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Crocodile on the Sandbank

(Amelia Peabody #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  54,513 ratings  ·  3,777 reviews
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, enco ...more
Kindle Edition, 262 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Mysterious Press (first published 1975)
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Climacus Mine belongs to Robinson London, reprint from 2000.

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4.02  · 
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 ·  54,513 ratings  ·  3,777 reviews


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Adina
When I was younger, around 12 years old, I wanted to become an archeologist in Egypt. I read quite a few books about Ancient Egypt (and other equally old civilizations), ranging from the decipher of the hieroglyphic alphabet, to different theories regarding the creation of Pyramids, even about aliens. As such, it is not a great surprise that I enjoyed this novel. It is set in Egypt, at an archeological dig and it involves a mysterious walking mummy. Moreover, it wants to be a Victorian mystery w ...more
Celia
Oct 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a marvellous, marvellous book. I've seen Elizabeth Peter's books around, of course, but knew nothing of what they were about, and the covers never particularly attracted me. After seeing them recommended on someone's blog, I thought I'd pick up the first of her Amelia Peabody series - and what a joy it was.

This is a nominally a mystery, but it's not really the meat of the book, nor what is so enjoyable about it. Amelia Peabody - strong-minded, independent, sarcastic Amelia, striding along
...more
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
“Men are frail creatures, of course; one does not expect them to exhibit the steadfastness of women.”

Barbara Mertz was one creative gal - she hooked me with her gothic mysteries under the Barbara Michaels penname, but I never indulged as much in her straight mystery stories under the name Elizabeth Peters. I finally took the plunge and tried the first book in her long-running series set around Egyptian adventures.

Amelia Peabody is quite a character - feminist for her times, tough and determined
...more
Hayes
I'm sick of reading tiresome things, so I'm going to read this fun thing and the next two in the series... so there!

That was fun. Cheered me up immensely.
Phrynne
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a pleasant, well written and entertaining book! I guess I have found myself another series and I believe this is a pretty long one!
Amelia Peabody is a wonderful character, sometimes verging on becoming a caricature but the author writes subtly enough to prevent this happening. The same applies to Emerson who despite all his apparent failings of temperament is still someone the reader can like enormously. I can see a great future for the pair of them!
I enjoyed the mystery, the historical set
...more
Emily
This book made me laugh out loud several times, but that's not the only reason I loved it! It also introduced me to Amelia Peabody, no-nonsense lady archaeologist-doctor and resident badass, whose travels through Egypt are full of interesting characters and settings. I mean, you can't not love a Victorian lady who's as practical as they come. When she needs to stay by a patient in the desert, there's only one habitation that will do:

So I directed Walter to pick out a nice tomb for us.

He was sta
...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I was happy to find this on audio at the library, although I have a paper copy. It’s easier to squeeze in an audiobook sometimes, and I thought this would be an enjoyable listen. I was right. The narrator drew me right into the story. I loved the manner in which Barbara Rosenblatt endowed these characters with a distinctive voice in the audiobook. They were real to me as I listened, and I was quite vocal in my reactions to this book. In other words, I was fully engaged!

At first I thought she ma
...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
99c Kindle sale, August 7, 2018. Today only. I bit!
Werner
Jan 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery (especially historical mystery) fans, and fans of strong, smart heroines
This book launched a prolific historical mystery series featuring Amelia Peabody, which makes use of the author's expertise in ancient Egypt and the archaeology that studies it. Peters' real name is Dr. Barbara Mertz, a well-respected Egyptologist in real life. (She also writes acclaimed "romantic suspense" under the name Barbara Michaels.) It was an absolute treat to read; I hated to put it down!

Set in 1884 (the date isn't given, but can be deduced from the few references to Gordon at Khartoum)
...more
Wanda
If Jane Eyre starred in an H. Rider Haggard novel written by Agatha Christie….you would get Crocodile on the Sandbank. First published in 1975, Peters overlays feminism over the gothic romance (which usually had mysterious goings-on too) and produces this engaging mystery. Extra points for using an Egyptian setting and getting the archaeology right. Amelia Peabody is a bit of a bossy bones, but you get enough of her history to see the why of it. (I’m probably more like her than I care to admit.) ...more
MomToKippy
This book is a complete winner in its genre! It offers warm friendships, engaging characters, sweet clean romance, mystery, humor, atmosphere, plenty of interesting and technical historical details, impeccable writing. Loved the quirky narration in which the main character addresses the reader. I totally felt that Amelia was real while reading this. Ok, I may be a bit of a pushover but still. I was completely impressed with the way the author drew a visual picture to accompany dialogue. She desc ...more
Lyuda
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: victorian, suspense

“My name is Amelia Peabody… I am a spinster of independent means, traveling for pleasure…I have been accused of being somewhat abrupt in my actions and decisions, but I never act without thought; it is simply that I think more quickly and more intelligently than most people. I am an excellent judge of character.”

I simply adored Amelia! She is my kind of heroine - intelligent, bold, courageous, and outrageous with a propensity for using her parasol as a weapon. She is opinionated and willfully
...more
Konstantin
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Exciting, imaginative, thrilling and very evocative. A light-hearted mystery, a strong-willed, open-minded woman explorer, a recreation of 19th century Egypt, a page-turner focused on characters' interactions - what's not to love?
Ashley
This was SO MUCH FUN.

Almost immediately, like after the very first sentence, I was quite enamored with the whole thing. The tone, the characters, the setting, the banter. Amelia is SO SASSY. She’s an example of one of my favorite character types: a person who can afford to disregard the limitations put on her because of some sort of exception or power. It’s delicious, really, watching her come into her own.

So basically Amelia Peabody is a “spinster”* in the late 1800s England. Her father has jus
...more
Anuradha
When I was younger, I really, really wanted to be an archaeologist. We have a book at home, called The Concise History Encyclopedia , and it is perhaps the most battered book in my house. I was nine when we bought it, and from then, till I was about 14 or 15, I used to read that book everyday, conscientiously. My brother and I used to play a game where he used to pretend to be my professor, who would ask me questions from the book. I used to draw diagrams from it and I basically knew every word ...more
Althea Ann
An Amelia Peabody Mystery'

Apparently, this book was the first of a long series featuring the character of Amelia Peabody. I was interested because it took place in Egypt!
I enjoyed reading the book because the character is really very appealing - Amelia, in Victorian times, is an 'old maid' at 29, but is also a feminist, independent, and smart, but with an obvious, if hidden-from-herself romantic streak.
In this story, she rescues a young 'fallen' woman and then proceeds to stick by her when, at a
...more
Katie
Apr 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If my memory serves me correct, this is the first Amelia Peabody mystery novel. I now have probably at least 15 of these books on my shelf and Elizabeth Peters keeps popping a new one out every year. Amelia is a Egyptologist at the beginning of the 20th century. Each book contains new mysteries ("every year, another body") that threaten the archeological digs in which she participates. You get to watch the characters grow over the years, deal with real historical issues (Britain's occupation of ...more
Amy
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: Jasmine
2019 Review
I want to be Amelia Peabody. Also, I want a parasol. They seem quite useful for poking people out of the way.

March 31st, 2017
Even better than I remembered. Amelia Peabody is wonderful. If I rated this book today, I would probably give it 5 stars because it remains enjoyable after multiple reads. In fact, I rather want to re-read the rest of the series!

............................
December 4th, 2014

Love.
Seriously, how have I survived unaware of Amelia Peabody? Though the novel occasio
...more
Julianna
Oct 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Cozy Mysteries or Adventure Stories in Exotic Settings
Reviewed for THC Reviews
It has been many years since I've read a mystery story, and I wasn't quite sure if I would still like them as much as I had in my youth. Either I do, or I simply chose the right book with which to renew that genre interest, because I found Crocodile on the Sandbank to be an enjoyable read. It reminded me of a cross between Indiana Jones and a younger version of Miss Marple or Jessica Fletcher (I loved Murder, She Wrote when I was a kid), or perhaps a more mature version o
...more
Allison
Very enjoyable. There's no murder in this historical mystery, just a mummy terrorizing an archaeological site, and Amelia terrorizing everyone else with her parasol in a much more violent fashion than genteel or flirtatious. Feisty isn't quite a strong enough word for Amelia. I thought she was a bit too much at first, but decided I liked her once Evelyn began to have an effect on her. And Emerson - he was just right for a hot-headed archaeologist and as an opponent for Amelia, and I liked how th ...more
Marcy
Jun 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy a little Amelia Peabody. I put an * next to my favorites (since they get a bit formulaic), and I just bought those 5 to add to my library. If you do read them all I recommend skipping #11. I think she's now written more in the series, too.

1. Crocodile On The Sandbank*
2. The Curse Of The Pharaohs
3. The Mummy Case
4. Lion In The Valley*
5. Deeds Of The Disturber
6. The Last Camel Died At Noon*
7. The Snake, The Crocodile & The Dog
8. The Hippopotamus Pool
9. Seeing a Large Cat
10. Th
...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
‘Crocodile on the Sandbank’, the first in the Amelia Peabody mystery series, is a perfectly splendid cozy mystery! I love the indomitable force of nature that is Miss Amelia Peabody!

English gentlewoman Amelia Peabody has recently inherited and she is now at loose ends. Despite the strictures which are socially imposed on Victorian women, she has decided to travel and have adventures. She sets out with a hired female companion for Italy! However, it becomes apparent the companion will not do - he
...more
Vimal Thiagarajan
I got into this book due to the all too apparent Egyptian lure and the lure of archaeological fiction, and though I wasn't let down on both counts, the thing that stumped me the most was an entirely unanticipated facet of this book - the raging maelstrom of unbridled antagonism between a Victorian feminist-Amelia Peabody and an eternal misogynist-Radcliffe Emerson, which is at the center of this entertaining Haggardian adventure set in the enterprising archaeological milieu of Egypt in the Victo ...more
✨ Gramy ✨
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
.
I listened to this adventure through Hoopla, which I access through my local library. It is thrilling when I discover that a book I enjoy in audio as much as I did this one, by the talented and versatile narrator, Susan O'Malley.

I found the beginning of this tale quite comical, from the cast of quirky characters working together to catch a murderer, all the way to exploring this historical excavation of an ancient Egyptian tomb, filled with Egyptian antiquities. Some readers will find some of t
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
My wife loved all these books (and a great many other things Elizabeth Peters, Barbara Michaels, Barbara Mertz wrote). I'm giving it 3 stars as I recognize that this/these are very well written books. They are well constructed, the characters are fully fleshed out and if you follow the series they will remain fairly true to themselves. So, why only 3 stars? First, I like very few mysteries. While these are well crafted mysteries it's not a genre I find a "go-to" for myself...that's one reason. T ...more
D.G.
Review of audiobook version narrated by Barbara Rosenblat.

The mystery in this book wasn't very good - how could it be when the villain was a Mummy? - but it had delightful characters and such a funny turn of phrase - when the mummy was described as Evelyn's "necromantic admirer", I almost died laughing.

Amelia Peabody is now my postergirl for what a strong woman in a historical book should be. She's a natural leader, very strong, smart, sensible, confident, kind, opinionated but doesn't come out
...more
Linda
Amelia Peabody always had good intentions. Some people thought of her as abrasive, opinionated and straight-forward. She was.

At 32 years of age she was plain in appearance. And possibly a bit too tall with a "nose that was too large, a mouth too wide and the shape of a chin that was positively masculine." Her attitude? If others had a problem...well...too bad.

The truth? Amelia had a kind heart which leaned toward the underdog and an embracing curiosity with life.

Unexpectedly inheriting a larg
...more
Jaksen
May 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yikes, so predictable, and an MC who is totally unlikeable. Meh.

Set in the 1850's, written in the 1970's, with an uber-feminist MC who'd prefer to wear pants to dresses and wants to be more than just somebody's wife. Guess what and spoiler alert! She ends up being somebody's wife.

I am a woman of the 70's, btw, thoroughly modern, raised by parents who decided - for me - that I'd go to college, get a job or have a career and be beholden/dependent on no man. So it wasn't the 1850's feminist vibe th
...more
Tim Hicks
May 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I hope this is a parody, because if it isn't, it's a dreadful book. I'm going to assume that it is.

So ... the 1880s viewed from a mid-70s author's perspective.

Amelia and Emerson are great characters. The rest are, predictably, cardboard. Buffoons, cads, mysterious Arabs, etc.

Alberto? Eyebrow raise. The only thing he didn't do was talk-a like-a thees. In fact he came across more like Tonto in 1950s novels.

Plot? Don't fuss yourself with that. It's weak and predictable, and this story isn't abo
...more
rabbitprincess
Apr 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical mystery fans, Egypt aficionados
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: Top 100 list
I can definitely see why this book was added to one of my Top 100 Crime Novels list -- it is brilliant.

The story begins in Rome, where Amelia Peabody, an irrepressible, resolute woman, rescues an unfortunate young lady from death in the streets. The young lady, Evelyn, was disinherited by her wealthy grandfather after she was seduced by a cad named Alberto. Alberto, of course, was after her fortune, and when she no longer had access to it, he left her behind. Amelia takes Evelyn under her wing,
...more
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Elizabeth Peters is a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also wrote as Barbara Michaels as well as her own name. Born and brought up in Illinois, she earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. Mertz was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America at the Edgar Awards in 1998. She lived in a historic farmhouse in Frede ...more

Other books in the series

Amelia Peabody (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody, #2)
  • The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody, #3)
  • Lion in the Valley  (Amelia Peabody, #4)
  • The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5)
  • The Last Camel Died at Noon (Amelia Peabody, #6)
  • The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog (Amelia Peabody, #7)
  • The Hippopotamus Pool (Amelia Peabody, #8)
  • Seeing a Large Cat (Amelia Peabody, #9)
  • The Ape Who Guards the Balance (Amelia Peabody, #10)
  • The Falcon at the Portal (Amelia Peabody, #11)
“I disapprove of matrimony as a matter of principle.... Why should any independent, intelligent female choose to subject herself to the whims and tyrannies of a husband? I assure you, I have yet to meet a man as sensible as myself! (Amelia Peabody)” 155 likes
“Peculiar or not, it is my idea of pleasure. Why, why else do you lead this life you don't enjoy it? Don't talk of duty to me; you men always have some high-sounding excuse for indulging yourselves. You go gallivanting over the earth, climbing mountains, looking for the sources of the Nile; and expect women to sit dully at home embroidering. I embroider very badly. I think I would excavate rather well. ” 51 likes
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