This is the book that introduced me to the somewhat tongue-in-cheek romantic suspense novels of Elizabeth Peters. It was wonderful and I began watching for her other books in this vein."Crocodile on the Sandbank" was also the first novel featuring Amelia Peabody (and her umbrella!) as well as Emerson and several of the other characters that we meet again and again in the series.Later, on picking up this book to occupy a few idle moments, my husband absolutely fell in love with Amelia. Thus we have most of the books featuring her and they have all been read several times.The novel is set in Victorian times and begins shortly after the death of Amelia's father. She has left England to visit the ancient lands that she had studied with him. After seeing some of the more prominent ruins of Rome and acquiring Evelyn Barton-Forbes as a traveling companion, Amelia departs for Egypt. There she not only falls in love with the pyramids and temples but also becomes enamoured with Emerson, a British archaeologist. After assorted adventures among the tombs, the criminals are caught, Evelyn comes into her inheritance, and Emerson and his brother each marry the lady of their choice. The book is good fun and a wonderful introduction to a series that becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
Heyer is a favorite author and is considered by many readers of regency romance to be the prototype author of this type of book for the 20th century. [Jane Austin is the true prototype.] This book is my favorite by Georgette Heyer. It has all the elements that I like in her books and is the one I am most likely to reach for when I wish to reread one of her novels. The heroine is a bit of a Cinderella character although it is the Earl who has the stepmother (and half-siblings). There is also something of a mystery (Who is trying to kill the Earl?) as well as the romance and the commentary on Society in England in the early 1800's.