• The Falcon at the Portal

  • The Amelia Peabody Series, Book 11
  • By: Elizabeth Peters
  • Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat
  • Length: 15 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,678 ratings)

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The Falcon at the Portal

By: Elizabeth Peters
Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat
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Publisher's Summary

Join spunky Amelia and her charming family for a thrilling new archaeological adventure in Edwardian Egypt. Even on the joyous occasion of the marriage of their Egyptian "son" David to their beloved niece Lia, trouble finds Amelia and hunky hubby Emerson. And this time it is personal.

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.

Don't miss the rest of the Amelia Peabody series. You can also check out more of our Most Addictive Series.
©1999 Elizabeth Peters (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Between Amelia Peabody and Indiana Jones, it's Amelia, in wit and daring, by a landslide." (The New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about The Falcon at the Portal

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Perhaps Best of Series

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.

22 people found this helpful

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Love Amelia!

I listen to these books all the time. They never grow old, and even after all these years I'm still finding new layers. Elizabeth Peters ( Barbara Mertz) was an underrated writer.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fabulous!

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!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

one of Peters' best yet!

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!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Dependably Enjoyable

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.

4 people found this helpful

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Her books grow better and better!

The plot of this book is intricate and twined in very surprising twists. Don’t miss it!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love all the Amelia Peabody Emerson books

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. The characters are strong, smart, and even sexy. The world they inhabit is interesting too.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Falcon at the Portal?

I am really enjoying the Ramses/Nefret story arch.

What about Barbara Rosenblat’s performance did you like?

Terrific read in every way. Very dramatic, nuanced, and in touch with the essence of the characters.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I always laugh.

Any additional comments?

I finish one and start another. The exploits of the Emerson family, and their friends and foes, are truly delightful, intriguing and enlightening.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Worst in the series to date.

Any additional comments?

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.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The Most Infuriating And Fascinating Installment

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.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Read this series

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ann
  • 12-03-10

fab

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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Hand_Knitted
  • 10-07-16

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Di
  • 09-24-19

Pivotal in the series. 5 ⭐️

I have read all of the Amelia Peabody books and I am enjoying them all again from Audible. This is a pivotal book in the series, at least I think so. I just love listening to Barbara Rosenblat who is a remarkable narrator. She brings Egypt to life but then she had a brilliant book to narrate.
I feel I will have to try a Whiskey and soda... Good Gad! If you’ve listened to one of the books that will make you smile.
I am about to start the next book which I have listed to before...I think it is one of the very best. Quite an interlude from the more up to date books I have been listening to. I keep thinking I’ll have a rest at the end of each book but the Emerson’s and their antics draw me back each time. Very enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AKEMAP
  • 06-19-15

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Pen
  • 08-05-13

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicola
  • 03-21-21

Brilliant

This series is a great mix of soap opera, crime novel, thriller and Egyptology hand book - all wrapped in a dry humour. Fantastic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • UrbanApe
  • 08-19-19

Perfect heroine

The Peabody-Emerson saga is superb in every aspect! The audiobook with Barbara Rosenblat’s as a narrator is 5*, she is amazing!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Yvonne
  • 10-11-11

Hard work

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.