Crocodile on the Sandbank

007

 

by Elizabeth Peters

Published 1975

My new mystery series has begun!  The Amelia Peabody mysteries have been on my list for some time.  Set in the late 1800’s, the heroine is a 30-something spinster named (you guessed it) Amelia Peabody.  Having inherited a lot of money, Amelia decides to do what she’s always yearned to do – travel.  Her first destination?  Egypt!

Peters actually has a PhD in Egyptology, so her books are well-researched and interesting, with just the right amount of Egyptian history to keep the reader up to speed, but not enough to drag down the plot.  While I’m not always a fan of first-person writing (especially mysteries), I have to say that Amelia makes an entertaining and humorous narrator; I really like her character.

I could be wrong (because who wants to actually do research and find out if I’m right?) but I really get the impression from this book that Peters did not necessarily mean to start a series.  The end of this book has a nice epilogue that really wraps up the characters neatly.  Still, I can see how she couldn’t resist revisiting them for multiple  books, as Amelia and her friends make for very fun reading.

Amelia is a rampant feminist, almost the point of being obnoxious, but because I liked her so well otherwise, I was able to tolerate her random outbursts (some, but not all, of which were justified) on the subject.

These are “cozy” mysteries – they aren’t the kind that are going to keep you up late at night, jumping at every bump in the dark, but they are suspenseful and this book definitely kept me turning pages.

4/5.