Thursday, 2 December 2021



Synopsis/blurb ...

In Dorothy Gilman's best-selling mystery series, loveable grandmother Emily Pollifax has captured the hearts of millions with her secret CIA missions. Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist whisks the gray-haired agent into a perilous web of intrigue that spreads across the drifting sands of the volatile Middle East. An old CIA friend, Farrell, must collect an inflammatory manuscript smuggled out of Iraq into Jordan. Farrell has a simple request for Emily-provide cover during his trip to Jordan by posing as his fun-loving elderly cousin. But before the plane even lands, danger begins stalking the sprightly Mrs. Pollifax. Outwitting her wily opponents with her keen eye for the truth and her impeccable karate, Mrs. Pollifax is the lively senior citizen everyone dreams of someday becoming. You'll feel you know the aging spy and her colorful opponents personally with Barbara Rosenblat's outstanding narration.

The 13th of 14 Mrs Pollifax books from Dorothy Gilman was my 3rd encounter with the elderly spy. I enjoyed the book overall without being amazed at any point. I think there are a certain number of books that I read and enjoy and am entertained by, but which are pretty forgettable. A month on, I had to read the summary to remind myself of what it was about. I suppose it's a bit like fast-food. Something that satisfies a particular need at a certain point, but isn't in any way memorable.

I enjoyed the story as it was. Pollifax and Farrell in Jordan trying to retrieve a manuscript. Nothing is straightforward. It never is, otherwise it would be slim pickings of a book. Frustrations and diversions and mishaps, before an outcome and both Farrell and Pollifax live to fight another day.

Gilman has an easy style of writing. The main character is sympathetic and engaging. The story was logical. There's some action, drama, and humour, without any real tension or edge of the seat thrills. It's engaging enough just seeing how it all plays out.

Overall 3.5 from 5

Mrs Pollifax Pursued and The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax have been enjoyed before. 

Read - (listened to) November, 2021
Published - 1997
Page count - 226 (6 hrs 8 mins)
Source - Audiobooks
Format - Audible


  1. I know just what you mean about books that are enjoyable but not particularly memorable, Col. I'm glad you've enjoyed the Mrs. Pollifax books you've read, even if they aren't seared into your memory. I love it that Emily Pollifax is - ahem - a woman of a certain age. I like Gilman's writing style, too. All in all, it's a solid series, in my opinion.

    1. I have enjoyed reading about a slightly more unusual protagonist, Margot. Well, different from my sort of norm anyway.

  2. I think the early books were the best but I also love her YA fiction. I was once at the same party as Ms. Gilman but I didn't realize it until after she left - I was so disappointed as I was sure she would be a kindred spirit. I should have written to her before she died!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'm a recent convert to her work, but will probably stick to her Pollifax books. Nice story and a shame you didn't connect.

  3. There are plenty of books I have read and enjoyed that I cannot remember that well a few weeks later (or days). I would like to reread some from this series. I think I read the first 5 books.