4 out of 5 Stars
I have had a hard time sleeping in recent years due to some pretty terrible dreams. I am a detective hot on the trail of a serial murderer and somehow I have gotten trapped. In speaking with a sleep specialist, they suggested I lessen my reading of my favorite genre of books (murder mysteries….kind of explains those dreams, right?). I started looking for something fun, not too “mystery”, and a fast read since I had been reading some John Muir, which I love but is a bit heavier. A friend suggested I pick up Elizabeth Peters book “Crocodile on the Sandbank” which is the first book in the Amelia Peabody series. This book was first published in 1975 and more books continue to be published in the series!
Amelia Peabody is a woman living in England in 1884. She hasn’t married and has been spending a lot of time tending to her elderly and sick father. That had been her focus. He was a scholar in Egyptian studies and she gained her knowledge and passion for the subject through him. When he passed away, he left everything he had to her, which angered her bothers, but she wasn’t bothered by it. With no interest in settling down, she decides she has been cooped up for too long and needs to go on an adventure. She decides to go to Egypt where she can see the things she has been studying in person and continue on the educational path her father set her on. She befriends another English woman (Evelyn) who helps her become a more tolerable person and together they set off down the Nile to continue the adventure. There is a mystery that they have to solve, but it wasn’t affecting my dreams and was fun and slightly suspenseful.
The cover has a quote referring to her as a female “Indiana Jones” and I could certainly see that on the adventuring side and the dealings with pyramids and ancient artifacts. It is a fun and fast read!
From reviews I read there was going to be a chance I didn’t like the main character. She is brash and strong, speaks her mind and her “filter” is still in training. The thing is, my husband is English and I have lots of experience with these sorts of behaviors and understand them a bit better, so I kind of loved Amelia.
This will be a great book for beach and camping reading. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which I love. I enjoyed the first book so much I have just started the second book in this HUGE series. Check it out!