Comfort Reading, Fluff, Historical Fiction

Crocodile on the Sandbank – Elizabeth Peters – 9/10

“Papa preferred his languages dead.”

I cannot improve on the plot summary on the blurb and thus I reproduce it:

Emancipated and forthright, Amelia Peabody, an indomitable product of the Victorian era, embarks on her first Egyptian adventure armed with unshakeable self-confidence, a journal to record her thoughts, and a sturdy parasol. On her way there, Amelia rescues young Evelyn Barton-Forbes who has been ruined and abandoned on the streets of Rome by her callous lover, and takes her to Cairo as her companion. From there, the two women sail up the Nile into their biggest ever adventure. Arriving at an archaeological site run by the Emerson brothers – the dashing Emerson and amiable Walter – Amelia discovers that their little party is increased by one: an ancient Egyptian mummy that proves to be an alarming and decidedly lively example of the species…

I have two issues with this book. One is that Emerson is not dashing; irascible would have been a better choice, and there is a foreword describing Miss Peabody, which gives the whole game away. If you read this book, DO NOT READ THE FOREWORD.

Apart from those two minor incidents, I loved this. Sleuthing aplenty, period costume, archaeological excitements, a family fortune and a “ruined” girl – so much Victorian deliciousness. But then enters Miss Amelia Peabody…

Goodness she’s a piece of work. She reminds me a lot of Flavia de Luce (whose adventures are here 1, 2, 3) – totally unwilling to be constrained by social niceties, desperate to be recognised for her academic achievements, willing to give as good as she gets (particularly in the many altercations with Emerson) – in short, she’s wonderful and I want to get my hands on as many more of her books as I possibly can (I have ordered 7 off Bookmooch already).

Additional info:
Personal copy from the Lancaster market.
Publisher: Robinson (Constable Robinson), paperback, 306 pages.
Order this from Amazon*
* this is an affiliate link – I will be paid a small percentage of your purchase price if you use this link, which goes towards giveaways.
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11 thoughts on “Crocodile on the Sandbank – Elizabeth Peters – 9/10”

  1. I had great fun with this one last year. Listen to it in audiobook when I was recovering from eye surgery… and also listened to the 1st Flavia de Luce. I remember thinking that Amelia seemed like an adult Flavia, but dismissed it because I read them one after the other. How amazing that you made the same connection!

  2. I recomend this book to everyone who tells me they are looking for something new to read. I love everything about it. Ms Peters is one of my favorite authors.

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