Ok, ok... I bought this book by chance in a bookstore in London that had the infamous '3 for 2' deal that always gets me into trouble! Desperate not to let a good deal go, I grabbed the first book I found on the shelf, and it was 'The Falcon at the Portal' by Elizabeth Peters. The book stayed on my shelf for nearly a year, every time I picked it up I thought it might be a bit 'silly' seing how it dealt with Egypt and archeologists... Thinking it might be a disappointing literary exercise, I let the months drag on. But finally, a few weeks ago, I started reading.
Let me dissipate any doubts, the book is exquisitely written. I like verbose books, I like to swim in clear and engaging language and Elizabeth Peters writes in a manner that seems inherited from 19th century English literature! She has a good prose, I never got bored, not even when she described archeological terms and endavours in detail. The characters are so appealing, each with his/her own very loud particulars and the story is beautifully weaved around romance, mystery and murder! I believe that being able to engage the reader on all these levels, language, characters and plot, is a very rare talent indeed in these times! One is usually sacrificed for the other, but Peters seems to be able to perfect them all!
I couldn't put the book down, and that is a 5 star to me. I am definitely purchasing the whole series... I feel like someone who just won the jackpot!!!