Thursday, November 8, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

Author: Elizabeth Peters
First published in 1975 by Dodd Mead

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 archaeological 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...

I read the first of the Amelia Peabody books about 20 years ago.  When I saw it available on my library's download site, I thought it might be fun to revisit the book.  Crocodile on the Sandbank is still as good as I remember.  While the mystery wasn't too hard to figure out, I still had fun and enjoyed the adventure in the desert.

I love the characters in the book.  Amelia is such a great character.  She is convinced she is plain and will be an old spinster.  She is also smart and compassionate.  I loved the banter and chemistry that she has with Emerson. They are well matched!  While the romance is subtle, it was still very endearing.  As for the peripheral characters, who wouldn't fall in love with Walter and Evelyn.  Walter's declaration of love was very sweet and one of the best I have read.

I have not read beyond book 2 I think and I have been trying to figure out why I never continued.  I am going to dig through my book shelves for the next book.  With 20 or so books in the series, I have a lot of catching up to do!


Enbrethiliel said...


I, too, have no idea why I never read further than the first book in the series, given that I enjoyed it so much. (Well, maybe not having access to libraries and needing to buy most of what I read had something to do with it. =P)

I do recall thinking that the two couples paired off "too quickly"--and telling myself that I only thought so because I'm used to characters taking a whole season (or more!) of a TV series to do the same. Since this is a Victorian-set story, however, at least I won't have to worry about them breaking up--or worse, swapping partners (I so hate that!)--just to add some conflict to the later novels.

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I really like this series-I've only read the first 4 or 5 because I like savoring them. One a year is pretty good for me. But yeah you should definitely continue if you can find them at your library.