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Crocodile On the Sandbank

Crocodile On the Sandbank

Written by Elizabeth Peters

Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat


Crocodile On the Sandbank

Written by Elizabeth Peters

Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat

ratings:
4/5 (170 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Released:
Jan 1, 1990
ISBN:
9781440780769
Format:
Audiobook

Description

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, encountering mysteries, missing mummies, and Radcliffe Emerson, a dashing and opinionated archaeologist who doesn't need a woman's help -- or so he thinks.
Released:
Jan 1, 1990
ISBN:
9781440780769
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Elizabeth Peters earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago’s famed Oriental Institute. During her fifty-year career, she wrote more than seventy novels and three nonfiction books on Egypt. She received numerous writing awards and, in 2012, was given the first Amelia Peabody Award, created in her honor. She died in 2013, leaving a partially completed manuscript of The Painted Queen.

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Reviews

What people think about Crocodile On the Sandbank

4.2
170 ratings / 124 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    A bit disappointing this one. On the front it says a murder mystery but no-one was murdered! A bit too pedestrian for me. 2.5 Stars.
  • (4/5)
    Amelia was definitely ahead of her time. Also there was a lot of womanly fainting going on in this book, so much that it got annoying. But the book was good I enjoyed it and it entertained me
  • (3/5)
    Amelia Peabody, a Victorian feminist, receives upon the death of her father the wherewithal to travel. She, the plain spinster of strong will and strong opinions begins her travel in Rome where she meets Evelyn Barton-Forbes and befriends her, this young woman who has been ruined and abandoned by her fortune-hunting lover. Together the two women travel to Cairo and journey down the Nile, where they join the archeological dig of the Emerson brothers, as Amelia doctors Radcliffe Evelyn sketches walls of hieroglyphs. There are midnight apparitions, suspicious accidents, native unrest and after Lord Ellesmere arrives superstitious workers who refuse to work. While Amelia is convinced that there is a plot to harm Evelyn, she won’t abandon her love of archeology and pyramids.I have read a few of the Amelia Peabody series, but before electronic publishing, you always missed some. Well-written, but has a slow-paced middle, however once you get to the action the pace picks up. Enjoyed!
  • (3/5)
    I have been wanting to read this series for awhile now so I borrowed the audiobook from the library. While it's not the "best series ever" it is still a good listen/read. I really enjoyed the history that the author put into the book. It is a historical mystery in setting alone since it takes place in the Victorian era, but the main character is a female that's extremely interested in the history of Ancient Egypt. I love the fact that she's a strong very opinionated character that does what she wants. At some point, I'll finish the other 19 books series.
  • (2/5)
    *The setting and atmosphere were perfect. I can believe I was in throngs of tourists and intrepid adventurers pushing through the crowds in Cairo.*The protagonist was straightforward and a no-nonsense type of a bluestocking ahead of her contemporaries.*The conflict and debacle was well-executed even if a little preposterous.*BUT! I COULDN'T STAND EVELYN! The conversations that included her were so ridiculous that if I wasn't reading on my reader then I would've thrown it to the wall. Amelia's statement that Evelyn had a strong heart was so absurd that I laughed myself silly. There was not chapter where that girl didn't faint. She was a bane in this whole thing.*And how the resolution came about to the barb-filled relationship between Emerson and Amelia? Come on; are you kidding me? Just like that?
  • (4/5)
    Amelia Peabody has spent her life taking care of her scholarly father and keeping house for him, and incidentally quietly mastering several foreign languages and a considerable body of ancient history and Middle Eastern archaeology. She's in her mid-thirties when he dies, and outrages her brothers (all older, independent, and successful) by leaving her his entire, unexpectedly large, fortune.

    Amelia may be plain, and past the usual age of marriage in Victorian England, but she is now free to pursue her own interests with no restraint from anyone.

    So, of course, she heads off to Egypt to visit the major archaeological sites. Along the way, in Italy, she rescues a young woman, Evelyn Forbes, a girl who has been cut off by her wealthy grandfather because she ran off with an Italian, Alberto, who seduced her, and been abandoned in Rome by Alberto because her grandfather disinherited her. Hiring Evelyn as her traveling companion, Amelia continues on to Cairo. And in Cairo, some very odd things start to happen.

    Alberto has followed them, and wants to win Evelyn back. Evelyn's cousin Lucas, heir to their grandfather's earldom but not to his wealth until Evelyn was disinherited, also arrives on the scene and wants to marry her. Evelyn doesn't want either of them. Meanwhile, they have met the Emerson brothers, Radcliffe and Walter. Walter and Evelyn charm and delight each other; Amelia and Radcliffe clash energetically.

    The Emersons are archaeologists, headed off to the site Radcliffe Emerson has obtained a license to excavate. Amelia and Evelyn hire a luxurious riverboat to sail up the Nile visiting the notable sites--with Amelia forming a private plan of stopping to see the Emerson brothers, in the hopes of promoting the attraction between Evelyn and Walter.

    The Emersons and the ladies are having more fun than Radcliffe and Amelia will ever admit, when the apparent reanimation of a mummy with seemingly murderous intentions derails their plans and sends them scrambling to keep any work crew at all, and identify and thwart the "mummy."

    Amelia is a delightfully eccentric late Victorian lady, proper and outrageous in equal parts. She might be happier in late 20th century England or America, but she's decidedly a creature of her own time, not ours. Radcliffe Emerson is irascible, brilliant, temperamental, and despite being loathe to admit it, thrilled to meet a woman as smart and as stubborn as he is.

    This is the first book of a long and popular series. Peters herself is just beginning to get acquainted with her characters at this point; they're more simply and broadly drawn than they will be later on as the series develops. The roots are all here, though, and while the mystery isn't very deep, it is well handled.

    Recommended.

    I borrowed this book from a friend.
  • (3/5)
    Fun, no mystery, the villain was easy to spot. The metaphor is good, though.
  • (3/5)
    I am always looking for new series to start and came across this one about Ms. Peabody by Elizabeth Peters on Goodreads. I enjoyed this first book in the series, although I did not find it to be exceptional. It tells the story of a very intelligent and funny English woman who inherited great wealth from her late father and is bordering on the verge of becoming a spinster. She travels to Rome and later Egypt where she meets up with the other major characters and the mystery of the book takes place.

    What I most enjoyed about this book was the language, the time period, and the characters. I enjoyed the interplay and the role of gender between the major characters. I liked the social commentary about English vs. Egyptian social roles and norms. I thought the story itself was rather simple, and it is fairly obvious who the culprits are fairly early in the story.

    I will give this series a chance and will read the next book.
  • (4/5)
    Finally, I got to find out how Peabody and Emerson met. This is the first book of this series and I loved it. Amelia Peabody is an English spinster of independent means and a taste for adventure. She decides to go to Egypt and hires a female companion to accompany her. However, while they are still in Italy this companion fails her and falls ill. Amelia is touring the Forum trying to decide what to do when she is distracted by a crowd around a young woman. Peabody asserts herself and takes the young woman, Evelyn, under her wing. She discovers that Evelyn left her grandfather's home in England with an Italian man who has now abandoned her. The grandfather is near death and Evelyn has no one to turn to. Amelia asks her to accompany her to Egypt as her companion and that is what they do. In Cairo Peabody hires a dahabeeyah to take them up the Nile to see the sights. Before they can get underway they encounter the Emerson brothers and sparks fly. Evelyn and Walter are attracted to each other but Peabody and Radcliffe seem to have an immediate antipathy to each other. Thus, when Amelia and Evelyn visit the Emerson archeological patch events get interesting. Add an animated Mummy walking in the night and Evelyn's cousin Lucas who wants to marry Evelyn and you have a gripping plot. Of course, it all works out in the end. Anyone who has read Peters' later books or anyone who likes historical adventure will like this book.
  • (5/5)
    Very amusing.
  • (4/5)
    The main character pulled me in immediately. However, after 100 or so pages of her being obstinate, I decided to take a break from the series. I will pick it up again though.
  • (4/5)
    This is the first in the Amelia Peabody series, about the archaeological adventures of an unconventional nineteenth-century woman. They're mysteries, which wasn't actually a draw for me; I just like nineteenth-century archaeology. I had also heard frequent comparisons of Amelia Peabody to the heroine of the Parasol Protectorate books, which I've recently enjoyed, and those comparisons were spot on. Amelia Peabody is the original, and it's really amazing how similar Carriger made her Alexia Tarabotti, although Tarabotti does have the weakness of being concerned more with fashion.Anyway, I enjoyed this book quite a bit; there were lots of chuckle-inducing moments, and the story was satisfying too (although I have to admit, I didn't care too much for the mystery element). My favourite quote: " 'You unrolled it.... You might as well confess to a murder,' Emerson exclaimed. 'There are too many people in the world as it is, but the supply of ancient manuscripts is severely limited.'"I'm definitely planning to continue with this series. My only dilemma is how confident I am that I'll continue to enjoy them.... I hate to order one paperback from Amazon when I could get four for the price of three, but I've resolved in the past not to buy multiple books in a series at once in case it ends up going downhill. Hmm. I suspect I'll probably just get the next four.A warning: one of the blurbs on the back of the book contains an irritating spoiler. Yes, the outcome might seem obvious, but I'd still prefer not to be told explicitly. Blech.
  • (5/5)
    One of my all time favorite books. Amelia Peabody is a wonderful and unique heroine. The mystery is interesting, the historical and travel detail is perfect, the blossoming romance is fun. I don't have anything bad to say about this book. Absolutely loved it!
  • (5/5)
    The best of all the Amelia Peabody collection. Crime, Egypt, tombs, sickness, Mummy's, murder, intrigue, love...what more could anyone ask for in a book?

    I've read the entire Amelia Peabody series, with the exception of last year's Book 19, and I will always believe that THIS book is the BEST of the series. Not because the series gets worse, but because I fell in love with Radcliffe Emerson in this story. And it made me want to be Amelia Peabody.

    I want to be Amelia, in Amarna, with Radcliffe. I want to be on my knees on a plank of wood, lying across that beautiful ancient pavement, protecting it with my bloody fingers. That poor pavement!

    I love Evelyn and her relationship with Amelia, I love how insecure and yet strong she can be, how she interacts with Walter and Radcliffe. Evelyn is a tamer version Amelia, for me, and she will always get away with things that no-one else can get away with. I so love meeting new characters. Especially when they're of this caliber.
  • (5/5)
    This is the first book in the Amelia Peabody murder mystery series. Amelia has now become one of my favourite characters, especially as brought to life in the Audiobooks by Barbara Rosenblat and I intend to work my way through the whole series.
  • (3/5)
    This book was very fun to read with a rather unusual narrator that I instantly liked. The setting was very interesting as were the surrounding cast. Though the very Victorian attitudes can be a bit grating they seemed very realistic considering the time period the novel is set in.

    A great summer read that moves quickly (if somewhat predictably) I have great hopes for the next one to be just as enjoyable.

  • (2/5)
    It was OK. Not my thing, this. Veddy proper, veddy slow, veddy Mary Sue-ish. Amelia's got good lines but this mystery wasn't particularly mysterious and the romances were too too. The secondary characters were extra dull.
  • (4/5)
    Listened to e-audio edition narrated by Susan O'Malley. Looking about, I see that there's an audio edition narrated by Barbara Rosenblatt and I would be intrigued to listen to that and see how the narration compares. Unfortunately, I don't think I can convince myself to listen to the same book twice in a row when there are so many audiobooks just waiting to be listened to, so that will have to wait 'til a later date. I thought O'Malley was great, although the story was only pretty good. Towards the last third or so of the book I was getting impatient for the characters to catch up with me - I had the villain identified within the first couple chapters, but enjoyed the characters and snappy dialogue enough to compensate for that overall. I'll probably look for some more of the series on audio eventually, but have other audio plans for the immediate future.
  • (5/5)
    Wonderful start to the series and a favourite. The Amelia Peabody series is fun, frivilous, and whimsical. Perfect for an entertaining and fairly light read.
  • (4/5)
    I have been aware of the existence of this series since I worked in my first bookstore. They're reasonably popular, and have distinctive covers. So when I saw this one, the first in the series, on the library's list of "currently available" books, I decided to give it a shot. I was surprised to find out that it's set in the 1880s, and the protagonist is a bit of a square peg in a round hole. Amelia Peabody is not interested in being her era's ideal for a woman - she is always rational and reasonable (not convinced? just ask her, she'll tell you), she wishes she were allowed to wear trousers, and she has no intention of ever getting married. She's also bitingly sarcastic, which I appreciated.The book had an array of quirky characters, and they find themselves subject to various forms of mayhem at an excavation site at Amarna, Egypt. The plot was kind of like a kiddie roller coaster - there were turns and drops and surprises, but none of them were going to seriously hurt anyone or give them whiplash. It was entertaining and an extremely quick read. I can see myself reading more of this series whenever I need something light to cleanse the palate, so to speak.Quote: "So I went upstairs, to console the other half of the pair of heartbroken lovers, and a tedious business it was too, when a little common sense on both parts would have settled the matter to the satisfaction of all."Recommended for: women who are glad they don't have to wear bustles, fans of old movies, people with weak hearts, 1970s cartoon fans.
  • (4/5)
    This book was recommended to me and I couldn't have been happier to discover a new author! (Well, to me that is). I now am hooked and look forward to getting my hands on all the Amelia Peabody books and to check out Elizabeth Peters other series. I know she also writes under the name of Barbara Michaels, but her mysteries are the ones I most like.
  • (3/5)
    In "Crocodile on the Sandbank" by Elizabeth Peters expeditions, light romance, a bit of mystery and the beginning development of an independent woman as the prime character are components of this first book in the series by Elizabeth Peters. It was oddly enjoyable but not enough story line or character development to make me want to soon read another book by Peters.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. The beginning was a bit slow for me as there were a lot of missing articles in the first chapter or two of the Omnibus version on Kindle I was reading. But once that cleared up I was better able to get into the characters and story. I enjoyed how well Peters set up the series without feeling bogged down by it. Very early on I had a good idea of some of the outcome, but no clue how we'd end up at it so it didn't spoil the fun for me. Very enjoyable and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of my Omnibus edition and more of the series!
  • (3/5)
    Amelia Peabody takes Evelyn Barton-Forbes with her to Egypt after she is rescued by Peabody. Being an excellent judge of character, Peabody recognizes a person of breeding when she sees one. They hang around an archaeological dig with some of Evelyn's suitors. Danger finds its way into their lives, and they must be on guard. I felt the mystery was lacking in this novel which more closely resembles a romantic suspense novel than a mystery that has a definite murder which is being investigated. It is an enjoyable read if you don't expect a murder to solve in your mystery, but it did not leave me wanting to read more of the series.
  • (4/5)
    I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. Amelia is a wealthy Victorian spinster, who reminded me a lot of Jane Austen's heroines. She heads off on a tour of Europe with Egypt as a destination. She picks up a new companion in Rome and together they travel to Egypt, where they find mystery and maybe a touch of romance. Has a leisurely pace, good characterization and sense of place.
  • (2/5)
    This is the first in the Amelia Peabody series centered in Egypt and dealing with archaeology. Amelia is a woman who acts like a man and does not follow the womanly fashion of the day. When Amelia's scholarly father dies and leaves her his fortune, Amelia heads to Egypt. The story of the development of archaeology is interesting, but becomes a little cumbersome, at times. Amelia balances from being likeable to being unbelievable. Amelia is a pioneer, and at times, the reader forgets that Amelia is a female. The story goes slowly, and then the ending is completed in one short chapter, almost as an afterthought.
  • (3/5)
    Crocodile on the Sandbank is the first book in a series of historical mysteries centered around Amelia Peabody. When Amelia's father dies leaving her a sufficient inheritance, she travels to Egypt to indulge in the passion for archeology that she and her father shared. Along the way, she rescues Evelyn Barton-Forbes and they become companions on a journey down the Nile. Upon meeting up with some acquaintances on an archeological expedition, a mummy begins appearing in the night to threaten the group. Who is this mysterious mummy and does it post a threat to a specific individual or is it just trying to scare the archeologists away from their finds?Crocodile on the Sandbank is a good book that took me too long to read due to various personal circumstances. It is full of very descriptive passages of Amelia's journey through Egypt. I loved the language that Peters used as it was so fitting for the Victorian age Amelia inhabits. However, there were times that the descriptions got a bit lengthy and I found I could only read so many pages before needing to take a break. I do think part of this inability to concentrate was due to exhaustion though so it is hard to know how much was due to the book and how much was just my state of mind while reading it.I loved the characters in this book. Amelia is so full of fire and personality. She is an independent woman full of ideas and ideals. She is not afraid to go against convention when it suits her and she certainly doesn't mind getting her hands dirty. Evelyn seemed strong at times when interacting with Amelia but other times she was too aware of the conventions of society and concerned about how she would be perceived. Emerson and Walter were both a little harder to read even though they were so integral to the storyline.The story itself is entertaining, although it did get a bit repetitive at times. I think this is another reason that I was only able to focus on the book in small pieces. Each time the mummy appeared, the group seemed to have the same conversations but came no closer to solving the mystery or catching the mummy. Although the book is not long at 262 pages, I think a few of the descriptive passages and repetitive scenes probably could have been trimmed to tighten it up even more.Overall I did enjoy reading Crocodile on the Sandbank as the November selection for the Reading with Tequila Book Club. If I have an opening in my reading schedule, I would consider picking up another Amelia Peabody mystery but at this point the TBR pile and my book wishlists are too out of control for that to happen in the foreseeable future.
  • (3/5)
    And I'm back to the 19th century murder mysteries with strong female characters who fall for arrrogant, proud, preferably large and hairy men (the hairy chest thing seems to be a big turn-on in these books).Amelia Peabody, a wealthy old maid of 32 decides to go travelling after the death of her beloved, scholarly father. She is headstrong, smarter than most and does not suffer fools gladly (my favourite kind of heroine).She's bound for Egypt via Italy when her plans are delayed by the very inconvenient illness of her companion whom she must send back to England. Ms. Peabody is wondering what to do when she comes across a damsel in distress in a cemetery, in a melodramatic moment that is only saved from complete sentimentality by Amelia's biting tongue and common sense. She takes the girl Evelyn back home, nurses her and makes her a companion despite Evelyn's self-professed ruin (she eloped with her Italian art teacher who then left her when she was disinherited before marrying her). Together, they travel to Egypt. There they meet with more adventure than they bargained for in the form of a ghost of a mummy.While the actual mystery was predictable, and the voice of the narrator used for Evelyn sickeningly insipid, Amelia's first person account is hilarious. There is also a nice love story threading its way through out the novel , complete with a rough hewn Darcy-esque Egyptologist. Definitely a fun listen, though I am not sure if I need to read more.
  • (4/5)
    A fun quick read. It is a cute mystery with some romance, even though it it predictable.Set in the 1880's. Amelia Peabody (a sassy feminist) sets out on an Egyptian expedition, after the death of her father leaves her with a large inheritance. Along the way she meets Evelyn, a young lady who has 'lost her honor', and together they join an archeological dig where they meet the Emerson brothers. The excavation gets put on hold when the foursome is terrorized by a zombie.
  • (3/5)
    It took me some time to get my head around this book. It's not like anything I've read previously. This mystery, set in 19th century Egypt, is a parody of Victorian manners and mores. Amelia Peabody, an enlightened and educated woman who favors trousers, sets out to tour the archaeological sites of Egypt. Along the way she picks up an impoverished and wronged fair British maiden, and they find themselves at the dig site of the Emerson brothers. Soon the whole group is facing trouble as a wandering mummy continues to disturb them. Figuring out the mystery of the mummy quickly becomes dangerous and threatens to derail the entire expedition. To really enjoy this mystery it's essential to get into the parody. A reader expecting historical fiction will likely be disappointed. The mystery was not especially difficult to solve, but each of the characters is so caught up in his or her particular personality quirk that they are blinded to the clues around them. Victoria is the archetypal Victorian woman, Amelia is the feminist, Walter Emerson is the young man in love, and Radcliffe Emerson is the gruff scholar.