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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.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
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!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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 of 9 people found this review helpful
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.