The Crocodile on the Sandbank

Elizabeth Peters, 1988

This is the first book in a top-rate mystery series, set in Egypt at the turn of the last century. The series features the fearless Amelia Peabody, who solves murders in Egypt with (or in spite of) the help of her  very competitive archaeologist husband Emerson and their precocious son Ramses.  As murders take place in pyramids and at archaeological digs, the family, ostensibly working together to solve each murder, hilariously sabotage each others’ efforts.  The brilliant and eccentric trio love each other fiercely in spite of the shenanigans, and this series is not to be missed.  It’s smart, funny, and very satisfying.

Author Elizabeth Peters is one of several pen names for Barbara Mertz, who earned a PhD in Egyptology.  Actual historical characters populate this series, and you will find yourself wanting to do some research on your own.

As Miss Peters / Dr. Mertz died in 2013, this series is complete at twenty books. I have not read the last one, which was finished posthumously by friend and fellow mystery author Joan Hess.