Carstairs has gotten intel that the assassin Aristotle is going to be on a safari in Zambia to arrange his next hit. Since no one even knows what he looks like, Carstairs knows this is a great opportunity to gather information. He immediately calls his favorite innocent tourist. Mrs. Pollifax's mission is to take pictures of the other people on the safari. The CIA will use them to figure out who Aristotle really is.
But the first night of the safari, Mrs. Pollifax discovers that her film has been stolen. Suddenly, things are personal, and she decides she will not only take the pictures but figure out who Aristotle is. Can she do that when her fellow travelers seem so nice? What secrets might they be hiding?
It's been years since I read this book, so I had forgotten most of it. I was surprised to find how slow I felt the book started. There is also a bit of background, but this time it didn't seem as much a part of the story. Once she arrives at the safari, things pick up. There are some fun moments along the way as well as a couple of great twists and a reunion with a character from another book. Mrs. Pollifax is her usual resourceful is slightly naive self. And several of the others characters are equally charming.
The book might not be quite as enjoyable as I remembered it, but it will still please fans of the series.
I have purchased all of the "Pollifax", Dorothy Gilman series on books on tapes. I listen to them as I commute to clients in the grinding Seatle traffic. These stories keep my mind off the horrible traffic and even manages to make me smile. I find them very educational and fun to listen to. I look forward to getting into the car. I have listened to each story at least 4 times and I am still amazed they keep my interest.
Think of Agatha Christie's elderly Miss Marple as a strong, adventurous, enlightened American CIA agent. Dorothy Gilman is one of my favorite mystery authors. Her books, while somewhat light, are funny, surprising, suspenseful, filled with intriguing characters, and educational; and Mrs. Pollifax on Safari is one of her better stories. I like to read my favorite books over and over again, and I've read all of the Mrs. Pollifax books many times (they make me feel good, like old friends). I rather suspect that the Mrs. Pollifax character traits are somewhat autobiographical, and wish very much I were friends with the author.
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!
Both my husband and I love Mrs Polifax. I have almost read every one, it is now becomming difficult to get the few that we haven't read yet at our library as they are so popular. Are there any adventures that Mrs Polifax hasn't been on yet?