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Crocodile on the Sandbank

The Amelia Peabody Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Susan O'Malley
Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1,039 ratings)
Regular price: $19.57
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Publisher's Summary

Amelia Peabody, that indomitable product of the Victorian age, embarks on her first Egyptian adventure armed with unshakable self-confidence, a journal to record her thoughts, and, of course, a sturdy umbrella.

On her way, Amelia rescues young Evelyn Barton-Forbes, who has been "ruined" and abandoned on the streets of Rome by her rascally lover. With a typical disregard for convention, Amelia promptly hires her fellow countrywoman as a companion and takes her to Cairo.

Eluding Alberto, Evelyn's former lover, who wants her back, and Evelyn's cousin, Lord Ellesmere, who wishes to marry her, the two women sail up the Nile. They disembark at an archaeological site run by the Emerson brothers - the irascible, but dashing, Radcliffe and the amiable Walter. Soon their little party is increased by one - one mummy, that is, and a singularly lively example of the species. Strange visitations, suspicious accidents, and a botched kidnapping convince Amelia that there is a plot afoot to harm Evelyn.

Don't miss the rest of the Amelia Peabody series.
©1975 Elizabeth Peters (P)2002 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"The indomitable Amelia Peabody carries the listener along as easily as she carries her umbrella." (AudioFile)

What members say

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Morgan
  • Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • 01-09-04

Crocodile on the Sandbank

This is a wonderful book. There is a problem, however. Barbara Rosenblatt should be the narrator. She was the first voice to give life to Amelia Peabody. To listen to another, less talented reader, who gives very little differentiation to the characters is very unsatisfying.
I prefer a reader who is easy to listen to. This means I don't have to listen with such utter intensity to differentiate one character from another. Barbara Rosenblatt is so good at this that listening to her is a relaxing experience. One immediately knows Amelia and her wonderful British womanness from her husband Emerson or her son Ramses.
Get Barbara Rosenblatt as the narrator!

41 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kate
  • Apex, NC, USA
  • 01-23-05

Have always loved Amelia (but not ms o'malley)

I, too, am familiar with both readers of these stories. And I've ordered other books she narrated before I realised that I really don't enjoy her reading voice.

As for Amelia, it may seem that she bashes men, but she is highly intelligent in an era when women were expected to be stupid. When mem treat her like an idiot, she tends to reciprocate in kind. When she is in the company of men who don't patronize her, she meets them as equals... which doesn't mean she doesn't argue with them, just that the arguements aren't one sided.

I greatly enjoyed the Egyptology involved in the books, the more so since Peters has a degree (can't remember if it's masters or doctoral) in Egyptology. She is also Barbara Michaels, many of who's books are also available here, if you prefer a contemporary setting.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • connie
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 01-29-09

light fiction that doesn't insult reader

Thank you, Audible, for the "addictive series" starter sale! I had given up on finding a series of light historical fiction to leaven my listening diet after trying many, including Stephanie Barron, Lauren Willing, Ken Follett, Amanda Quick, etc. In those cases, one was enough, and in other cases, books were either painfully written with boring charaters; others approached softcore porn. $4.95 tempted me to try again--to me, Amelia Peabody is a winner.

Although the plot was predictable, "Croc on the Sandbank" had good dialogue with, as advertised, an "indomitable" heroine. Both features are strong enough to make a listener smile and escape 21st century for a few hours respite. It's not primarily a "whodunnit" as much as Mary Poppins for adults. One drawback: although the narrator seemed very capable and the voice in this novel would be appropriate for Dorothy Parker or a 1920s American flapper, O'Malley's un-British accent was out of place for Amelia Peabody. I will download other titles in the series, but with Rosenblat as narrator. (And I would download other books narrated by Susan O'Malley, as long as she is not speaking for a late Victorian force of nature.)

So - if you are buying with a credit, I'd strongly recommend the more expensive Rosenblat version of "Croc" - otherwise the regular price of the O'Malley version makes that one more attractive, as long as you aren't thrown by the absence of a Brit accent for Amelia and friends.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

It just doesn't get any better than this.

This is the first novel to feature Ms. Peters's Egyptological heroine, Amelia Peabody. It is truly delightful. Although it introduces a recurring character, this book is a treat on it's own--you don't have to commit to the whole series in order to enjoy it (although after you enjoy it, you will be unable to resist the next one.... and the next....). If you like mystery, romance, adventure, and/or humor, you cannot do better than this book. Nor can I imagine a better narrator for the book than Susan O'Malley. The pacing is excellent, the reading is clear, the characters' voices are distinct without being annoying, and the humor of the writing comes through perfectly.

Elizabeth Peters is a fine writer whose books are smart, funny, well-structured, and beautifully written. Her best books (like those of Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart, Dorothy Sayers, and a handful of others) follow in the steps of P.G. Wodehouse and Jane Austen, proving that reading can be light and enjoyable without sacrificing quality or even delicate social satire. And this book is indisputably one of her best.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Shelley
  • 11-11-04

I have to agree with the Barbara Rosenblat fans!

This is one of my favorite books and I have read it over a dozen times. It's a classic - adventure, mystery, humor and wonderful dialogue. Having heard both of the book's narrators (Barbara Rosenblat and Susan O'Malley) and I have to agree - search AUDIBLE until you find Barbara Rosenblat's reading - that goes for all of the books in this series.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anne
  • Evans, GA, USA
  • 02-08-04

Delightful to listen to!

I love Elizabeth Peters! I remember when this book first came out. It begged to be read aloud! This is great romantic suspense and also has lots of interesting facts about Ancient Egypt!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Todd
  • Losantivlle, IN, USA
  • 07-01-04


This is one of the best books I have listened to in years. It was my first Elizabeth Peters book. I started with this one to see if I would enjoy the Amelia Peabody series. Obviously, I can hardly wait to hear more. I was a bit hesitant to pick this one after reading the negative reviews of the narrator, but I personally thought she was outstanding. The characters in this book are superb and the ending extremely satisfying. Thank you Ms. Peters!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I agree with Morgan from Philadelphia

Would you try another book from Elizabeth Peters and/or Susan O'Malley?

I had assumed that the reader would be Barbara Rosenblat, who is the perfect voice for this series. Only after purchasing did I find out that it had a different narrator. While Susan O'Malley is fine, she just can't much Barbara, and I'm very disappointed and will have to track down the version by Barbara Rosenblat elsewhere.

What other book might you compare Crocodile on the Sandbank to and why?

These are fun, fun books. I can't think of other series like these -- Egyptology, Victorian Romance, mystery.

Would you be willing to try another one of Susan O'Malley’s performances?


Any additional comments?

I'm disappointed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anthony
  • waterboro, ME, USA
  • 06-19-09

Okay book-bad narrator

I am getting to enjoy this series more with each successive book. I recommend to anyone disappointed in the flimsy plot of this one to continue on to the next book in the series. This one was more like a primer-introducing characters and eqypt. The next book is much more solid in its storytelling. Give 'em another chance!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic, funny cozy/mystery.

Elizabeth Peters is an incredible writer. Her humor and dry wit, along with her finesse with the english language, combine to make a wonderful character, Amelia Peabody, and her adventures with her fellow characters are fun and a great adventure. I read the entire series, years ago, and decided to go back and enjoy them again. I got this one first, of course, and was very impressed with the narrator, not to mention the story. Amelia Peabody is an independent, confident, strong-willed woman, with a heart and soul of delicate flower. She is fantastic, and I won't reveal any of the plot, but you'll love the ending...!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful