Crocodile on the Sandbank

 -by Elizabeth Peters

 (Amelia Peabody #1)

What fun!

This enjoyable light read offers a playful romp through Egypt with a bit of mystery (albeit, predictable), romance, intrigue and humour thrown in for good measure. I'm looking forward to delving head-long into the rest of Peters' series - she writes with wit and a deft turn of phrase, but also bestows a certain amount depth to her characters.

Narrator and unlikely 'heroine', Amelia Peabody, is matter-of-fact, unflappable and very believable (I took to her in an instant); she resigned to the idea of becoming an 'old maid'. While in Rome, she rescues Evelyn, an English gentle-woman who has found herself on the losing end of a an imprudent relationship and in a compromising situation that jeopardizes her respectability. She soon becomes Peabody's companion and close friend, as the two head to Egypt to spend the winter months on the Nile - Peabody to escape the dullness of England's winter and Evelyn to escape a scandal. A chance encounter brings them into the acquaintance with the Emerson brothers, encamped at an ancient Egyptian archeological site. Strange occurrences begin to plague the dig, involving a run-about Mummy intent on frightening off the small party! New friendships are forged, and new enemies made, as the mystery at the archeological site begins to unravel.

Being the first of the series, this book "sets the scene", and is no doubt more of an introduction to the characters and their personas, as opposed to an elaborate storyline. (Emerson is quickly becoming a favourite!) It was certainly an enjoyable premiere!

Bring on the next!

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