In London, someone impersonating David is peddling high-quality fake antiquities, and soon the Emerson-Peabody home is burglarized. Once in Egypt, trouble only escalates as Amelia becomes a shooter's target, her son Ramses is implicated in a paternity scandal, and an American girl is found dead in the shaft of the pyramid they are excavating. When the family's impetuous ward Nefret disappears and comes back married, it takes all of their upper-crust British restraint to keep familial relations civil.
Grand Master Elizabeth Peters once again delivers the delectable goods we have come to expect: beloved characters, an intriguing mystery, and alluring settings among the ruins. Romance and danger heighten the excitement, as does Barbara Rosenblat's narration, which is nothing short of perfection.
©1999 Elizabeth Peters; (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC
"Between Amelia Peabody and Indiana Jones, it's Amelia, in wit and daring, by a landslide." (The New York Times Book Review)
I made the mistake of first listening to the abridged version of FALCON. Some books can be abridged well, but not this one. Every line is full of characterization, or humor, or poignancy -- I cannot recommend the unabridged version, narrated by Barbara Rosenblatt enough.
FALCON is part of Peters' series of Amelia Peabody mysteries, and contains everything readers come to expect--another dead body, another shirt ruined, delightful narration, and the incredible character of Amelia herself, who manages to both exemplify and transcend Victorian femininity. We have all the wonderful secondary characters (Cyrus & wife, David, Lia, Selim, Kadija, etc.) and an actual pyramid (though a sad pyramid it is) for Amelia and her gruff husband Emerson to explore--in an archeologically sound manner, of course. We even get a glimpse of their English home at the start (along with an important wedding) and a forgery plot implicating someone near and dear to their hearts.
But what makes FALCON stand out more than (arguably) any other book in the series is the depth of the characterization. Yes, these are the same Amelia, Emerson, Ramses, and Nefret. But the clarity with which each is drawn, from their body language to their vocal inflections (thanks both to Peters and to narrator Rosenblatt) is absolute magic. The Emerson family has more personal stake in this mystery than ever before--because of the implications of the forgery, and because the murder victim is someone we get to know and, if not like, with whom we sympathize. Add to that a crescendo to the building romantic subplot between Amelia's genius son Ramses (it's a nickname) and her adopted daughter Nefret (it's Egyptian), and the fact that her horrible nephew Percy gets in some wonderfully low blows against the family's happiness, and FALCON ends up working not only as a mystery but as the best of family dramas.
Give it a shot.
what could be more delightful for a summer listen? Great plot with lots of twists and turns, leaps ahead in the Emmerson family story itself, Amelia's hilarious view of it all and read by the incomparable B. Rosenblat. Terrific!
This is one of my favorite of the series -- as heartbreaking as it is at times! Ramses truly becomes the stoic hero here -- gallant to a fault. I actually listened to this years ago on tape, and have since had to go back and listen to the whole series! This book hooked me!
I used to love this series, It made me laugh out loud, while enjoying the fairly good mysteries. But, the affectionately satirical tone is gone, the mysteries have become perfunctory, the plotting tedious, and the soap opera - well - a soap opera. Half way through this one, I realized almost nothing had happened and almost quit. The pace picked up a bit, but the mood was a bouncing ball. Very annoying. None is helped by Barbara Rosenblatt's plodding reading. I'm not sure she could read any slower.
The usual charming, suspenseful and well written plot are delightful. A bit more predictable than some of her other stories, but no less enjoyable.
Talk about an emotional rollercoaster. I give this one the highest rating of any in the series, much as it maddened me the first time I listened to it. I would not recommend starting this one without having the next (He Shall Thunder in the Sky) on hand; these two collectively mark the high point of the series for me. Just when you think you're getting a payoff several books in the making, Elizabeth Peters turns the tables again.
No interest in dysfunctional families or romances set in 21st-c. Historical mysteries & learning something new--that's what appeals now.
Yes. The characters are strong, smart, and even sexy. The world they inhabit is interesting too.
I am really enjoying the Ramses/Nefret story arch.
Terrific read in every way. Very dramatic, nuanced, and in touch with the essence of the characters.
I always laugh.
I finish one and start another. The exploits of the Emerson family, and their friends and foes, are truly delightful, intriguing and enlightening.
Say something about yourself!
Thank me later. Barbara Rosenblat is superb as usual. If you like a dash of tortured romance in your mystery, this is the book for you.
Recent Cape Codder long addicted to books.
This series is a favorite. The history is reliable, the style is authentic, and the plots are engaging. The the characters are likable and amusing; their development and their changing relationships pique interest in the ongoing saga.
A great plus in the audio versions is the amazing Barbara Rosenblat, who gives each character a distinctive and convincing voice.
I discovered this series a few months ago, and it is simply wonderful! This book however, took the story to a whole new level. WE see the characters struggle with some incredibly deep and hard life circumstances. I even cried through some of it, but there is always, as Emerson says, comic relief with the Emersons. I recommend this to any who like a mystery, a likable but not perfect main character, and who lov adventure.
Read this series ages ago and had forgotten about it. Delighted
to return to it in audio format. The books are well written, witty
and interesting, sheer escapism, and beautifully read.
"Best one yet"
Barbara Rosenblat should receive every award under the sun for her fabulous reading performances - The Falcon at the Portal is no exception. I also really enjoyed the story line, so much so that I had to google the next book as I almost couldn't cope with the suspense. Thoroughly enjoyable.
"A damed good read."
If you want to loose yourself for whatever reason, then this is not only the book for you. But the series for you. . The historical knowledge is superb.
Egypt come alive you can almost smell & taste the bazaars.
I have read all the books in the series. I am on my second reading of said series It is still as wonderful as the first time. You can't get fed up with the characters there just so real. I feel as if they are old friends to be visited time and time again.
"The Falcon at the Portal"
The storylines are always good and the characters grow and age with each book. I thoroughly enjoy all the Amelia Peabody series and Barbara Rosenblat brings all the characters to life.
Although i found this story very interesting, there is something about the narrator that makes this hard to listen to! I love anything related to a eqyptian murder mystery, not 100% sure about this one.
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