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The Falcon at the Portal (Amelia Peabody #11)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  6,684 ratings  ·  200 reviews
The Land of the Pharaohs harbors more secrets than any tomb can hide.

In Egypt for the 1911 archaeological season, Amelia Peabody and her family are not anticipating trouble, but it finds them nonetheless. Their young friend David is accused of selling ancient artifacts, and it's up to the Emersons to expose the real culprit. But the body of an American discovered at the bo
ebook, 576 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by William Morrow (first published June 1999)
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I love the Amelia Peabody books, some more than others, but this one I am exceptionally conflicted about, because this is the one where Nefret screws the pooch, basically, and all the tolerance and even liking for her that I'd finally built up was destroyed, and I've never really gotten any of it back. This book - or, rather, Nefret's inexplicable and incredibly asinine actions in this book (for which I'd desperately hoped there would be some mitigating explanation in He Shall Thunder in the Sk ...more
Celia Powell
Oh, Nefret. Deary me.

I enjoyed this book very much - much more so than the last few I've read in the series. The emotional drama was really stepped up a notch, and the tormented will they/won't they thing with Ramses and Nefret is killing me (and also creeping me out every time another character refers to them as siblings - ewww.)

Anyway, there's the introduction of a brand new character causing turmoil (awwww - er, not to the turmoil, but the new character), a terribly ruthless enemy (or perhaps
Peabody and Emerson at Zawyat el'Aryan in 1911, excavating at an exhausted, rather dull early pyramid. This season their work is interrupted not only by the requisite murder mystery, but also by the need to prove that David is not illegally selling ancient artifacts.

These novels keep getting better and better. They've become more substantial and more emotional, while still retaining the improbable, madcap adventures of the early books. The addition of the younger generation has kept the books fr
#11 in the Amelia Peabody series. Although the following book in the series (He Shall Thunder in the Sky) is arguably Peters's masterpiece, I think this volume in the Amelia Peabody diaries is magnificent. Peters expertly brings the reality of WWI into the Emerson clan, forcing all sorts of revelations and heartache. I would not recommend reading Falcon without He Shall Thunder in the Sky on hand, however. Peters most definitively leaves the reader dangling from a wrenching cliff at the end that ...more
This installment of the Amelia Peabody novels literally knocked me off my feet. A few of the previous novels seemed to be lacking something, but this novel had everything that made me fall in love with the series, adventure, death, love, loss, and humor. Every action that is taken in the novel is connected to the events later in the novel and it was just wonderfully done. I have to admit that I did not see the ending coming and this is the first book in the series that didn't end happily. I am r ...more
I don't think I've actively rooted for a character to die so much since Dora Copperfield but it made for a delightful read! And he did die so that was a bonus. And seriously, can the Peabody-Emersons adopt me already?! A cooler family there never has been and they just keep getting better with each book.
Okay- I really like this Amelia Peabody- there is a fantastic scene in the middle of the book- but then- Nefret- What were you thinking?!? Your motivations make no sense! None at all! Why? Luckily- there is He Shall Thunder- my favorite of the series- just after.
I really enjoyed this book. We get to see all of the family together - except for David and Lia who are on their honeymoon in the first part of the story, and David is important to the plot. Cyrus and Katherine show up, too, helping the Emerson's as much as they can. The mystery(s) are ones I can care about, though shots flew a lot without doing much real damage and I hardly noticed.

(view spoiler)
My review is really a high three and a half, and mostly because I'm annoyed at the sequence. Trying to find the correct order in which to read these books is driving me right up the wall.

Also, SPOILER ALERT if you're trying to read these in order. Stop reading now if you don't want to know.

but to get back to this one. If I'm reading these in the right order (it turns out I'm not), this is the first season for the Emersons without Abdullah. On the other hand, David and Lia have gotten married. So
The reason I enjoyed this book so much was entirely because of the characters. Although these people could never possibly exist in reality, it is inspiring to read about such passionate, tireless humans who are superior in every way. Peters has created demi-gods, with flawless human forms, absolutely in control of their thoughts, words, actions, even facial expressions, loved by everyone, the epitome of honorable behavior, and nearly omniscient. It honestly makes me want to be perfect too, despi ...more
As usual, Amelia and her family get in a sticky situation, but they figure out how to get out of it together. As with her recent books, there is less archaeology happening in this book and more drama and trying to catch the killer. I hope that Ms. Peters gets back to the archaeology in future books because I miss seeing more of that.

Part way through this book, there is a wonderful scene between Nefret and Ramses - something that I've been waiting to witness for several books now. I was surprise
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I just finished listening to this book today, and I am going immediately into the next book in the series because I am not satisfied with the ending. (Usually I try to pace myself with the Amelia Peabody books because I don't want to run out. I am feeling a bit more leeway because Elizabeth Peters has finally written a new one.) I thought this book wasn't quite as good as some of the others because it sometimes felt disjoined and abrupt. If I were to read it again, I'm sure it would all come tog ...more
Milena Benini
I used to be a great fan of the Amelia Peabody series but, around book ten, the novels started all blurring into one another, so I gave the series a rest. Having recently run into the series again, I decided to start again, and The Falcon at the Portal made me glad I did.

Unlike A River in the Sky (which was published last year, but comes before this one in the internal chronology), The Falcon at the Portal has all the ingredients that made me like the series in the first place: it's funny, well-
I had been steadily working my way through this series and it fell off my radar for a bit so it's been a year since the last one. Sadly, it was Elizabeth Peters recent death that brought it back to my attention but it was wonderful to return to her world and it felt like catching up with old friends.

It amazes me how fresh this series stays--I'm on book #10 and they just keep getting better. This one has a lot of drama and emotion. There's a new character and an unexpected villain. I was pleasant
It's so nice to find easy, quick reads that still have brains. Unlike most chick lit (read: Twilight series, romance novels in general, Sarah Dessen etc) this book had an excellent and unique style, an engaging plot and strong characters. Amelia is witty, a strong woman and her voice (while clearly biased) is hers alone. The switch between Ramses anecdotes and Nefret's letters is flawlessly done and reads like excellent continuations of plot instead of interruptions in the main narrative. My onl ...more
Ruth Chatlien
My favorite one yet, although the personal tragedies in this book have left me grieving for the characters.
The twists and turns of this book are typical of Amelia Peabody. Each book reveals a mystery and at the same time gives more and more details into the life of this extraordinary woman and her exploits. This story involves her entire family. There are several unexpected events that add intrigue and interest. The humor is subtle and the mystery will have you guessing until the very end. There must be a sequel somewhere out there!
I have never been able to understand how they figure out who the murderer, even though I've read it at least three times, but that's okay because the joy for me is being with the Peabody-Emerson clan. I particularly enjoy the use of different points of view, and being able to see Amelia through her loved ones eyes.
Dayna Smith
The eleventh book in the Amelia Peabody series. This installment is set in 1911 and David and Lia are married and on their honeymoon. As the rest of the Emerson clan packs to head for Egypt, they discover that forgeries are beginning to turn up in Europe and they are supposedly being sold by David. The family must rally to protect David's good name. As they search for the forger, mysterious accidents begin to occur at their new dig, someone is shooting at Amelia, and an American girl who has bee ...more
Rhonda Pickens
Sep 13, 2015 Rhonda Pickens rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone & everyone
I'm in the process of re-reading the entire Amelia Peabody series again, from start to finish in one go. They are still some of my favorite books. They must be read with tongue firmly inserted in cheek. It also helps to have an interest in and some knowledge of Colonial-era exploration narratives, fiction like that of H. Rider Haggard, Orientalist studies, the competitive acquisitive zeal of western museums at the turn of the century, and the "gentlemen archaeologists" of the 19th century who br ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Falcon At The Portal, by Elizabeth Peters
and a

Synopsis: Amelia and family have arrived in Egypt for the 1911 archeological season---after the marriage of young Ramses' best friend David to Amelia's niece Lia. But trouble finds them immediately when David is accused of selling ancient artifacts. While Amelia and company try to clear his name and expose the real culprit, the body of an American is found at the bottom of their excavation shaft. As accusations of drug dealing and moral mis
Alison Stuart
This book is not my favourite EP which is why I have recently re-read it. We seem to lose Amelia and Emerson with the concentration moving to Ramses and Nefret, which is, I suppose to be expected except that Nefret drove me to distraction in this book.
I suspect the author of being a teensy bit in love with her own creation, Ramses and who wouldn't be. He is a deserving romantic hero. Stunningly good looking, talented and courageous but with a vulenerable heart.
Nefret behaves in the worst TSTL m
There were a few moments while listening to this book when I literally gasped out loud. The first one was accompanied by a "Yes! Finally! Wheeee!" and copious amounts of irrational grinning. If you've read this book, or even any of the previous 2 in the series, you'll know why. Unfortunately, that first gasp was soon followed by a second one. This second gasp was horrified, exasperated, and angry, and might have involved some involuntary swearing. That stupid, thoughtless, silly girl. I could st ...more
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Sadly I've actually read the last two books in this series before having read all of these so I have an idea of how things turn out. These books are good enough to read through to find out how though. This one ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger and I'm very glad I got the next volume from the library along with it so I can start it (almost) right away. Just to be on the safe side I'll be putting in a request for the ones after so that when I'm done with that one I don't have to wait too long.

If you
Man oh man. This is the quickest I have ever read an Amelia Peabody. Usually it takes a month. The I'll stop and pick up some YAs and in a couple of months I'll pick up the next Amelia Peabody. Not this time. This one has left me rushing for He Shall Thunder in the Sky. This series just keeps getting better and better.

It starts out like it's predecessors: London and then continues forward to Egypt. While the beginning plot is slow, it nonetheless picks up pace and flies by for the rest of the bo
The first problem with the book is that there are too many heroes, all of them members of the Peabody family. The second problem is that the plot hinges on the sale of ancient artifacts from Egyptian burial sites, some of which are forgeries. It is only in Chapter eight (of fourteen) that a murder is committed. Until then, there are a seemingly unending series of red-herring investigations of the artifact sales. The only reason for the Peabody’s investigations is the possible involvement of one ...more
Good speeding up of the action in the book, with something of an anticlimax at one point - but I hope that only means that the author wants the suspense to last a bit longer... a nice cunning and double-faced vilain (can't stand the stupid and silly vilains personnaly), a new addition to the family. Weak points: Nefret and Ramses behave a little out of character in this book. Although the author has tried to convince us before that Nefret is a very impulsive thing with mood swings (sometimes she ...more
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Elizabeth Peters is a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also writes as Barbara Michaels as well as her own name. Born and brought up in Illinois, she earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. Mertz was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America at the Edgar Awards in 1998. She lived in a historic farmhouse in Fred ...more
More about Elizabeth Peters...

Other Books in the Series

Amelia Peabody (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody #1)
  • The Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody, #2)
  • The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody, #3)
  • Lion in the Valley  (Amelia Peabody, #4)
  • The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5)
  • The Last Camel Died at Noon (Amelia Peabody, #6)
  • The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog (Amelia Peabody, #7)
  • The Hippopotamus Pool (Amelia Peabody, #8)
  • Seeing a Large Cat (Amelia Peabody, #9)
  • The Ape Who Guards the Balance (Amelia Peabody, #10)
Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody #1) The Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody, #2) The Last Camel Died at Noon (Amelia Peabody, #6) Lion in the Valley  (Amelia Peabody, #4) The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody, #3)

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“Nefret had always had an uncanny ability to read his thoughts. 'Did she cry?' she asked sweetly. 'And then you kissed her? You shouldn't have done that. I'm sure you meant well, but kissing someone out of pity is always a mistake.” 21 likes
“You know how your eyes can deceive you at times--how a group of shapes and shadows can take on a certain form and then shift into another? It wasn't really like that; there was no physical change in him, he was exactly the same as he'd always been. I knew every line of his long body and every curl on his disheveled black head. I'd just never seen him before. you know what I'm trying to say, don't you? The change is in the heart.” 16 likes
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