Twitter Tumblr FlickrFacebookContact me
This Month Previous Articles Author Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio

Recent posts


Month in review

Reviews
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Babymouse: Beach Babe by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Bake Sale by Sara Varon
Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson
Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman
The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters
Exploding the Phone by Philip Lapsley
Fangbone! Third-Grade Barbarian by Michael Rex
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat
The Fifteenth Pelican by Tere Rios
Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure by Michael Chabon
Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson
In Too Deep by Jude Watson
Jane Goes Batty by Michael Thomas Ford
Killer Pancake by Diane Mott Davidson
Let's Go for a Drive by Mo Willems
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell
Listening Woman by Tony Hillerman
Mouse Bird Snake Wolf by David Almond
The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters
My Friend Is Sad by Mo Willems
People of Darkness by Tony Hillerman
The Perils of Peppermints by Barbara Brooks Wallace
Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Stitches in Time by Barbara Michaels
Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains by Laurel Snyder
Vacationers From Outer Space by Edward Valfre

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8




Comments for Crocodile on the Sandbank

Crocodile on the Sandbank: 05/07/13

cover artCrocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters begins the 18 volume long Amelia Peabody series. It was first published in 1975 but I didn't "discover" the series until 1989. I was sixteen and teaching myself how to speed read. I think in my enthusiasm, I missed a bunch of details and I've been misremembering things ever since. The biggest memory gaff was my belief that Amelia Peabody was American (although I knew the Emersons were British).

About a year ago, a book club friend turned me onto audio books. They're great for my commute or for when I'm cooking or folding laundry. The book that got me hooked was Fatally Flaky by Diane Mott Davidsonn. It was performed by Barbara Rosenblat. She happens to also do Elizabeth Peters two series: Amelia Peabody and Vicky Bliss. I decided for giggles to re-read the Amelia Peabody series on audio and do the series in order.

The book opens with thirty-something Amelia Peabody inheriting money from her late father. She decides to travel to Europe to enjoy the freedom afforded a spinster with funds. Her original traveling companion falls ill while in Italy. While on her own, Amelia encounters a young British woman who has been living in Italy in deplorable conditions. To save the young woman and to continue with her plans of visiting Egypt, Amelia takes the young waif on as her new traveling companion.

Although later books focus on Amelia (or Peabody as she's mostly called later on) and her work as an Egyptologist, Crocodile on the Sandbank is her first trip to Egypt and her only trip as a single woman. This book, then is our introduction to the country, its history under British occupation, and to the early days of Egyptology. It's written in the form of a fictional travelogue and while Amelia promises her "dear reader" that she will avoid such a book. Later volumes are more character oriented (almost annoyingly so, sometimes).

The mystery, part, then, doesn't come until well after Amelia Peabody and companion Evelyn are arrived in Armana and introduced to the brothers Emerson: Walter and Radcliffe (just about the only time he's known by his first name). It's also one of those rare, mundane mysteries — no master criminal (a character who first surfaces in The Mummy Case).

In listening to the book after more than a decade of first reading it, I only had a few concrete memories of details. I remembered Amelia and Evelyn's meeting (though not the location). I remembered Evelyn paining a copy of the floor everyone was working so carefully to preserve. I remember the floor being destroyed. I also remembered who the murderer was but not who he was collaborating with.

All in all I enjoyed listening to the book. I have a few quibbles with Rosenblat's voice for Amelia. Her British accent is a little too put on — reminding me of the haughty overtones used by the mayor's wife in The Music Man. As it's an early audio for Rosenblat and the first in the series, I'll let it slide. I've heard later ones in the series and Amelia's voice and accent are tempered

Four stars

Other posts or reviews:

| | |

Comments (0)

Permalink


Name:
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:
Comment: