Nicole's Reviews > The Falcon at the Portal

The Falcon at the Portal by Elizabeth Peters
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's review
Jan 02, 2016

it was ok
bookshelves: historical-mystery, loaned-borrowed
Read from November 06 to December 31, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Alternate title: Amelia Jumps the Shark.
The first book in the series was 262 pages. I like a good, long book, but this one just feels bloated. After letting other things take priority, I forced myself to blast through the second half of this book largely because I wanted to make my books-read total for the year an even 50. A lot of this book feels like filler. There are lots of passages in which characters dither or lurk, or talk about dithering and lurking, or go over what they know.
The plot about David getting blamed for selling fake artifacts rumoured to come from his grandfather's collection could've been more interesting if it had been tighter.
I guessed the identity of the villain quite soon.
Of course, there are numerous cute and funny bits of dialogue and silly little mishaps of the type you can always expect from the Emersons. I still like the main characters.
But the plot turned into a bad soap opera. After creepy git cousin Percy tries to assault Nefret, Ramses and Nefret finally reveal their mutual interest and impetuously make love. But then a prostitute turns up with a child said to be Ramses', a child who's the spitting image of Amelia. The child is really Percy's. But Nefret suffers a massive loss of common sense and runs off to marry another man before anyone can tell her who the child's father really is. Nefret throwing herself into the arms of another man instead of beating the tar out of Ramses and demanding the truth? Come bloody on! And the man she marries is really (wait for it) the villain! If that's not enough, Nefret suffers a miscarriage after the villain reveals his true colours. He shoots two people, including Emerson (don't worry--of course the old man is fine), then dies in a fall a la Hans Gruber (Die Hard). (Thoughtful of him, really, so she doesn't suffer the further scandal of having to get a divorce.) The baby could've been Ramses' or her evil husband's! Argh! Seriously??
I am going to read the next book in the series (which, by the way, is even longer than this one!) only because:
1) Someone has already loaned it to me,
2) I've already read Guardian of the Horizon, which takes place before the events of this book but was written after it and was actually quite good,
3) it's set during World War I,
4) and I'm enough of a masochist--or a romantic--that I have to find out how Ramses and Nefret get themselves sorted out and get together. I hope that happens in the next book, because I'm not sure how much more I can take.
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12/23 page 230
02/18 marked as: read
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