia Peabody always had good intentions. Some people thought of her as abrasive, opinionated and straight-forward. She was. At 32 years of age she was plain in appearance. And possibly a bit too tall with a "nose that was too large, a mouth too wide and the shape of a chin that was positively masculine." Her attitude? If others had a problem...well...too bad. The truth? Amelia had a kind heart which leaned toward the underdog and an embracing curiosity with life. Unexpectedly inheriting a large fortune, she befriended a young woman, Evelyn, who had suddenly found herself in dire straits. Together, they journeyed to Egypt, traveling for pleasure. And, upon arrival, Amelia clashed with the scholarly Radcliffe Emerson. "Sir, I do not know you-" "But I know you, Madam! I have met your kind too often- the rampageous British female at her clumsiest and most arrogant. Ye gods! The breed covers the earth like mosquitoes, and is as maddening. The depths of the pyramids, the height of the Himalayas- no spot on earth is safe from you!"*As if Amelia would let those comments go..... :)*And you, sir, are the lordly British male at his loudest and most bad-mannered. If the English gentlewoman is covering the earth, it is in the hope of counteracting some of the mischief her lord and master has perpetrated. Swaggering, loud, certain of his superiority...."I loved Amelia's refreshing honesty with everyone. I am not a big fan of the first person tense but 'listening' to Amelia talk to herself -and us, the readers!- was, at times, very funny. And what a protectress! Especially when it came to Evelyn. And Alberto? Two words: boo hoo.Almost too smart for her own good, Amelia was years ahead of her time. A woman who could think and solve a problem. Mummies that came to life? Not in her world, there had to be a logical answer. Though the storyline contained many secondary characters, you knew who the villain would be but it was still a joy to go along for the ride. Ms. Peters did a super job of injecting delicious bits of humor, some very smart dialog and her own brand of love for a very quirky woman.

  • rabbitprincess
    2019-06-27 13:49

    I can definitely see why this book was added to one of my Top 100 Crime Novels list -- it is brilliant.The story begins in Rome, where Amelia Peabody, an irrepressible, resolute woman, rescues an unfortunate young lady from death in the streets. The young lady, Evelyn, was disinherited by her wealthy grandfather after she was seduced by a cad named Alberto. Alberto, of course, was after her fortune, and when she no longer had access to it, he left her behind. Amelia takes Evelyn under her wing, and the pair head for Egypt to spend the winter along the Nile.Along the way, they encounter noted archaeologists, valuable Egyptian artifacts, and -- is that a mummy stalking their camp? But why? That is what Amelia must find out...This is the first novel in the Amelia Peabody series, and it was a joy to read. Narrator Amelia is very well spoken and has very deft turns of phrase. More than once I had to keep myself from laughing aloud on the train, where I read pretty much the whole book in one go.If you've been meaning to read Elizabeth Peters but haven't yet, do pick up this book!

  • Lori
    2019-06-05 16:57

    This was such a fun and charming read! Amelia Peabody is a very capable and intelligent woman who won me over immediately. Unlike other Victorian ladies of the time she is not given to fainting spells or swooning over every little mishap. I loved the gentle romance and the intrigue that follows her into the heart of Egypt. There is a cozy mystery to be solved and lots of fun tidbits about Egyptian artifacts. The pacing is good and I enjoyed myself immensely on this adventure. There is something very romantic about archeology in itself but Elizabeth Peters has thrown in some extras that are sure to delight many readers! My only complaint is that I regret it wasn't about one hundred pages longer. I think this four and a half star book is perfect for the beach or a rainy day curled up on the sofa. Highly recommend this to anyone who loved Nancy Drew or Indiana Jones! :D

  • Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya
    2019-06-19 19:37

    ~I HAVE DISCOVERED MISS AMELIA PEABODY!~Egypt is in my heart: they say if you once drank from the Nile, the return to its banks will haunt you forever. I spent a couple of extremely short years in Egypt, mostly in Cairo, with weekend trips out to deserts and sea banks, with numerous 10-15 day long travels all over this land of the mysteries and a thousand cats...I had a wonderful company and all the possible comforts to endure into such travels, including, oh my, that was a TOTAL luxury! - a shower bag, which you secure on top of your Jeep and it gets so pleasantly hot by the end of the day that you can take your evening shower in much comfort and meet the coolness of the night by the fire, all freshened up :)Miss Amelia Peabody and her friends did not have such arrangements. They were traveling on donkeys, bringing some comforting things and clothes from the dahabea (boat) to the caves in the Amarna desert, where they soon encountered love and hate, betrayal and some scary... o, I shall stop! It is nearly impossible to tell you about the book without giving up the clever twists and turns of the events! I will tell you this much: I HATE doing home chores, but listening to this audio book, read BRILLIANTLY by funny, sarcastic, charmingly witty Barbara Rosenblat, I kept on cleaning and washing and folding clothes and even considered making dumplings, for I needed to justify listening to this lovely book to the very end! It made me laugh and brought me quite a lot of nostalgia, too.The first in the Amelia Peabody series, Crocodile on the Sandbank is written in 1975 and covers the 1884–85 years. I learned that the series go on for another 19 (!!) books with the last one published as recently as in April 2010! "Elizabeth Peters" is a pen name of Barbara Mertz, born in 1927, a PhD in Egyptology (so you can rely on the abundance of facts she presents you with in her books!!) Mrs. Mertz started her writing career with academic books on Egypt; under a pen name of Barbara Michaels she writes Gothic and supernatural thrillers. What a talent!!! I hope she takes a good care of herself and I am sending her loads on Angels to help her be well and sound and continue writing!!! I am quite determined to go onto a second book in the series: The Curse of the Pharaohs, and of course, it is going to be an purchase: read by the same narrator, it is going to be quite a treat! Charm, fun, witty, intelligent: if you want a spec of these in your life.... PLUS getting the chores done quickly and with more pleasure than you have ever had when cleaning your house or walking a dog or running on a treadmill.... then this audio book is for you!Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya

  • Jaksen
    2019-06-11 16:58

    Yikes, so predictable, and an MC who is totally unlikeable. Meh.Set in the 1850's, written in the 1970's, with an uber-feminist MC who'd prefer to wear pants to dresses and wants to be more than just somebody's wife. Guess what and spoiler alert! She ends up being somebody's wife.I am a woman of the 70's, btw, thoroughly modern, raised by parents who decided - for me - that I'd go to college, get a job or have a career and be beholden/dependent on no man. So it wasn't the 1850's feminist vibe that turned me off this book; it was the whole premise of the book and the fact that IMO this is a romance-disguised-as-mystery-in-exotic-locale.Come on, she hates the rugged, ruddy, sorta dirty archaeologist she meets on a trip down the Nile. He's rude and sarcastic and makes fun of her and her entire outlook on life. But of course the back and forth antagonistic banter between them is CHEMISTRY! Omg, they're gonna fall in love as they solve the mystery of the mummy that keeps appearing to 'scare them off' the archaeological digs the 'hero' has discovered. Give me a break! This is romance with romance tropes - man-hates-woman; woman-despises-man - which simply covers up their deep-seated, nearly subliminal attraction for each other. (Does this more or less spell out why I dislike romances so much?)Once I got a load of this guy, and her reaction to him, I said to myself, mystery-shmystery, this is gonna turn into a love-fest by the end and it does, or did. I kept reading to figure out the mystery part which ended up being soooo boooooooooring.I have tried to read Elizabeth Peters before, various novels, most of which I left one-fourth or twenty pages in and never have been impressed. I shoulda known!Shoulda known. Two stars, generous. However this is probably the perfect book for those who want predictable characters, a trope-laden romance, and a mystery about a stupid mummy.

  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    2019-06-27 20:00

    ‘Crocodile on the Sandbank’, the first in a series, is a perfectly splendid cozy mystery! I adore the indomitable force of nature that is Miss Amelia Peabody!English gentlewoman Amelia Peabody has recently inherited and she is at loose ends. Despite the strictures which were socially imposed on Victorian women, she has decided to travel and have adventures. She sets out with a companion for Italy, but it becomes apparent the companion will not do - her constitution is too weak and sickly to keep up with thirty-two-year old Amelia. Morosely, Amelia sends her back to England and wonders how to fix the situation. Her plan had been to go to Egypt.Unexpectedly, a sweet starving young fellow countrywoman of twenty-three faints almost literally at Amelia’s feet. She regains consciousness under Amelia’s care. Evelyn Barton-Forbes quickly tells her her story of woe - she is a ruined woman! Her grandfather has correctly disinherited her for her foolish escapade of running away with a young Italian man, only to wake up alone in her hotel abandoned and robbed. Was Evelyn contemplating suicide? Maybe, Amelia thinks. She is NOT going to do so, if Amelia has anything to say about it! Amelia clearly sees Evelyn is a person of honor, grievously misused, and Amelia needs a paid companion if she is to realize her dreams of adventure in Egypt.So begins the journey which will change both of the young women's lives. A trip up the Nile leads to mysterious murder attempts after meeting a pair of very nice and handsome archeologists who are brothers - or are they up to no good? A mummy begins to stalk the dig’s camp, maybe after the women, and then an artifact is wrecked. Who, and why, is someone doing this?Amelia will get to the bottom of it all! It is a perfectly splendid adventure!

  • Tim Hicks
    2019-06-22 13:03

    I hope this is a parody, because if it isn't, it's a dreadful book. I'm going to assume that it is. So ... the 1880s viewed from a mid-70s author's perspective. Amelia and Emerson are great characters. The rest are, predictably, cardboard. Buffoons, cads, mysterious Arabs, etc. Alberto? Eyebrow raise. The only thing he didn't do was talk-a like-a thees. In fact he came across more like Tonto in 1950s novels. Plot? Don't fuss yourself with that. It's weak and predictable, and this story isn't about that anyway. It's Amelia and Emerson. Knowing this turned out to be a series, I wonder if it contains more setup than it might have had as a one-off. Details? Pah. In the middle of the desert, the characters produce dinner jackets, champagne and what have you out of nowhere. Probably Acme products. At one point one hero is running UP a steep pebbly hill in great leaps while carrying an unconscious colleague, while just yards away another is leaping DOWN the same hill while carrying an unconscious woman. What is this, the Justice League? All in all it's a pretty crummy book, but if you read quickly and don't think too hard it's an enjoyable way to spend some time. I might look for another one to see how it develops. But I'd rather go and read some more Gail Carriger and meet Lord Akeldama again.

  • Holly
    2019-06-02 19:55

    *4.5 stars

  • D.G.
    2019-05-27 18:58

    Review of audiobook version narrated by Barbara Rosenblat.The mystery in this book wasn't very good - how could it be when the villain was a Mummy? - but it had delightful characters and such a funny turn of phrase - when the mummy was described as Evelyn's "necromantic admirer", I almost died laughing.Amelia Peabody is now my postergirl for what a strong woman in a historical book should be. She's a natural leader, very strong, smart, sensible, confident, kind, opinionated but doesn't come out as a man hater or "feisty" (how I hate that word.) She's had to deal with the misogyny rampant in her world or the idea that women are weaker than men, but she's not constantly railing at everybody because of this. She's not a beauty but she's not ashamed or cowed by this. She knows her own strengths and value so every word out of her lips comes out with great confidence. The plot is a follows: After inheriting a fortune from her father, Amelia decides to travel to Egypt. There she meets Evelyn, a ruined English lady that she takes as a companion and the Emerson brothers, two British archeologists. While traveling in the Nile, they reach the Emersons' excavation where they stay to assist during an illness. Then, the whole excavation becomes accosted by a Mummy, who terrorize the workers and takes a particular shine to Evelyn.Although this book is not a romance, the romantic plot is very substantial. Walter (the younger brother) and Evelyn soon fall in love. The same happens with Amelia and the irascible older Emerson, although this "courtship" wasn't as straight forward. Emerson and Amelia didn't take to one another from the beginning and there's a lot of funny bickering between the two.Emerson: "An Englishman’s duty is to preserve icy detachment under any and all circumstances. Even if he were being boiled to provide a cannibal's dinner, it would be incumbent upon him to..."Amelia: "I would expect that you would be taking notes on the dietary habits of aborigines as the water bubbled around your neck.""God help the poor mummy who encounters you, Peabody." [Emerson] said bitterly. "We ought to supply it with a pistol, to even the odds." "You, asking for advice? Let me feel your brow, Peabody, I am sure you must be fevered."As you can imagine from the way I've described Amelia, any man who falls in love with her must be unusual himself: a man just as smart but strong enough not to be cowed by her and let her be herself. So when he started calling her by her last name, in the same way he would call any man, Amelia wasn't offended. I didn't think it was an insult (thinking she was manly) but on the contrary, he called her by her last name because he considered her his equal. I confess I swooned a bit when Emerson says:"I pay the lady the compliment of assuming that she has a brain and is capable of using it."By the end, you can see how Emerson and Amelia are a team - they even put the pieces of the "mystery" together, which they acknowledge they could have solve way sooner if they only had spoken to each other frankly. I knew who was the villain from the beginning (it was that obvious).The narration by Barbara Rosenblat is outstanding. Amelia's voice is full of strength, wit, with an upper class British accent, just how you would imagine she sounds like. I wasn't that crazy about her voice for Emerson because he sounds a bit crotchety but then, he is that. :) I'm glad I wasn't even tempted by the American narration - who thinks it's appropriate to have all characters with an American accent when most of the characters in the books are British, is beyond me. Needless to say, I'm definitely continuing the series. I already ordered audiobook #2.

  • Ingela
    2019-06-18 18:52

    Review written January 4, 20183.8 Stars - A fun start with excellent audiobook narration. A new for me cozy mystery serial to continueAt last was it time for me to start discover the qualities with this rather popular and well-liked, but perhaps a bit aging and dusty, cozy historical Amelia Peabody mystery series. #1 Crocodile on the Sandbank was first published 1975 in the to be nineteen stand-alone books long serial by Elizabeth Peters. An American author (1927-2013) with a Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. I listened to the 9:50 hrs audiobook narrated by the great and simply terrific voice from Barbara Rosenblat. A novel narrated by her can’t but be good. **********************************************Set in Egypt 1884 ...Amelia Peabody is a 32 years old self-proclaimed English spinster who decides to use her ample inheritance to indulge her passion, Egyptology. On her way to Egypt, she encounters a abandoned young woman, Evelyn Barton-Forbes. Our heroine Amelia now a needed new traveler companion in this sweet heart crushed new friend. A few weeks later in Cairo they meet Radcliffe Emerson, a rude but very dashing opinionated archaeologist (honestly a traditional huge s*xy hero) and his more nice and more gentleman like younger brother Walter. Pretty soon these two younger characters Evelyn and Walter find attachments. — Will it be a sparkle between the two older ones as well? Amelia is of course a much younger very proper and clever English lady but she and this grandiose well known true Lady has a lot in common...**********************************************I have a somewhat embarrassing secret hunger for these pretty dazzling and predictable old fashioned stories with nice well born proper ladies, snobby acquaintances, crunchy foreigners and handsome gentlemen in old-fashioned crime novels in traditional British style. This was no exception and I'm sure I'll listen through all 19 books at last. — Brilliant start, I'm now another impressed "Amelia Peabody" fan.... Add a bit of geeky love and romance. Yay, perfect for this girl. **********************************************I LIKE - nerdy old-fashioned crime stories

  • Carly
    2019-05-27 14:43

    **edited 12/12/13I've never really understood why people try to decide what books they would bring if they were trapped on a desert island, because (1) it's a little unlikely in our current issues with overpopulation, (2) even if it occurred, I suspect you wouldn't be able to plan ahead, and (3) I'll bet you'd just end up stuck with trashy beach reads. So let's just say that when the zombie apocalypse comes, I'm definitely going to make sure I have some Elizabeth Peters books in my basement or bomb shelter, preferably on audio (more on that later), but I'll take it as print if necessary.Due to my disapproval of GR's new and rather subjective review deletion policy, The rest of my (rather verbose and quote-filled) review is posted over here at Booklikes.