Crocodile on the Sandbank

By Elizabeth Peters,

Book cover of Crocodile on the Sandbank

Book description

Amelia Peabody is Elizabeth Peters' most brilliant and best-loved 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 adventure, our headstrong heroine decides to use her substantial inheritance to see the world. On her…

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Why read it?

10 authors picked Crocodile on the Sandbank as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Amelia Peabody, the heroine of this series, is that rarity, a female archeologist elbowing her way into digs and expeditions, the domain of men in 1890s Egypt. Amelia fearlessly deals with master criminals and tomb robbers, using a stout belt and large umbrella, solving crimes with panache.

In this book, the first of the series, she rescues a damsel in distress, falls in love, and uncovers the secret of a walking mummy.

It’s a rollicking romp of a read but doesn’t shy away from showing the divisions of the times between Europeans and ‘natives,’ men and women, rich and…

I clearly remember the first time I opened a copy of this book. I was riding an exercise bike and looking for a distraction. Boy, did I find it! 

This is the book that proved to me that mysteries can be funny as well as intelligent. The heroine, Amelia Peabody, is a wonder, an ahead-of-her-times Victorian woman who is both plucky and smart. The man who will become her husband is irascible, irreverent, annoying—and completely adorable! 

You don’t have to love ancient history to join these two intrepid archaeologists in Egypt. Come for the mystery. Stay for the history, the…

From Anastasia's list on dark and stormy Victorian vibes.

Admittedly, I have a soft spot for archaeologists, but Amelia Peabody is one of a kind. Armed with her tool belt (she calls it her “chatelaine”), her pistol and parasol, and her courage, she is a force to be reckoned with on the late 19th-century Egyptian archaeology scene. A firm believer in equality, Peabody (as her husband calls her) doesn't hesitate when action is required, facing down everyone from site looters to bureaucrats. Written by noted Egyptologist Barbara Mertz (as Elizabeth Peters), the books get the history and archaeology right, and the mysteries have more than a dash of humor…

I stumbled across a dog-eared copy of this book at a college library sale and immediately fell in love. Crocodile on the Sandbank brings us to late Victorian Egypt, reproducing both the good (unparalleled discoveries) and the bad (British attitudes towards Egypt) of that time. Through it all strides Amelia Peabody, a confident, educated spinster with a medical kit in one hand and a parasol for whacking dastardly criminals in the other. She’s here to explore ancient ruins and chew bubblegum, and a dignified lady wouldn’t dream of chewing bubblegum. And what’s all this nonsense about a walking mummy?…

My favorite historical mystery series was born in 1975 when Elizabeth Peters published Crocodile on the Sandbank. She died with a pen in her hand in 2013 at the age of 85, still writing this timeless series. In the novel, Amelia Peabody, a British feminist spinster in 1884, fights for her place in Egyptology—a world forbidden to her—while falling in love and being absolutely hilarious. The series follows her archeologist family into the 1920s and remains delightful throughout. The books are smart, pee-your-pants funny, and feature some of the most original characters in genre fiction. The author wields her…

Crocodile on the Sandbank is the first book of 25 in the Amelia Peabody Murder Mysteries. I’m on my 3rd time through!! I love the history of Egypt and its archeologists in the late 1800s/early 1900s. We meet the feisty Amelia Peabody and her future husband, an equally stubborn and determined Radcliff Emerson. Their adventures amid the ruins of ancient Egypt and their entanglement with a criminal element kept me turning the pages. The entire series is a marvelous mystery series involving a Master Criminal, murder, and exciting discoveries.

I am a sucker for dry wit and feisty independent heroines who aren’t looking for love but find it as an incidental to the story. I first read an Elizabeth Peters novel when she was writing as Barbara Michaels. 

Once I discover an author I love I have to read everything they wrote. I found out Barbara Michaels had another identity— Elizabeth Peters. O Frabjous joy! Another author to devour! I read Crocodile on The Sandbank and fell in love with her takeoff on Victorian literature and her intrepid heroine, Egyptologist Amelia Peabody. Crocodile on The Sandbank is the first…

From Susan's list on romances with seasoned heroines.

Pith helmets off to this enchanting mystery-adventure-socially satirical series! This book is the first of a long-running family story that I never tire of rereading. Through character Amelia Peabody’s sometimes outrageously funny ‘memoirs,’ I learned more about Egyptology, archeology, and British social structure than I ever learned in university. And I still laugh as sapphirine eyes flash, buttons pop off, and the very independent late nineteenth-century heroine finds herself in all sorts of pickles that lead inexorably to pyramids, bats, and love. I find her and her family irresistible and, in the long run, a touching testimony to what matters…

While planning a trip to England, I saw that Deeds of the Disturber was set in London and grabbed it to read on the airplane. That’s not the book I’m recommending, but I want to save you from my mistake. Deeds is the fifth Amelia Peabody book – you should start with the first, Crocodile on the Sandbank. Amelia Peabody, an English spinster in 1884, comes into money and decides to travel. When she arrives in Egypt, she falls in love both with the country and with archelogy. The backdrop of historical Egyptology is fascinating, and the book could…

From Leigh's list on mysteries unlike any other.

Over the years I have had great pleasure from the series. The main character, Amelia Peabody is a wonderful invention. She is brave, witty, loyal, independent – a sort of Victorian female Indiana Jones. There are romantic entanglements, along with a delicious mixture of murder, mystery, and suspense, involving every sort of skulduggery you can imagine.

Mostly set in Egypt, real characters such as Flinders Petrie, Howard Carter, and Gaston Maspero appear. I was amused to discover a William Amherst in Hippopotamus Pool who is described as ‘a young Egyptologist who has very little to do with the story.’


From Angela's list on deciphering ancient Egypt.

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