Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody #1) by Elizabeth Peters #Audiobook #BarbaraRosenblat #Egypt #BookReview

Thirty-one-year-old Victorian gentlewoman Amelia Peabody has not only inherited her father’s fortune, but she is also blessed with his strong will as well. Now she’s headed for Cairo, accompanied by a girl with a tarnished past, to indulge her passion for Egyptology. Little did she know that murder and a homicidal mummy lay in wait for her.

Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (Audible) (AbeBooks)

Years ago, when I first started checking out library audiobooks, I stumbled upon the Amelia Peabody mystery series and my life was changed forever. No lie. I loved the series. It combined many of the things that interested me: Victorian era, Egyptology, a feminist a bit ahead of her time, and a little bit of romance (very little). The series is like Nancy Drew all grown up and thrown back in time. In short, I’m a big fan. For years I would borrow the library audiobook and make a copy for my own personal use.

Then, in 2011, through a consumer product testing company, I got my first Kindle. It was what we now call a Paperwhite-read or listen only. The Fire tablet had yet to be invented. And with that Kindle I got a few free audiobooks. So I slowly added the entire Amelia Peabody series up to the most recent book, and then added them as they were published. My husband has walked in on me listening to the series so much over the years that he imitates Emerson with a “Good Gad, Peabody,” every now and then.

While Crocodile on the Sandbank is a very good novel, you really must listen to the series to get the full experience. Narrator Barbara Rosenblat does such a good job bringing distinct voices to the characters that sometimes I forget it is a woman voicing the men’s parts. The story just floats in Rosenblat’s hands, the characterizations great and the mystery moves along at a brisk pace due to Peter’s storytelling.

The book, while written in 1975, holds up surprisingly well because of author Elizabeth Peters (real name Barbara Mertz) knowledge of Egyptology. She had been writing paranormal mysteries under the name Barbara Michaels and standalone mystery novels as Elizabeth Peters. Her publisher approached her about taking one of her heroines and making a series. She wisely picked plucky, independent, no-nonsense, wealthy, and not your typical beauty, Amelia Peabody. And the rest, they say, is history. This first volume, because it was not planned to be a series, wraps up in a tidy way once the mystery is solved.

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