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A Review of

Crocodile on the Sandbank

by Elizabeth Peters

 

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Summary

Amelia Peabody, a Victorian-era woman with an adventurous spirit, decides to use some of her inheritance to travel to Egypt.

This is Book 1 in a series of 28 books written by Elizabeth Peters featuring Amelia Peabody as a central character.

Crocodile on the Sandbank

 

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Fact Sheet

Title

Crocodile on the Sandbank

Author

Elizabeth Peters

ISBN

0-445-40651-8

Publisher

Warner Books

Category

Historical Fiction, Mystery, Archeology

Rating

StarStarStarStar

Number of Pages

272

Published In

1988

 

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Description

Amelia Peabody is a feisty 19th-century English woman who spent her youth providing companionship to her ill father rather than pursuing romantic entanglements with young men. Upon her father's death, she resolves to use some of her inheritance to seek adventure in Egypt.

En route, she meets young Evelyn Barton-Forbes. Evelyn's life has been ruined by a disreputable young man who has seduced and abandoned her, and her rich grandfather has disinherited her. Amelia rescues her from thoughts of suicide and engages her to come along to Egypt as a traveling companion.

In Egypt, the women make the acquaintance of the Emerson brothers — handsome Walter, whose charms completely ensnare Evelyn, and his older brother Radcliffe, whose strong-willed personality puts him constantly at odds with equally strong-willed Amelia. Later, as the women embark on a Nile cruise to the south, they take a side trip to see the ruins of Akhenaten's city at Amarna, and discover the Emerson brothers hard at work on an archeological dig. Between Evelyn's attraction to Walter and Amelia's interest in archeology, the women decide to linger for a time.

At first, all seems well with the dig. However, tension begins to rise and things begin to go wrong. A rather animated mummy begins to haunt the camp at night, the excavation is sabotaged, and mysterious accidents begin to happen. Convinced that the mummy is a trick designed to frighten them away from their work, Amelia teams up with Radcliffe to look for rational explanations. At the same time, Evelyn's love life takes on new twists when a suitor from her past appears and proposes marriage, posing a threat to young Walter's own pursuit of her.

Of course, the menacing mummy, the sabotage of the dig, the risks to life and limb of the archeologists, and the romantic triangle all escalate and reach a climax, with all the plot lines coming together in a satisfying ending.

 

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Is It Right for You?

 

You Will Probably Enjoy This Book If...

  • You enjoy books with strong female leads.
  • You love fiction with an archeology twist.
  • You are fascinated by ancient Egypt.
  • You enjoy mystery tales.
  • You're looking for something that is light-hearted and fun to read, but with enough character development and plot twists to hold your attention.
  • You would enjoy a book with a bit of adventure, a bit of romance, and a bit of mystery.

 

This Book Probably Isn't Right for You If...

  • You're not interested in historical fiction set in the Victorian era.

 

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What I Liked, What I Didn't

 

What I Liked:

  • Elizabeth Peters writes with a wry sense of humor, making the book fun to read.
  • The main character, Amelia Peabody, may be a Victorian lady, but she is also strong, sensible, independent, intelligent, and courageous.
  • The other characters are each quirky enough to be interesting.
  • The author has done her homework in researching the major developments of Egyptian archeology that would have corresponded to the era of this book.

 

What I Didn't Like:

  • I found the mystery of the frisky mummy to be a little predictable — I was able to figure most of it out before the book actually revealed it.
  • I've always been more interested in ancient Egypt itself than I have in the archeologists who revealed it to modern-era people.

 

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Conclusion

I enjoyed this book because of the playful sense of humor in the author's writing style and the interesting character development. The plot takes a variety of entertaining twists and turns, and reaches a satsifying conclusion at the end. Although the process of archeology isn't my usual choice of subject matter, this author's storytelling is entertaining enough to make me want to read the next book in the series.

You will probably enjoy this book if you enjoy tales of Victorian-era English people with a bit of romance, a bit of adventure, and a bit of mystery.

This is Book 1 in a series of 28 books by Elizabeth Peters featuring Amelia Peabody as the central character. If someone suggests Peters' books to you, start with this one. If you enjoy it, you can then move on to enjoy its sequel, Curse of the Pharaohs, and then read additional books in the series from there.

 

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Disclosures

There is nothing to disclose. I have never had any contact with anyone associated with this book.


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