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Monday, March 29, 2010

Crocodile on the Sandbank

Crocodile on the Sandbank
book 1 in the Amelia Peabody series
by Elizabeth Peters

audiobook: 10 hours

*** About the Book ***

It is 1884 and 32-year old spinster (?!?!) Amelia Peabody has inherited a modest fortune from her recently deceased father. An independent and opinionated sort, Amelia decides to avoid a sudden spate of wealth-seeking suitors and heads off to explore Egypt. Along the way she meets Evelyn, a young woman in desperate circumstances, and takes her on as a companion. The two women head down the Nile to Luxor where they meet archaeologists Radcliffe and Walter Emerson. A romance begins to blossom between Evelyn and Walter while Amelia and Radcliffe butt heads. All this is interrupted however when a mummy begins to haunt the dig site each night. Is this the result of a curse on the ancient holy city or is there a more scientific explanation? Leave it to Amelia (and company) to figure it out!

*** Why I Read It ***

I've heard about this series before but it was a review of the 2nd book in the series over at Historical Tapestry that made me put this on my TBR list. I was excited that my library had it on audio - I needed something new to listen to while getting ready for work in the morning!

*** My Thoughts ***

I went into this book with some incorrect expectations. For some reason I was thinking (hoping?) it would be like Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell books. That is decidedly NOT the case. Once I got over that fact, I really enjoyed it. The plot is over-the-top ridiculous and somewhat predictable but lots of fun. But more importantly, I loved the main character; Amelia’s sharp tongue and brusque manner are fabulous, as are her interactions with the other characters (especially Emerson).

This book didn’t leave me hungering to pick up the next in the series RIGHT NOW but I do want continue on with it. I’ll likely read/listen to the next several books whenever I’m in need of a light, humorous read.

*** Your Thoughts? ***

Are you an Amelia Peabody fan? Which of the books in the series is your favorite? Is there another series you’d recommend that is like this one?


Kay said...

I love this series and the first book is probably my favorite. The story of Amelia and Radcliffe continues on and on. No, this would not be like the Mary Russell books, but I think they are more like the movie, The Mummy. For me, anyway.

Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels has written many gothic romance type books. I consider them the early romantic suspense books. I like them because they are light, and oftentimes very humorous. Barbara Mertz (the author's real name) has a doctorate in Egyptology and is a real Amelia Peabody. :-)

Heather J. said...

Kay - Thanks for that background on the author! And you're right, this book DOES remind me quite a bit of The Mummy - how did I not notice that before?! I LOVE that movie!

Tribute Books said...

Will add to my list, did enjoy the mummy movie,might like it.thanks.

Nan said...

I love, I love, I love this series! I've listened to every one so far, narrated by the fantastic Barbara Rosenblat! Time goes on. A child is born. The child grows up. You meet characters that recur in other books. I never thought they were over the top.

good site:

The woman is still writing and I am thrilled.

Aarti said...

I really liked this book, though I haven't continued with the series. I've heard that the character in Soulless is very similar to Amelia Peabody, and I can understand that. I hope to read more, but not yet. I just liked the Egypt setting a lot :-)

Kailana said...

I plan to read this eventually, but first I am going to read the Mary Russell series because I have heard such great things about it!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

I read a ton of the Amelia Peabody books when I was in high school and loved them. I actually like many of the later books better, once the family starts growing and Peabody gets even more spunky.

Shelley said...

I smiled at (and was glad to see) those question marks after the word "spinster." I guess that's better than "bachelorette"!

Heather J. said...

Tribute Books - I hope you enjoy it.

Nan - Ooh, I forgot to mention Barbara Rosenblat in my review! She really did an excellent job with the narration.

Aarti - Yes, the exploration of Egypt during the Victorian age is quite an exciting time to read about!

Kailana - Definitely do Mary Russell first - I can't recommend that series enough. This one was fun but not nearly as good.

Kim - She gets MORE spunky?! Now I KNOW I'll have to keep reading. :)

Shelley - Yeah, considering the fact that I am also 32 years old, that whole spinster thing was a bit crazy. ~LOL~

SuziQoregon said...

This is one of those series that I've only read via listening to the audio versions. I've listened to them through book 7 so far.

The first few were read by Susan O'Malley, but most have been read by Barbara Rosenblat. I have to confess I would probably listen to Barbara Rosenblat read the phone book, but I do love her interpretation of Amelia Peabody.

I only listen to my audiobooks when I'm in the car by myself so it tends to be for 10-15 minute increments. This series works perfectly for that.

I agree about the over the top stuff, but at the same time they are just so dang entertaining. I don't listen to them back to back so have spaced them out so far and will continue to do so. They are definitely the type of book that keeps me entertained and even laugh out loud occasionally as I'm driving around town.

Amelia's asides about men, children and multitudes of other topics can be just downright hilarious.

Heather J. said...

SuziQoregon - Nan mentioned Barbara's narration in her comment as well - I have to say that I completely agree, Barbara is EXCELLENT.

Marg said...

Another fan of Barbara Rosenblats narration here. Despite the fact that I listened to one book and probably have read 7 or 8 since then, I can still hear Rosenblats voice in my head. I enjoyed these early books in my series, but I have to say my favourites are when Ramses are all grown up. Sigh...what a man!

I always thought Amelia was a lucky woman, but Ramses lady is even luckier!

Heather J. said...

Marg - Oooh, now I'm REALLY intrigued!

Linda Bacon said...

These books are best when listened to ... Barbara Rosenblatt brings every character to life, especially Amelia! Try listening to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, read by the divine Davina Porter. Historical fiction, romance, time-travel, action galore!!! I've just finished listening to the 7th book. Love your reviews!

Heather J. said...

Linda - Thanks for coming by my blog! OUTLANDER is on my list to read, but I'm waiting for the series to be finished first. :)

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