Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (1975)
Series: Amelia Peabody #1
Goodreads Summary: Amelia Peabody, that indomitable product of the Victorian age, embarks on her debut Egyptian adventure armed with unshakable self-confidence, a journal to record her thoughts, and, of course, a sturdy umbrella. On her way to Cairo, Amelia rescues young Evelyn Barton-Forbes, who has been abandoned by her scoundrel lover. Together the two women sail up the Nile to an archeological site run by the Emerson brothers — the irascible but dashing Radcliffe and the amiable Walter. Soon their little party is increased by one — one mummy, that is, and a singularly lively example of the species. Strange visitations, suspicious accidents, and a botched kidnapping convince Amelia that there is a plot afoot to harm Evelyn. Now Amelia finds herself up against an unknown enemy — and perilous forces that threaten to make her first Egyptian trip also her last…
This is another book that I’ve had on my TBR for a while and it keeps coming to mind because it looks like such a fun read. I love learning about ancient Egypt and any book set there instantly grabs my eye. So I finally got around to reading it and am so glad I did.
The heroine of the story is Amelia Peabody who is very bookish and intelligent. When her father dies, she inherits his fortune and decides to travel the world. She picks up a companion named Evelyn along the way and they head to Egypt. Evelyn has a crazy story as well and they run into some shady characters from her past.
Then they meet up with two brothers who are on an archeological dig. When it seems like a mysterious mummy is appearing, the group decides to stick around and investigate and figure out what’s going on. And in this book there wasn’t any murder which is one reason why I usually shy away from mystery books, so I liked that aspect too.
At first I thought there would be a supernatural element to the stories, but I think it’s just a standard mystery series. There was a bit of romance between Evelyn and one of the brothers and Amelia clashed with the other brother which kept you wondering whether or not they might secretly like each other despite their fighting. Don’t read the little snippets on the back cover though because that spoiled things a bit for me.
I really liked Amelia because she’s ahead of her time as an independent woman who loves adventure and decides to live her life on her terms. There is a lot of fun bickering and she has a snarky attitude. She’s also very caring and warm and takes on the role of big sister when she cares for Evelyn. She loves pyramids and reading and learning new things as well as speaking languages, so I think she’d be a fun person to spend time with.
Overall I really loved the book. The mystery wasn’t too crazy, the characters were perfect, the setting came to life so vividly that you could see the pyramids and feel the Egyptian sun on your skin. This series has 19 books and I’m not sure if I’ll read them all but I definitely enjoyed the adventures and will keep this book in mind next time I’m in need of a reliable good read with characters I enjoy. Highly recommended for lovers of mystery, strong heroines, and especially those obsessed with Egypt!
My Rating: ★★★★☆