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The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman
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Jun 20, 11

Read in June, 2011

Emily Pollifax is bored in retirement. Her husband is deceased. Her children and grown and married. She still volunteers for various charities, but that’s getting old, too. But what else could she possibly do? America is engage in the Cold War against Communist countries. She figures she’s resourceful, intelligent, patriotic, loyal, and good at puzzles, so she leaves her New Jersey home and goes to Washington DC to meet with the CIA and offer her services as a spy. It so happens they are looking for the perfect operative to pose as a tourist in Mexico City and pick up a certain package, and the director calls in a certain candidate for an interview. He’s charmed by the woman he meets in the interview room, and before he discovers his mistake, he has offered Mrs Pollifax the job.

Well, how difficult could this be? She only has to go to Mexico City (paid for entirely by the CIA, of course), play the tourist for nearly three weeks, and then on a particular day go to a particular book shop and ask for a specific book, commenting on one of the characters. The proprietor will sell her the book and she will bring it back to America. But the best laid plans … oft go awry. And this one is no exception.

But Emily Pollifax IS perfect as a spy. She’s bright, inquisitive, observant and has a great deal of courage. She may be an amateur but she handles herself very well against the enemy. Some of the plot turns really stretch credulity, and the whole thing is obviously dated, but it’s a fun read nonetheless. I figured out the secret right away, but I was still entertained. I’ll definitely read more of this series.
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message 1: by Sidna (new)

Sidna I read this years ago and really enjoyed it. Glad you liked it, too.


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