Review: Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

Source: Purchased
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Edition: Paperback, 262 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Post Apocalyptic
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: 4/5

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…

When I saw this series I just knew I had to give it a try. It combines three things I love: reading fiction, ancient Egypt, and archaeology. So right away this was already appealing. The add in the fact that the author is actually really knowledged in the history of these spectacular place is even better. It is a rare thing to have a fiction book about the ancient sites written by someone who has probably been there numerous times. It’s also nice to read a book centered around the archaeology as opposed to having the story in ancient Egypt itself.

I found that the main character Amelia, is a character where you simply can’t like her to begin with because of their immediate strong personality.  She is a strong willed and independent woman, but after about a chapter or two she was beginning to grow on me because of those. In the time period that this is set I found that her personality was perfect and different enough that she wasn’t just another woman of the time.

The writing style is in the first person, which typically can become annoying since it’s only from one point of view and it makes it difficult to connect with the other characters but Peters does it wonderfully. It’s definitely one of those cozy mysteries that you could easily pick up and read on a rainy weekend. You get a great idea as to what the others are really like because Amelia is quite vocal on what is thinks of them and her situation.   As for the “whodunnit” part of the book it’s not terribly hard to figure out who is behind it all, in fact I would be surprised if someone didn’t figure it out before the final three chapters. But surprisingly that really didn’t detract from the story for me, because there were still somethings that I wondered about that made it so it didn’t matter to me that I had it figured out. Overall I enjoyed the book alot and I am pretty sure that once I manage to shrink my to-read list a little more the second book in this series will have earned it’s place on the must have list for me.

I recommend this to those who love cozy mysteries with a historical twist, or someone who loves historical fiction dealing with archaeology or ancient Egypt.

4 stars

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