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Crocodile on the Sandbank (1975)

by Elizabeth Peters

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,6072272,474 (3.91)328
Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML:

Amelia Peabody, that indomitable product of the Victorian age, embarks on her first Egyptian adventure armed with unshakable self-confidence, a journal to record her thoughts, and, of course, a sturdy umbrella. On her way, Amelia rescues young Evelyn Barton-Forbes, who has been "ruined" and abandoned on the streets of Rome by her rascally lover. With a typical disregard for convention, Amelia promptly hires her fellow countrywoman as a companion and takes her to Cairo.

Eluding Evelyn's former lover, who wants her back, and Evelyn's cousin Lord Ellesmere, who wishes to marry her, the two women sail up the Nile to an archaeological site that is home to a rather lively mummy. Soon strange visitations, suspicious accidents, and a botched kidnapping convince Amelia that there is a plot afoot to harm Evelyn.

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… (more)
  1. 111
    Soulless by Gail Carriger (nessreader, lquilter)
    nessreader: The heroine of Soulless has a similar outlook to early Amelia Peabody (but I should warn that the Peabody series is cosy crime/romance, with no supernatural element while Soulless is gleeful fantasy) Both have strong willed on-the-shelf spinsters who are active protagonists in their story.… (more)
    lquilter: Without knowing, I'd imagine that Gail Carriger had read Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series (beginning with Crocodile on the Sandbank) before writing Blameless (et seq). Similar era, similarly cranky and forthright spinster protagonist, similar sort of love affair, similar witty dialog and observations. The Amelia Peabody books are, of course, "straight" historical mystery, without the steampunk elements of Carriger's series, but I imagine that Carriger fans who read out-of-genre also will enjoy the Peters' series. Similarly, Peters fans who like SF, steampunk, or vampires/werewolves, might enjoy the Carriger series.… (more)
  2. 30
    The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman (foggidawn)
  3. 30
    Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury (_Zoe_)
    _Zoe_: Wrapped is YA and considerably fluffier, but it shares the common element of an independent-minded nineteenth-century woman encountering an Egyptological mystery.
  4. 20
    Letters from Egypt: A journey on the Nile, 1849-1850 by Florence Nightingale (Cynara)
    Cynara: Florence went down the Nile in a dahabiyya thirty-two years before the great fictional Victorian lady Amelia Peabody, but there's still much overlap!
  5. 31
    Changeless by Gail Carriger (majkia)
    majkia: Alexia Terabotti Maccon and Amelia Peabody seriously have a lot in common. And not just parasols. Also bear shaped husbands, attitude, and intrepidity (if that's a word)
  6. 20
    Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Mr Impossible is a Regency romance novel set in Egypt. The strong intelligent heroine is something of an expert in Egyptian antiquities and is determined to help her brother get out of trouble. The general premise is a lot like the movie The Mummy. Those who enjoyed the romantic angle and the Egyptian setting in Crocodile on the Sandbank may find a lot to like in Chase's Mr Impossible.… (more)
  7. 00
    Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark by Donna Simpson (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Both novels feature a prickly, very intelligent 'spinster' unravelling a seemingly paranormal mystery while charming a large and irascible love interest. There were snippets of dialogue in Lady Anne that definitely reminded me of the Amelia Peabody novels. Crocodile on the Sandbank - archaeological mystery set in Egypt. Lady Anne - Gothic romance… (more)
  8. 00
    And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Unconventional heroines rebel against Victorian mores to pursue their intellectual interests. The Elizabeth Peters novels are sillier (including prodding people with parasols) and is set against a backdrop of Egyptian archaeology. The Tasha Alexander mysteries are less openly subversive of Victorian morals, and And Only to Deceive draws on Homer's Iliad.… (more)
  9. 11
    Blameless by Gail Carriger (lquilter)
    lquilter: Without knowing, I'd imagine that Gail Carriger had read Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series (beginning with Crocodile on the Sandbank) before writing Blameless (et seq). Similar era, similarly cranky and forthright spinster protagonist, similar sort of love affair, similar witty dialog and observations. The Amelia Peabody books are, of course, "straight" historical mystery, without the steampunk elements of Carriger's series, but I imagine that Carriger fans who read out-of-genre also will enjoy the Peters' series. Similarly, Peters fans who like SF, steampunk, or vampires/werewolves, might enjoy the Carriger series.… (more)
  10. 00
    The Gilded Shroud by Elizabeth Bailey (4leschats)
  11. 00
    Valley of the Kings by Cecelia Holland (themulhern)
    themulhern: The books are very different in tone. The shared theme is archaeology and Akhenaten.
  12. 00
    Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt by Barbara Mertz (themulhern)
    themulhern: The Egyptological fiction by this author really complements her Egyptological non-fiction and vice-versa. I read the non-fiction because I had been reading the fiction, and I'm happy to say that the non-fiction does deepen one's understanding of the fiction. But it is also possible that after reading the non-fiction one might dip into the fiction and find that one was enjoying the fiction much more because of one's existing knowledge.… (more)
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» See also 328 mentions

English (221)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  Piratical (1)  French (1)  All languages (227)
Showing 1-5 of 221 (next | show all)
The Amelia Peabody series has been a favourite since I was little and listening to the audiobooks with my mother; Barbara Rosenblat does a beautiful job bringing them to life.

While Amelia is very much the definition of an unreliable narrator, and her perspective is very much flavoured by her nationality and the era, these things are well written to make it obvious to the reader that they are true, and Amelia herself is a delight (in all her occasionally disastrous glory). The character dynamics and relationships are wonderfully engaging, and the mystery fascinating and alarming.

The conclusion sets up the next book in the series in excellent fashion without leaving any feeling of things being left hanging. ( )
  Kalira | May 14, 2024 |
4.25/5 This was written in 1975! 😱 How can you not love a late-Victorian-self-sufficient-no-nonsense-badass female archaeologist protagonist who travels to Egypt in search of antiquarian objects and the freedom to do as she pleases? Throw in some worthy sidekicks and adversaries as well as a mummy-run-amok, and you have one heckuva fun historical detective read. I see more Amelia Peabody in my future. ( )
  crabbyabbe | Apr 26, 2024 |
The first book, "Crocodile on the Sandbank", sets the stage by introducing Amelia and Emerson, which is a cool romance, but theirs is a unique relationship that is not at all mushy or sentimental. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments, too, and I knew after finishing the first book I was in love the series. ( )
  gpangel | Mar 11, 2024 |
Once I got past the "gentle reader" references that were authentic if a bit cloying, I found myself enjoying it. A fun blend of romance, mystery and adventure ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
I love Amelia Peabody. Going on an adventure with Amelia can only be described as just pure fun. ( )
  maryelisa | Jan 16, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 221 (next | show all)
added by AoifeT | editDear Author, Janet (Jul 12, 2010)
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Petersprimary authorall editionscalculated
Auer, BarbaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Pierrefeu, LouisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dufner, KarinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
青柳, 伸子Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Groot, Cobi deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hämäläinen, MerviTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heller, DagmarNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jendricke, BernhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kapuran, PetarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kubrichtová, GiselaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, WillCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Longo, IgorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Malley, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenblat, BarbaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tuncer, NazanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verri, BeatriceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Алюков, ИгорьTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The love of my beloved is on yonder side. A width of water is between us, and a crocodile waiteth on the sandbank. - Ancient Egyptian love poem
Dedication
To my son
Peter
First words
When I first set eyes on Evelyn Barton-Forbes she was walking the streets of Rome -
Quotations
"Stop," he ordered, in a low but compelling voice. "Do no take another step, or I fire! D--- it," he added vexedly, "does the monstrosity understand English? How absurd this is!" "It understands the gesture, at least," I called, thrusting head and shoulders through the window. "Lucas, for pity's sake, seize it! Don't stand there deriding its linguistic inadequacies!"
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Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML:

Amelia Peabody, that indomitable product of the Victorian age, embarks on her first Egyptian adventure armed with unshakable self-confidence, a journal to record her thoughts, and, of course, a sturdy umbrella. On her way, Amelia rescues young Evelyn Barton-Forbes, who has been "ruined" and abandoned on the streets of Rome by her rascally lover. With a typical disregard for convention, Amelia promptly hires her fellow countrywoman as a companion and takes her to Cairo.

Eluding Evelyn's former lover, who wants her back, and Evelyn's cousin Lord Ellesmere, who wishes to marry her, the two women sail up the Nile to an archaeological site that is home to a rather lively mummy. Soon strange visitations, suspicious accidents, and a botched kidnapping convince Amelia that there is a plot afoot to harm Evelyn.

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