Crocodile on the Sandbank

Version: Unabridged
Author: Elizabeth Peters
Narrator: Susan O'Malley
Genres: Detective Stories
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published In: January 2001
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 9 hours
Ratings:
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Overview

Amelia Peabody, that indomitable product of the Victorian age, embarks on her first Egyptian adventure armed with unshakable self-confidence, a journal to record her thoughts, and, of course, a sturdy umbrella.

On her way, Amelia rescues young Evelyn Barton-Forbes, who has been "ruined" and abandoned on the streets of Rome by her rascally lover. With a typical disregard for convention, Amelia promptly hires her fellow countrywoman as a companion and takes her to Cairo.

Eluding Alberto, Evelyn's former lover, who wants her back, and Evelyn's cousin Lord Ellesmere, who wishes to marry her, the two women sail up the Nile. They disembark at an archaeological 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.

Reviews (7)

Fabulous First

Written by Roxor from Strawberry, AZ on June 11th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This book exemplifies the importance of reading the first book in a series. Now that I know & understand the background of Amelia, she is not as arrogant as I thought in reading a later book in this series. Such an interesting era and locale, difficult not to be totally immersed. The author beautifully depicts Egypt; all the splendor, landscape, culture and flaws. A must read (listen)~

Written by Cherie LeBlanc on August 2nd, 2012

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Love all of the Amanda Peabody books. Elizabeth Peters always delivers the most entertaining stories. More Please!

Crocodile on the Sandbank

Written by Debbie in Raleigh on March 24th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I have read all the Amelia Peabody stories. This first one so wonderfully sets the tone of the whole series. While the plots are often predictable or a bit silly, the style and characters are well worth the read. And the look at Egypt at the turn of the century is super.

Crocodile on the Sandbank

Written by Anonymous on June 12th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Loved this book! Amelia Peabody is a hoot! Her approach to the world will resonate with modern women everywhere. The plot was a bit predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless. Great writing and a good story.

Crocodile on the Sandbank

Written by Shari Hamilton from Roswell, NM on January 10th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This was a most entertaining story, taking you to a different time and place much different from today's world. I thoroughly enjoyed it; it made me wish I could visit Egypt in the same way - which will probably never be possible again. That's one reason why I enjoyed the story so much - it was a time that will never be repeated.

Crocodile on the Sandbank

Written by Helen Medlock on September 30th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 5/5

As the start of a series, this book takes you back to a time and place that many people have never known. Amelia Peabody is a brash, forthright woman who during her period was not the normal of womanhood. Her sense of responsibility to family and loyality to those whom she cares for and loves is very evident. The slow build of a love between Peabody and her love is comical at times as well as a small battle with her dominance. The intertwined story of people and their lives along with the historical background of digs from the ruins of Eygpt. The mummy that lay in wait to distract the small band as only the visible aspect of an underlying plot. Well written with humor, suspense, and accuracy of the times. I would highly recommend even to those who do not like historical fiction but likes great mystery would like this book.

Crocodile on the Sandbank

Written by Anonymous on May 27th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This book, from my library, and narrated by Barbara Rosenblatt, was my introducrion to the Amelia Peabody/Radcliffe Emerson saga. I was completely hooked, and am going through the series offered by SimplyAudiobooks, listening to Susan O'Malley. Now I see that the book is available with Susan O'Malley as the narrator, and am renting it again, because she does an equally masterful job, with just enough difference in emphasis to make it fresh and delightful.

Author Details

Author Details

Peters, Elizabeth

Barbara Mertz, also known as Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels, in her own words:

"I spent the earliest years of my life in a small town in Illinois--and when I say "small," I mean fewer than 2000 people. It was an idyllic sort of existence, I suppose, except for a few minor disadvantages like a nation-wide depression and the fact that my home town had no library. Luckily for me both my parents were readers. From my mother and a wonderful great-aunt I acquired most of the childhood classics and a few classic mysteries. My father's tastes were somewhat more eclectic. By the time I was ten I had read (though I won't claim to have understood) Mark Twain, Shakespeare, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Dracula and a variety of pulp magazines, to mention only a few. I can't emphasize too highly the importance of this early reading experience--its diversity as well as its extent. I will not claim that a writer must also be a compulsive reader, but it certainly helps.

When I was in fourth grade we moved to a suburb of Chicago and I discovered the public library. I read everything I could get my hands on, but didn't begin writing until I was in high school. Oak Park-River Forest High was one of the finest public schools in the country. I was majoring in history, but I had a minor in English and among the courses I took was one in creative writing. It may well be that the first seeds of a desire to write were planted during that course, when my teacher called me out of another class (a definite no-no in those days) to ask whether I had--unconsciously, of course--plagiarized the sonnet I had handed in the day before, That sonnet is the only thing I've ever written that has appeared in a respectable literary magazine. We sent it to Saturday Review, asking readers whether they could identify it. They couldn't. It was my own--such as it was.

I didn't want to be a writer, though, I wanted to be an archaeologist. After graduating from high school I went to the University of Chicago--not because it had a world-famous department of Egyptology, but because it was close to home and I had received a scholarship. My mother went back to teaching to help out with expenses, and I worked every summer and part time during the year. Practicality was the watchword. I was supposed to be preparing myself to teach--a nice, sensible career for a woman. I took two education courses before I stopped kidding myself and headed for the Oriental Institute. I got my doctorate there when I was twenty-three.

Much good it did me. (Or so I believed for many years.) Positions in Egyptology were few and far between, and in the post-World-War II backlash against working women, females weren't encouraged to enter that or any other job market. I recall overhearing one of my professors say to another, "At least we don't have to worry about finding a job for her. She'll get married." I did. And they didn't.

While I was raising my children--the most challenging, tiring, rewarding, demanding job in the world--I still wanted to be an archaeologist. I had, however, become addicted to mystery stories, and finally decided I would try to write one, It was awful. The second was awful too. I rather enjoyed the process, though, and kept on scribbling. My husband's job sent us to Germany for two years; the additional leisure (for we were able to hire household help) and the stimulus of travel abroad allowed me to produce a book that finally aroused some interest in publishing circles. It didn't sell, but it got me an agent. Exasperated by his inability to sell the book, which he had liked, he demanded, "Can't you write something else besides mystery stories?" Thus my first book to be published was not a thriller but Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs, A Popular History of Egyptology. It was followed by Red Land, Black Land, Daily Life in Ancient Egypt. Finally that degree had "paid off," - in a way I never expected. I am modestly proud of the fact that those two volumes are still in print over thirty years after they were written.

Finally, in 1966, I managed to get a mystery novel published. The Master of Blacktower appeared under the pseudonym of Barbara Michaels. I have written approximately twenty-eight mystery/suspense novels under the Michaels name and another twenty-eight under my second pseudonym, Elizabeth Peters. (The ostensible reason for using pseudonyms is that readers need to distinguish the various types of books written by a single author; Mertz writes nonfiction on archaeology, Michaels writes thrillers, many with a supernatural element, and Peters focuses on mystery suspense. I find the various names a horrible nuisance, but apparently readers do see a difference between the productions of these personae.)

It has taken me over a quarter of a century to realize that I love to write, and that this is what I should have focused on from the beginning. If I were superstitious, which I am not--and if there were not so many examples that prove the contrary--I would fancy that fate somehow pushes us into the kind of life that is best for us. I am still fascinated by Egyptology and I have used my training, not only in the nonfiction books and articles I have produced but in what is probably my most popular mystery series, written under the Peters name: the saga of Victorian archaeologist Amelia Peabody, who has been terrorizing nineteenth-century England and Egypt through ten volumes (so far). The research necessary for these books is a joy in itself, and the characters have become almost frighteningly real to me.

The research skills I learned can be applied to any field; I have used them to collect background material for novels that deal with the Peasants' Revolt, Etruscan archaeology, vintage clothing, the Risorgimento, the chartist movement, and innumerable other subjects. Accuracy is very important to me as a novelist; not only does my own professional pride demand it, but I have many readers whose expertise is at least as great as my own. They can and do chastise me when I make mistakes. To err is human, but to err through carelessness or laziness is inexcusable.

The craft of writing delights me. It is impossible to attain perfection; there is always something more to be learned--figuring out new techniques of plotting or characterization, struggling with recalcitrant sentences until I force them to approximate my meaning. And nothing is ever wasted. Everything one sees and hears, everything one learns, can be used.

At the present time I am living in an old farmhouse in the Maryland countryside. My children are grown and married, with children of their own. I have four lovely granddaughters, one of whom is already writing mystery stories, and two grandsons. I have never been able to understand how people can complain about being lonely or bored; there are so many interesting things to do, so many fascinating people to know. I love my work, and I hope to go on doing it till I drop at the age of 99. In my spare time I collect vintage clothing, cats in all forms, and a variety of other objects. My hobbies include gardening, sewing (especially the construction of Victorian costume), reading, music, embroidery, and long conversations with fellow mystery writers."