Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Crocodile on the Sandbank

Crocodile on the Sandbank / Elizabeth Peters 
Ashland, OR: Blackstone Audio, 2077, c1975.
Narrated by Susan O'Malley

This is a classic, and it's another reread for me! I thought I'd surely written about this before now but it turns out I haven't. I recently listened to the audiobook and still enjoy this first volume of the lengthy and popular Amelia Peabody series. 

I think it's the best of the series, introducing us to Amelia Peabody, a bluestocking who inherits her father's estate (to her brothers' chagrin) and decides to travel to all the places she's always read about. She heads out to Europe, and in Italy rescues Evelyn, a delicate fellow Englishwoman who she discovers in a faint in a public place. 

Nobody can override Amelia when she makes a decision, and she chooses to engage this unknown woman as her companion for the rest of her travels, specifically on the next leg out to Egypt. And her befriending of Evelyn brings all sorts of complications and intrigue to their trip. Egypt also brings a meeting with the Emerson brothers, archeologists Walter and Radcliffe, who mirror Evelyn and Amelia and the story wraps up neatly with all of their various relationships, ready for the series to continue. 

This was written in 1975 so there are a few parts that wouldn't perhaps be included today. But it's set during the late Victorian period, 1890s, so the English/French/Arabic mix of Egyptology is definitely reflective of the history. Peters is a scholar of Egypt so those elements, of archeological detail, mummies, daily life, landscape etc are all thoroughly described and realistic. 

The storyline, the romance, the banter and the rest are more reminiscent of adventure novels of that late Victorian era. It's quite bonkers, really fun and the romantic elements are sweet at times and hilarious at others. I love Amelia's bullheaded nature that hides a warmer heart, and have enjoyed these Egypt set novels for a long time. There are a ton of books in this series but I find I reread the first five most often, and think those five could stand alone as a sufficient series. This one is a classic. 



  1. I love this book so much! It's one of my true comfort reads. I enjoy the next two books, but then the infant Ramses wears on me a bit. The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog is another favorite.

  2. I love it too. And yes to the infant Ramses becoming a bit tiresome!


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