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The Falcon at the Portal

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The Falcon at the Portal

Amelia Peabody Series, Book 11
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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...
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...
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Description-
  • 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 bottom of their excavation shaft and a child of mysterious antecedents are sparking twin crises that threaten to tear the family apart. Amelia brings her estimable powers of deduction to bear, but she might not survive long enough to unravel more than one perplexing puzzle--because suddenly someone is shooting bullets in her direction . . . and coming too close for comfort!

 
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  • Chapter One

    They attacked at dawn. I woke instantly at the sound of pounding hooves, for I knew what it meant. The Beduin were on the warpath!

    "What is it you find so amusing, my dear?" I inquired. Nefret looked up from her book. "I am sorry if I disturbed you, Aunt Amelia, but I couldn't help laughing. Did you know that Beduins go on the warpath? Wearing feathered headdresses and waving tomahawks, no doubt!"

    The library of our house in Kent is supposed to be my husband's private sanctum, but it is such a pleasant room that all the members of the family tend to congregate there, especially in fine weather. Except for my son Ramses we were all there that lovely autumn morning; a cool breeze wafted through the wide windows that opened onto the rose garden, and sunlight brightened Nefret's gold-red hair.

    Reclining comfortably upon the sofa, Nefret wore a sensible divided skirt and shirtwaist instead of a proper frock. She had become as dear as a daughter to us since we rescued her from the remote oasis in the Nubian Desert where she had spent the first thirteen years of her life, but despite my best efforts I had been unable to eradicate all the peculiar notions she had acquired there. Emerson claims some of those peculiar notions have been acquired from me. I do not consider a dislike of corsets and a firm belief in the equality of the female sex peculiar, but I must admit that Nefret's habit of sleeping with a long knife under her pillow might strike some as unusual. I could not complain of this, however, since our family does seem to have a habit of encountering dangerous individuals.

    Hunched over his desk, Emerson let out a grunt, like a sleepy bear that has been prodded by a stick. My distinguished husband, the greatest Egyptologist of all time, rather resembled a bear at that moment: his broad shoulders were covered by a hideous ill-fitting coat of prickly brown tweed (purchased one day when I was not with him) and his abundant sable locks were wildly disheveled. He was working on his report of our previous season's excavations and was in a surly mood for, as usual, he ad put the job off until the last possible moment and was behind schedule.

    "Is that Percy's cursed book you are reading?" he demanded. "I thought I threw the damned thing onto the fire."

    "You did." Nefret gave him a cheeky smile. Emerson is known as the Father of Curses by his admiring Egyptian workmen; his fiery temper and Herculean frame have made him feared throughout the length and breadth of Egypt. (Mostly the former, since as all educated persons know, Egypt is a very long narrow country.) However, none of those who know him well are at all intimidated by his growls, and Nefret had always been able to wind him round her slim fingers. I ordered another copy from London," she said calmly. "Aren't you at all curious about what he writes? He is your own nephew, after all."

    "He is not my nephew." Emerson leaned back in his chair. "His father is your Aunt Amelia's brother, not mine. James is a hypocritical, sanctimonious, mendacious moron and his son is even worse."

    Nefret chuckled. "What a string of epithets! I don't see how Percy could be worse."

    "Ha!" said Emerson.

    Emerson's eyes are the brilliant blue of a sapphire, and they become even more brilliant when he is in a temper. Any mention of a member of my family generally does put him in a temper, but on this occasion I could tell he was not averse to being interrupted. He stroked his prominent chin, which is adorned with a particularly handsome dent, or dimple, and looked at me.

About the Author-
  • Elizabeth Peters earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. She was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1998. In 2003, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Malice Domestic Convention. She lives in a historic farmhouse in western Maryland.

Reviews-
  • Cleveland Plain Dealer "Peters draws all the elements together with trademark wit and a new note of poignancy...raise a toast to the incomparable Amelia Peabody."
  • The New York Times Book Review "...between Amelia Peabody and Indiana Jones, it's Amelia--in wit and daring--by a landslide."
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    HarperCollins
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The Falcon at the Portal
The Falcon at the Portal
Amelia Peabody Series, Book 11
Elizabeth Peters
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Amelia Peabody Series, Book 11
Elizabeth Peters
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