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Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody, #1)
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Buddy reads > Crocodile on the Sandbank - Elizabeth Peters (Sep/Oct 2020)

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Susan | 9632 comments Mod
Welcome to our Buddy Read of Crocodile on the Sandbank Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody, #1) by Elizabeth Peters the first in the Amelia Peabody series, first published in 1975.

Amelia Peabody is Elizabeth Peters' best loved and brilliant creation, a thoroughly Victorian feminist who takes the stuffy world of archaeology by storm with her shocking men's pants and no-nonsense attitude!

In this first Egyptian mystery, our headstrong heroine decides to use her substantial inheritance to see the world. On her travel, she rescues a gentlewoman in distress - Evelyn Barton-Forbes - and the two become friends. The two companions continue to Egypt where they face mysteries, mummies and the redoubtable Radcliffe Emerson, and outspoken archaeologist, who doesn't need women to help him solve mysteries - at least that's what he thinks!

This may become a new buddy read series for us, as we come to the end of some long-running series. So, come join in with the first and let us know your thoughts.

Please do not post spoilers in this thread. Thank you.


message 2: by Judy (last edited Sep 12, 2020 11:57PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8603 comments Mod
Just opening this one up for the weekend. I've finished this now - I started off listening to the audio version but switched over to reading on Kindle after a while as I was getting on too slowly!

I quite enjoyed it and like the character of Amelia and Egyptian setting, but I think it is more of a romantic adventure than a mystery.

Who is reading this one?


Susan | 9632 comments Mod
I first read this years ago. Have started to re-read and like the characters, but am not too far in yet.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8603 comments Mod
Hope you enjoy it, Susan.


Tania | 402 comments The same as you, Judy. I read this one a while ago and I quite liked it, I had expected to really like it though. So many people had loved it, for me, maybe my expectations were too high. I also thought it more of a romantic adventure than a mystery.


Roman Clodia | 758 comments I'm one of the people who just adores this series, and so loved this one all over again. I'd agree, it draws more on Victorian romantic adventures and doesn't Amelia name-check H. Rider Haggard (who I haven't read)? The next book is more of a murder mystery that draws on Agatha Christie (and maybe others that I didn't recognise).

I'd forgotten how funny Amelia is right from the start and love her voice.


message 7: by Tania (last edited Sep 12, 2020 12:47AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tania | 402 comments I did quite like it, 3*s, and I read the first 3, I'd happily read on if the group does, I bought a whole load in a charity shop thinking I was going to love them so I have most of the here.


Elizabeth (Alaska) I am not re-reading this title, but am so glad the group has chosen to buddy read this series and am looking forward to finally getting to the several I picked up used at a sale.

Happy to see this thread (and the spoiler) for reminders!


Sandy | 2631 comments Mod
This is a re-re-read for me, though I haven't gotten very far in my re-read of the series so am looking forward to continuing. I plan listen exclusively and am eagerly anticipating a future voice.

I agree that the adventure aspect is stronger than the mystery, and the characters are the real reason I love the series. One thing to keep in mind is that these are Amelia's memoirs and she has a definite point of view. I enjoy imagining the reaction of the people around her.

We originally heard about this series when it was included on a reading list handed out at a lecture on Egyptian archaeology.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Sandy wrote: "We originally heard about this series when it was included on a reading list handed out at a lecture on Egyptian archaeology."

I heard about it on another GR group, the same way I hear about nearly all books these days (GR groups).


message 11: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue (mrskipling) | 250 comments This is one of my favourite series. I re-read this one earlier this year so won't read it again now but I'll be interested to know what people make of it. I really like Amelia because she has an ironic sense of humour and lots of courage and resourcefulness. I think that the author spends a bit of time showing us how the main characters meet up, so there is less of a mystery in this one, but that aspect grows as the series develops.


Carolien (carolien_s) | 469 comments I read this a long time ago and remember enjoying it, looking forward to a re-read.


Roman Clodia | 758 comments Sandy wrote: "We originally heard about this series when it was included on a reading list handed out at a lecture on Egyptian archaeology."

Yes, the Egyptology woven into the books is excellent - again, it's a bit slighter here as Peters seems to be feeling her way: maybe she wasn't sure how readers would react and later grows in confidence.


message 14: by Susan in NC (last edited Sep 12, 2020 08:51AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 2573 comments Roman Clodia wrote: "I'm one of the people who just adores this series, and so loved this one all over again. I'd agree, it draws more on Victorian romantic adventures and doesn't Amelia name-check [author:H. Rider Hag..."

Yes, and I think Lucas mentions “Herr Ebers” books as well - I haven’t Read Haggard or Ebers, but I think she’s poking gentle fun at the melodramatic romances of the day. Always loved the humor in this series, and the characters.

I think my enjoyment is mingled with sentimentality! I read this whole series when I was a busy young mother, with little time to myself, so curling up for a bit with these adventures (with a delightful dollop of humor and romance!) were just the thing at the end of the day before dozing off. I had recently reread it for another challenge, so listened to the audiobook this time to reacquaint myself - perfect entertainment while knitting!


message 15: by Susan in NC (last edited Sep 12, 2020 08:48AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 2573 comments Sandy wrote: "This is a re-re-read for me, though I haven't gotten very far in my re-read of the series so am looking forward to continuing. I plan listen exclusively and am eagerly anticipating a future voice.
..."


That’s interesting- I can’t remember how I initially heard of the series, probably from a friend or librarian (the days before Goodreads! Indeed, pre-internet, really). I agree, it does become more traditional mystery, a la Christie, in the future books, but there is always humor and a dash of romance - but I don’t think it was in the forefront. I loved and collected most of the books in the series- she became an auto-buy for me. It was just the ticket for entertaining escapism!

I was interested to learn Barbara Mertz (author’s real name) had a PhD in Egyptology, so could write about the excavations with verisimilitude. I picked up a used copy of her nonfiction book Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt Red Land, Black Land Daily Life in Ancient Egypt by Barbara Mertz years ago, and found it interesting and accessible.


Icewineanne | 66 comments Read this as a teen, loved it. Read quite a few in the series during that time. My local book club group picked this as one of the monthly books in 2018. Wondered how I would feel about it now.
For me, the re-visit was fun, as part of my book group, but it lacked the magic that the books evoked, growing up.


message 17: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8603 comments Mod
Roman Clodia wrote: "I'm one of the people who just adores this series... The next book is more of a murder mystery that draws on Agatha Christie (and maybe others that I didn't recognise)."

Thank you, that's good to know. I will definitely go on to the next book as I think a lot of this one is probably setting up the series,


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 2573 comments Icewineanne wrote: "Read this as a teen, loved it. Read quite a few in the series during that time. My local book club group picked this as one of the monthly books in 2018. Wondered how I would feel about it now.
Fo..."


I could see that - for me, I think a lot of the magic was vicariously kicking all the monotony of housework, volunteering at my son’s school, etc., aside, as I imagined Amelia would, (view spoiler)


Tara  | 764 comments I have wanted to read this series for awhile, so I was excited to finally have the excuse I needed to pick it up. I absolutely adore Amelia, particularly her sense of humor. It reminds me of the T.E. Kinsey Lady Hardcastle series, only better.


Michaela | 306 comments Will read this, as I´ve been having it on my kindle for a while, and it sounds really good.


message 21: by Nick (new) - added it

Nick | 110 comments Like others, I read this one before when it originally came out and thoroughly enjoyed it, even though it’s a bit more of a mystery adventure than a classic fair-clued puzzle whodunnit. I read the first few in the series before getting distracted by other books/series, so I’m also interested in whether the full series will be pursued here; It would give me the focus to read the later ones in the series that I haven’t read before, and re-reading the first ones beforehand would provide the “series narrative arc”.


message 22: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8603 comments Mod
Nick wrote: "I read the first few in the series before getting distracted by other books/series, so I’m also interested in whether the full series will be pursued here ..."

The second book is scheduled for a buddy read in January, and I'm sure we will carry on with the series after that.


Vicki Cline i just started reading this for the 3rd (or maybe 4th) time and am really enjoying it. I love that it's in Amelia's voice, she's such a determined lady with very definite views, which she's not shy of expressing.


Michaela | 306 comments I just started it, and loved Amelia´s determination and funny comments.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 2573 comments Judy wrote: "Nick wrote: "I read the first few in the series before getting distracted by other books/series, so I’m also interested in whether the full series will be pursued here ..."

The second book is sche..."


Oh, I’m looking forward to it, as well - need some humor, these days! And Amelia’s no-nonsense attitude is a hoot, especially as she runs up against Victorian expectations!


Julie | 6 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Judy wrote: "Nick wrote: "I read the first few in the series before getting distracted by other books/series, so I’m also interested in whether the full series will be pursued here ..."

The second..."


I think Amelia might be a bit overwhelming in real life but, between the pages of a book, she’s marvellous! Compassionate, too, as in the way she helps Evelyn to begin with (and later she even insists on saddle blankets and ointments for the poor donkeys they hire!)

I love seeing how other characters react to her. Sometimes Amelia’s well aware of the effect she has on others, while at other times she ‘seems’ oblivious.


Sandy | 2631 comments Mod
I was reminded of this book by a conversation about armchair travel in another thread:

A Thousand Miles Up the Nile

GR description:
Amelia B. Edwards wrote this historical, egyptological, and cultural study in in 1877, and it became an immediate best-seller, reprinted in 1888 at home in England and abroad. She travelled throughout Egypt at a time when most women didn't leave home. One of the pioneering Egyptologists of the age, she established the Edwards Chair of Egyptology, occupied first by the great Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie.

This book is in a sense a seminal work, known to have influenced the modern writings of Elizabeth Peters in her Amelia Peabody Emerson murder-mystery series.


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