Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crocodile on the Sandbanks

Book: Crocodile on the Sandbanks
Author: Elizabeth Peters
Like/Don't Like: Liked a lot. I'm dusting off my pith helmet for an expedition.

Lately I've been desperate for fiction. I seem to have read a lot of non-fiction this year, which is highly unusual for me, and while all of them were great, I have just been needing a made up story. One that doesn't require a lot of me. I didn't want any thinking involved. No heavy emotions or moral lessons. I needed a lot of plot and action. Like the A-Team. I was looking for the A-Team of fiction.

When I get in this mood I feel sort of loose at the ends. I find myself sighing a lot and picking up unread books on my shelves and reading the first chapters and tossing them aside because they're just not what I want. I ended up reading a few things that were fine but not what I was looking for.

Well, this book was exactly what I was looking for. It's the first in a long series of popular mystery novels that Hannah recommended to me on a few occasions. I trust Hannah's judgement in books because early on in our friendship we discovered that we both loved The Blue Castle. Now, I don't know anyone who doesn't love that book but I have always recommended it to them first. Hannah was the first person I met who had actually read it without me shoving it her face. This was a good omen (Incidentally, Hannah was also the only other person I knew who had independently read Good Omens and loved it.)

Back to the book - It's about an independently wealth British spinster (at 32 - gasp!) named Amelia Peabody, who travels to Egypt and stumbles upon a mystery at an archaeological dig. She's the type of woman who knows her mind and can convince everyone that she's always right. I think Hannah described her as Mary Poppins meets Indiana Jones, which is exactly right. The book is full of adventure in a strange land and it got me out of my funk.

And, bonus, there are enough books in this series to keep me from wandering around my apartment sighing at books whenever I get in that mood again.


Stephanie said...

I love the Peabody series. I read many of them while I was recovering and they are perfect "recovery" books. I love, love, love Amelia and how pithy she is.

Valerie said...

I do love an adventure. And one in Egypt? Forget about it. I'm sold.

Emily said...

I love all of Elizabeth Peters books. She has another series (only 4 or 5 in it) with the character Vicky Bliss that are my fave.