Crocodile on the Sandbank Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1 1988
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Elizabeth Peters's unforgettable heroine Amelia Peabody makes her first appearance in this clever mystery. Amelia receives a rather large inheritance and decides to use it for travel. On her way through Rome to Egypt, she meets Evelyn Barton-Forbes, a young woman abandoned by her lover and left with no means of support. Amelia promptly takes Evelyn under her wing, insisting that the young lady accompany her to Egypt, where Amelia plans to indulge her passion for Egyptology. When Evelyn becomes the target of an aborted kidnapping and the focus of a series of suspicious accidents and mysterious visitations, Amelia becomes convinced of a plot to harm her young friend. Like any self-respecting sleuth, Amelia sets out to discover who is behind it all.
I can't wait for the next Peabody story... I really do think [Elizabeth Peters'] books are great entertainment. -- Angela Rippon A writer so popular that the public library has to keep her books under lock and key. Washington Post Book World Think Miss Marple with early feminist gloss crossed with Indiana Jones... accomplished entertainment. Guardian --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are new to this series, here are some things you might like to know...
Elizabeth Peters also writes under the name Barbara Michaels (not sure which is her real name). Personally, I have not been impressed by some of her other books outside of the Peabody mysteries. The Amelia Peabody books are adventure/mystery stories that take place in Egypt, in the late 1800's.
Here are the books featuring Amelia Peabody in order from first to last:
1) Crocodile on the Sandbank (1975)
2) The Curse of the Pharaohs (1981)
3) The Mummy Case (1985)
4) Lion in the Valley (1986)
5) The Deeds of the Disturber (1988)
6) The Last Camel Died at Noon (1991)
7) The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog (1992)
8) The Hippopotamus Pool (1996)
9) Seeing a Large Cat (1997)
10) The Ape Who Guards the Balance (1998)
11) The Falcon at the Portal (1999)
12) He Shall Thunder In The Sky (May 2000)
13) Lord of the Silent (May 2001)
14) The Golden One (April 2002)
15) Children of the Storm (April 2003)
The pace stagnated, a dismayingly large portion of this novel. Three stars stem from the noticeably long period, in which nothing occurred to match the great Egyptian adventure that was laid out for readers. It was an Egyptian campout. Foreign scenery, dynamic personalities, a hint of romance for Evelyn propelled it just barely. If I weren't a firm finisher of the books I have opened, I might not have reached the late chapters in which the plots refuelled their gas. The uneventful chunk wasn't unpleasant; merely pale against the exciting possibilities that delayed too long in coming. Thankfully the preservation of murals, exploration of caves, and chance to unearth artifacts are of keen interest to me.
There is plenty to admire about this creative premise, cacophonous assembly of personalities, and a truly unique gift with narrative. I have high hopes the remainder of the series has ample room to score four and five stars, in reflection of tauter events and more consistently sharp interest. However there are two more causes for the mild outcome of this volume. I cannot abide fiction that fails to deliver the mystical element the synopsis used as a lure. Fiction is meant to be fabricated! More than that, at the identity of the villain we groan. Their reasoning is even worse! I can only say it would be less ridiculous to rob a bank.
This is by no means great literature: the dénouement is quite predictable, the characters are somewhat one-dimensional and social anachronisms pop up now and then.
Overall, however, this book is extremely enjoyable. This is due in part to the author's frequent wit and tongue-in-cheek humour. It also results from the archaeological setting which allows her to throw in a slew of informational tidbits without ever being overtly pedagogical.
I truly look forward to reading the second book in the Amelia Peabody series!
The plot itself is a really nice mixture of historical fiction and mystery. There’s elements of thriller/horror in the plot itself so as it progresses. The mystery doesn’t really start until at least a third way into the story. There is a supernatural element into the story as well, but of course, being a historical mystery, there’s a logical explanation to it all.
The only few criticisms I have of this story is the slow pace of it, character development is fine and fills the plot in between, but it’s not until you read further into the book does the mystery intensify and become more thrilling.
Still, it’s worth a read. Historical mystery lovers will enjoy the start of what looks like a great series. I’ll be looking for the second one to read as well.
Crocodile on the Sandbank, is the first in Elizabeth Peters’ series, and I can see why these books have been so popular. A strong, no-nonsense character rebelling against the rules and restrictions of Victorian England presents plenty of internal conflict for Amelia, but she’s smart and resourceful enough to build a life for herself away from disapproving eyes.
It’s refreshing to read a novel that isn’t centered around a murder, but rather the threat of danger. Peters’ descriptions of Egypt and her action scenes are so vivid and detailed that it kept me turning the pages. She also managed to create a relaxed pace while steadily mounting the tension. Although the book was published in 1975, Peters captures the tone of Victorian England well, and even directly addresses the reader as authors often did during that period. My only quibble is that the guilty parties were obvious from the get-go. Still, I’ll definitely read more just for the lovely writing.
Most recent customer reviews
A romance and not really a mystery. Also oddly anti Italian - which is candidly a little weird and off puttingPublished on May 28 2014 by J Morton
I had hoped for a good story (I like the title) but was disappointed because the heroine's character traits didn't hold together - unless she was support to have a multiple... Read morePublished on Feb. 7 2014 by Amazon Customer
Amelia Peabody and Radcliffe Emerson are two of THE most delightful, intelligent and funny characters I have come across in a very long time! Read morePublished on March 24 2010
I absolutely adore this book! What a pleasure to be treated by an author who considers the reader an intelligent being; no lengthy explanations of concepts but the assumption that... Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2008 by Marion Marchetto, author of The Bridgewater Chronicles
This book is our introduction to the world of Amelia Peabody and and her adventures in Egypt during the Victorian age. Ms. Read morePublished on July 7 2004 by Shirley Schwartz
This is the first installment of The Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. This is actually my second Amelia Peabody book, I first read The Lord of the Silent. Read morePublished on June 10 2004
Thoroughly enjoyable story. Well written. Well read. Treat yourself...you won't regret it.Published on June 2 2004 by Book Worm