It's a gloomy January day, and Mrs. Pollifax is feeling depressed. More than anything, she's wishing for an assignment from Carstairs. And just then, Bishop calls asking if she is available. They have an agent all set to journey through Morocco visiting seven members of a spy chain they have making sure that none of them have been replaced by an imposter. But something about the agent's picture doesn't sit right with Carstairs, so he wants Mrs. Pollifax to go along and help smooth any rough edges.
When Mrs. Pollifax arrives, she is not met at the airport and finds her co-agent most disagreeable. They identify the first agent in the network, but he is dead within the hour. Can Mrs. Pollifax trust her co-agent? Will she get out alive?
This was my introduction to Mrs. Pollifax many years ago, and it remains a personal favorite. Even reading it in order, it stands out from the two previous books in the series. This is Mrs. Pollifax doing what she does best - getting in way over her head and somehow managing to battle the odds. Along the way we get a look at the culture and scenery of the country. That can slow things down a little, but never for long and it helps set the book in time and place.
Speaking of which, this book in the series originally came out in 1990. As with all books in the series, it is set in the "current" time period, so read accordingly.
It is always a pleasure to visit Mrs. Pollifax and take another wild ride with her. Fans of the series will be delighted with this romp.
Once again, Dorothy Gilman brings her reader along with Emily Pollifax on another of her adventures. This time Mrs. Pollifax visits Morocco, from the medina of Fez to a small village on the edge of the desert (complete with camel caravan). As always, Mrs. Pollifax overcomes each obstacle with grace and skill (and the occasional bit of luck) and wins out in the end. We get a mini history lesson of the area and a brief lesson on Sufi whirling. Dorothy Gilman continues to provide lovers of mystery novels with a heroine worthy of being any woman's (or man's) role model. Thanks for another great read, Dorothy.
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This is another excellent installment in the saga of Emily Pollifax, grandmother, gardener, spy. My only complaint is that it's too short. In going through my great-aunt's books I skimmed the Reader's Digest Condensed version for the pictures and found a whole extra final chapter. What happened?
First Sentence: They had been waiting among the low dunes for two days, a few goats feeding nearby on an impoverished growth of desert grass.
Emily Pollifax's husband is away and she's feeling bored. That soon ends when she is sent by the CIA to Morocco. She is to connect with another agent to locate and identify seven undercover agents. She finds she doesn't trust her contact; particularly as the agents they are to identify are either killed or disappear after their visits.
I had not read Mrs. Pollifax before and was very pleasantly surprised. I expected the book to be fluffy and annoying. Instead, it was much more serious than expected.
To compare Mrs. Pollifax to Ms. Marple would be doing both an injustice as they are very different. Mrs. Pollifax has the same intuitiveness, but also knows how to take care of herself. I loved the quote from "archie and mehitable": "There's a dance in the old dame yet, toujours gai, tourjours gai."
In addition to a very good story with an excellent sense o f place and plenty of suspense, Gilman provided a good history lesson and some basic philosophical reminders about what is important. I may just have to read more books in this series.
All of the books in the Mrs. Pollifax series (as well as the whole of Mrs. Gilmans' works) are truly delightful. The reader will be swept away by the adventure, humor and intrigue, all the while learning about the customs and history of foreign lands. You can start with any book in the series, but if you have the chance, read them all. They are not to be missed!