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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Irrisistable!
Amelia Peabody muscles her way straight into your mind and then into your slightly perturbed heart. Armed with her surprisingly rigid parasol she makes it her duty to prod and seduce everyone in sight around to her way of thinking. From Evelyn, the swooning waif to sexy dark Radcliffe Emerson, the critical archeaologist Amelia takes them all by storm (with a fair amount...
Published on 4 July 2002 by elenyamoon

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "Scooby Doo" set in Edwardian Egypt
I had this series recommended to me by one of my local librarians. Having made some effort to get the first book in the series I doubt very much that I will be bothering with the rest of them.

It does seem rather "pushing the envelope" past its logical extreme to call this "An Amelia Peabody Murder Mystery" when no murder takes place. Even the title has very...
Published 20 months ago by Mr. R. T. Bowes


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Irrisistable!, 4 July 2002
This review is from: Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody) (Paperback)
Amelia Peabody muscles her way straight into your mind and then into your slightly perturbed heart. Armed with her surprisingly rigid parasol she makes it her duty to prod and seduce everyone in sight around to her way of thinking. From Evelyn, the swooning waif to sexy dark Radcliffe Emerson, the critical archeaologist Amelia takes them all by storm (with a fair amount of prodding) while simultaneously indulging her passion for pyramids, egyptology and mystery along the way.

Don't expect a completely impreganable plot. By about 50 pages from the end I was pretty sure I knew "who done it", but the whole book is constructed in such a way that you don't really care. Throw in plenty of romance and a very important pavement, and there's a recipe for complete escapism. Up until the final line I was completely hooked - I couldn't put it down and spent five hours solid reading. On the day I finished it I ordered the next four.
This book is by no means her first or her last - there are now 12 more in the Amelia Peabody mysteries (and more coming), as well as the Vicky Bliss mysteries and the Jaqueline Kirkby mysteries (all worth reading). But well before giving birth to the wonderous creation that is Amelia Peabody, Peter's was writing one gothic novel romance/mystery after another under the name Barbara Michaels. In between all these releases (I think she's about 35-40 fiction books to her two names) she found time to write her non-fiction egyptology books as well!
Elizabeth Peter's knows what she's talking about - she has a PhD in Egyptology and while the Peabody books weren't written to stretch the intellect they have the power to entertain over and over. The facts and details aren't laboured over but smoothly adhere to the action. Enjoy!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, easy fun, 28 May 2007
I bought "Crocodile on the Sandbank" almost on a whim after a friend recommended it to me. I then promptly left it to gather dust on my bookshelf for six months, before picking it up again recently to finally sit down and read it.

I am quite furious with myself for those six months I spent ignoring it. "Crocodile on the Sandbank" is a wonderful story, filled with vibrant, likable characters. Amelia Peabody, the protagonist, is strong-minded, outspoken, and something of a Victorian superheroine: she rescues forlorn waifs from the streets of Rome, she speaks four languages, and she can archeologise just as well as any man! Surprisingly, the presence of a character so obviously written to be liked by readers does not become tiresome, largely, I suspect, because Amelia isn't just talk: she is tremendously loyal to her friends, as well as being brave, compassionate, and genuinely unafraid to put herself in danger to help those in need.

Admittedly the novel is a little too "nice" and inoffensive: the heroes are as clearly-defined as if they were wearing white hats throughout, and the villains practically twirl black moustaches in the most dastardly manner imaginable. I found myself at certain points in the novel raising a cynical eyebrow at the characters' (especially Amelia's) attitude to premarital sex. However, I admit that this can be put down both to a need to keep the story moving forward (I believe I would have killed myself in despair had every character Evelyn encountered reached for his or her smelling salts upon the discovery that she was not a virgin), as well as the fact that it is made quite clear from the start that Amelia is a little unusual for a Victorian lady.

If I have one major complaint with the novel as a whole, it's that the mystery wasn't quite mysterious enough for my liking, taking a backseat to the development of the relationships between the characters. While character development (obviously!) is no bad thing, I prefer mysteries to focus on the mystery at hand.

Actually, I lie; I have one final complaint. I'm not sure whether Peters or the publisher is to blame, but I disliked the insertion of a mini "biography" of Amelia at the beginning of the book, mainly because it gave away a key plot development! Admittedly this particular development hardly required a Mensa-level of intelligence to predict, but I still felt a little put out.

That being said, it is a wonderful first book in a series, and I look forward to reading its many sequels. Highly recommended to fans of Egypt, mysteries, archeology, the Victorians, or just good, old-fashioned adventure stories!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars moral principles and umbrella, 11 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody) (Paperback)
Wherever Amelia Peavody goes, she has two very useful assets: her moral principles (solid victorian upbringing) and her umbrella (great against the rain, the desert sun and any rascals that may attempt to hurt her or her friends).In fact, one of the funniest things about this character is how, by way of scrupulously and strictly following her ethical code --which is supposed to be shared by all her fellow countrymen--, she manages to be an extravagant outsider, almost a revolutionary. And the whodonit plot seems a showcase for this, since it actually provides perfect occasions for Amelia to assert her ideas and character. Another very funny thing about this character is her love life. The romantic part of this book follows the well known (and irresistible, if well done)hate-at-first-sight-that-turns-into-love formula. And I warn you....you will inevitably fall in love with Emmerson!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Timeless Series!, 11 Aug. 2009
England, Victorian Era. Amelia Peabody, a middle aged spinster and somewhat of a scholar, just inherited a considerable amount of money from her deceased father, seeing this as her opportunity for freedom, she decides to travel to Egypt and explore all the places she's been reading about in books. Armed with her parasol and a unique personality, Amelia ventures into a world of men, who don't take lightly to being ordered about by a woman, especially one as eccentric as her.

Meeting a stranger on the way and learning about her unfortunate story, Amelia takes Evelyn under her wing and together they explore Egypt's monuments and sail down the Nile, constantly battling against the crew's ideas of what a proper visit should be. When reaching Amarna's archaeological dig, little do they know that their trip is at an end, the Emerson brothers, their recent acquaintances, are facing serious problems, Radcliffe has been struck down by illness and the workers are becoming superstitious. Not one to flee in the face of adversity, Amelia sets to saving Racliffe's life while taking over the excavation, that is, until he recovers and tries to put her in her place. They both seem to have found their match!

This cosy mystery is the start of a series that I have the feeling will fast become one of my favourites, Amelia Peabody is almost like a female Indiana Jones, she's witty, smart and isn't afraid of anything, plus she's a threat to anyone with her parasol. Radcliffe Emerson is the perfect hero, handsome, dark sense of humour, strong and sure of himself with just the right touch of arrogance. The mystery revolves around the appearance of a mummy and its apparent interest in Evelyn, but the gist of the story is Amelia and Emerson's relationship, we soon clue in to the culprit and his reasons, but we still enjoy ourselves due to their fights and constant banter.

Despite this first volume having been published in 1975, the story and tone are still up to date, Elizabeth Peters has managed to create a timeless series that will surely continue to win fans for years to come. I for one am reading the second volume and am thrilled there are still 16 to go and one in the works. :-)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly modern heroine, 5 Aug. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody) (Paperback)
Amelia Peabody - what a great name - sets the tone well at the beginning, by saying that she never intended to marry -she felt that women of her time had enough disadvantages without emarking on another by choice! Life, however has other ideas and the process by which she finds her husband provide the hooks on which the story is hung.
A rattling good tale - upon reading this book I was glad to see that there is a whole series to enjoy. The book also made Egyptology, a subject that had never really captured my imagination, a topic of interest.
Amelia entertained me throughout and made my work as a civil servant seem unbearably dull! I really identified with Amelia whilst reading the book - I felt immersed in the story in a way that only an adventure well told can achieve. This is not highbrow, but rather took me to another country, made me cross to leave and impatient to get back. Reading for pleasure and relaxation at its best. Enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable archaeology, 26 July 1999
By A Customer
This is the first in a series of entertaining suspense novels about a feminist-archaeologist adventuring through Egypt in the dawn of modern Egyptology, at the end of the nineteenth century during the transition from amateur collectors of looted objects to the professional investigation of ruins in their original context. The stories are crisply written by an expert on Egyptology (as well as an accomplished author of many romance-suspense novels under other pseudonyms). Protagonists Emerson and Amelia incorporate as their own the original scientific advances of Sir Flinders Petrie who first developed a chronology of everyday pottery (written dates are never found on everything one might wish to date, whereas potsherds are pretty much ubiquitous). Effervescent Amelia can be tiresomely obstreperous, very prickly concerning her opinionated independence, but the fascination of authentic locale and plot win out. Only if you believe in curses, ghosts, and zombies could this story scare you, and lead you to miss the villain. This story is also marred slightly by that cliche of romance novels, the WILLFUL ignorance ("misunderstanding") of the heroine's own feelings (arrrgh!), blind to the two faces of a single overwhelming emotion: hate and love. This should not be the case for an enlightened heroine, unless feminism systematically represses emotion in favour of intellectual competition? These Amelia Peabody confections really should be read in chronological order, as they are of a "biographical" nature (but the publisher shamefully fails to provide any hint of their sequence).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Jewel of a Read, 2 Jan. 2008
absolutely adore this book! What a pleasure to be treated by an author who considers the reader an intelligent being; no lengthy explanations of concepts but the assumption that the reader will have enough sense to understand what is being written and if not, use the dictionary. That being said, Crocodile on the Sandbank is the first in a series of mysteries centered around Egypt's archeological excavations during the Victorian era. Our heroine is Amelia Peabody, a British spinster who decides to travel after inheriting money. On this, her first adventure, she rescues a young woman who becomes her companion. Together they travel on to Egypt where find intrigue in the guise of a walking mummy, a big of grave digging, with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure. Told in a slightly humorous vein (think Victorian humor) Elizabeth Peters has won me over as an instant fan. The story is well told,there are numerous red herrings for the mystery fan to consider, and an outcome that leaves one quite satisfied.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Peabody!, 3 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
I have read this book so many times I've lost count! Elizabeth Peters has now written several books in the Amelia Peabody series, but none I love as well as this one. Amelia is a stong, out-spoken, self-reliant feminist in a era when such behavior was stifled in women. She and her companion, Evelyn Barton-Forbes meet Walter Emerson and his brother Radcliffe, an intelligent but belligerent archeologist who soon realizes he's met his match in Amelia. These are characters I wish I could meet in real life, which is why I continue to revisit them from time to time,both in this book and the sequels. A very fun read with characters that grab you from the get-go! Thank you Ms. Peters, for all the great hours of entertainment you've given me with your books! If you enjoy this book, check out her writings under the name Barbara Michaels. You're in for a treat!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect for a cold, rainy day, 16 Dec. 1996
By A Customer
I discoverd Elizabeth Peters in college, and found she,
above all others had the power to distract my mind from the
"great literature" and academia I was immersed in, without
offending my intelligence. Crocodile in the Sandbank was the
first of her books I read, and the strength of the characters,
the wit and intelligence of the writing made me instantly
obsessed. Between Amelia Peabody (ever so Victorian, yet a
militantly liberated woman) and Emmerson (big and burly, "father
of curses," tender only to a sarcophagus), boredom is impossible.
I own all the books in this series; they only get better--wait
'til you meet Ramses!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun reading, 4 Mar. 2011
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I've read a number of Elizabeth Peters' books. This is the first of the Amelia Peabody series. Like the other books in the series it is a fun combination of Victorian egyptology, crime and humour. Excellent light reading - although not for those who like to pick holes in the plot and characters' motivation.
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Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody)
Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody) by Elizabeth Peters (Paperback - 14 Oct. 1999)
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