Saturday, March 3, 2012

BOOK: The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman, 216 pages

New Author Challenge

The Halifax Library has a blog where they post about new books, or themed books, or author spotlights. It's full of great new books and ideas. Near the beginning of February, they highlighted the death of Dorothy Gilman, author of the Mrs Pollifax series. I was intrigued, and requested the first book in the series from my library. What an unexpected delight! And while I was trying to get caught up on a few series, I've now found a new one to read.

Mrs Pollifax is a widow and grandmother, feeling a little lost. When she was young, she had hoped to be a spy, so she decides to head to the CIA head quarters and ask if they need any new spies. Her spunk and intelligence get her sent on a very simple courier assignment to Mexico City. Things go badly, through no fault of hers, but she ends up a prisoner and a pawn in the Cold War, Russia v China v US battle. Her unassuming manner, and genuine kindness make her a very unusual prisoner.

Other than a very long escape route that dragged a bit, I really enjoyed the book and am definitely interested in reading more of Mrs Pollifax's escapades. As I am just about at the end of Precious Ramotse's Number One Detective Agency series, Mrs Pollifax will be the perfect replacement. Mrs Pollifax is more of a spy thriller, but there is a gentleness with the ruthlessness, and the characters are charming. I'm sure many readers have already read Mrs Pollifax, as this first novel was published in 1966, but there are 14 books in the series and Gilman continued to publish until 2000.