Take one Victorian
spinster heiress with a fascination for pyramids; add one seduced and abandoned traveling
companion; mix in an assortment of handsome gentlemen with various degrees of interest
and expertise in Egyptian archeology; and then send them all down the Nile at the end of
the nineteenth century to excavate treasures, fend off rampant mummies and solve a
mystery. What you'll have is the recipe for one of the best mystery series currently in
Did I mention romance? Crocodile on the Sandbank has that
too, as well as one of the most appealing and humorous leading ladies ever written.
Amelia Peabody, a feminist ahead of her time, exercises an overabundance of spunk and
swings a mean parasol, too. In fact Ms. Peabody faces just
about any emergency that
presents itself with pluck:
"…they called me Sitt Hakim, the lady
doctor. I felt I deserved the title; scarcely a day went by when I was not patching up
some scrape or cut, although to my regret, I was not called upon to amputate anything."
See? The lady can handle herself. Ms. Peabody, the intelligent and
hysterically funny romantic heroine, reminds me of the heroine in the movie, The Mummy.
Although the movie presents a different story, there are enough similarities in her
character and the basic premise that it makes me wonder if the producers and/or
scriptwriters were thinking of Amelia when they conceived of their project.
Regardless of its origins, if you liked the movie, you'll love Crocodile on the
Sandbank. Don't despair when you finish, however. Amelia solves more mysteries in a
series of sequels, such as The Curse of the
Pharoahs and The Mummy Case. When you're done, give yourself a break with
a different author, wait a little while, and then pick up Crocodile, and start
reading all over again.