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Mrs. Pollifax on Safari

(Mrs Pollifax #5)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  4,671 ratings  ·  247 reviews
Mrs. Pollifax has been sent on safari by the C.I.A. and told only to take pictures of all of her companions, in order to find the international assassin whose next target is the president of Zambia. It sounded so simple, but shortly after Mrs. Pollifax started taking pictures, someone stole her film. And right after that she was kidnapped by Rhodesian terrorists. And right ...more
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Published (first published 1976)
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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,671 ratings  ·  247 reviews

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Shauna Hruby
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love it when you read a series that becomes better as you move into it. Better because you become more attached to the characters, more invested in their development, and pay more attention to the writing. I find Dorothy Gilman's writing to have lovely poetic glimpses and thoughtful moments. I also enjoy the specific time settings (cold war era) that nevertheless have a timeless feeling. They are "dated," but in a good, comfortable way.
In this book, I loved Mrs. Pollifax having a real romantic
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining mystery with Mrs. Pollifax, the retired widow turned sleuth. It warrants 4 stars, but also an extra star for the location, Zambia, where I lived in the years in which the story takes place. Cairo Road and the Assembly building in Lusaka, Kafue National Park, the Kafue river… they all evoke fond memories.
Somehow for a long time, I have got disconnected with the spy fiction genre. It’s strange but in fact it was this genre and the writings of Frederick Forsyth, Colin Forbes and Robert Ludlum that made me realise my unhealthy addiction towards thrillers. But, somehow I don’t feel the same affinity with the modern spy thrillers. With their over use of gadgets and other technology I feel left out. And also the whole concept of one man fighting terrorist and uncovering political conspiracy over and o ...more
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mrs. Pollifax is sent on assignment to Africa - on safari, as we already know from the title - with instructions from the CIA to photograph everyone in her safari party, as one of them is an international assassain with the code name of Aristotle. So she stops at Abercrombie's to get properly outfitted, and heads off to Zambia. As an added bonus, her old friend John Sebastian Farrell is now rumored to be living in Zambia, so she hopes to look him up as well. But neither of those intentions go ac ...more
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On safari, Mrs. Pollifax has the assignment of simply taking photos of everyone in the group, as the CIA thinks that a hitman might be using the safari to make plans for his/her next assassination. And then things happen.

What I really like about Mrs. Pollifax is the fact that she never just accepts her situation. She always tries to come up with some kind of plan. Whether it works or not, at least she isn't just sitting there waiting to be killed.

Another quick and fun read.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
More of the same - and that's not necessarily a bad thing. My spouse (really) likes the series, and, to the extent we've already purchased them, I'll probably keep reading them ... but, alas, not at the same pace at which my spouse consumes them. (Specifically, I'm highly disinclined to read them back-to-back, and I'm confident I find them more palatable when they're only occasionally sprinkled in among my other reading....)

As someone who has lived abroad and traveled/worked extensively in other
I continue to really enjoy this series. They provide good, light-ish, amusing reads and this one is no exception. In this book I appreciate that Mrs. Pollifax continues to grow and find her own grove in her spying activities. I also appreciated the addition of a romantic element, and especially that this part of the book was included judiciously as an added element rather than taking over the overall story. I also appreciate that the story gave me a few good chuckles but still also the suspensef ...more
Julie Barrett
Such a pleasure, reading this series. I love the Mrs. Pollifax character. Critics compare her to Mrs. Marple but other than age & gender, they are not alike. Even though both Pollifax & Marple are dismissed and ignored by society for being older women, Pollifax refuses to conform to society standards and instead continues to live an active life. I especially like that Gilman gives her a romance in each book. Pollifax uses society's dismissal of her to her own advantage - it helps in her ...more
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this installment, Dorothy Gilman sends the lovable Mrs. Emily Pollifax into the heart of the dark continent. With an all-expenses paid Safari to look forward to, how could she not accept, especially when there is talk of spying on an international assassin! While there, she will see a plethora of native flora and fauna, as well as come to realize that the ruthless killer she is searching for may be even closer than she first suspected. As love blossoms among the group and old comrades are sou ...more
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On Safari with a too-limited number of suspects to be bad guys, Mrs. P sees lions, meets a new possible love interest, uses her smarts, and foils a few plots. We also know that, sadly refreshing to someone currently troubled by world politics, Mrs. P is horrified by apartheid and attendant racism. One of the villains, not the main one, is a truly execrable person, the only villain of the series I remember when I’m not reading the books.
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy
I enjoy revisiting the Mrs. Pollifax books. I listened to this book on audible. The narration is excellent. Mrs. Pollifax is an older woman, who joined the CIA. She gets into dangerous situations, but she finds her way out of them, and helps save other lives. Mrs. Pollifax is a fun character.
One of the best in this series. Mrs P not only gets her man - a serial killer who destabilizes nations - but she gets a man. This is the book where she meets Cyrus Reed. :) There are some interesting details about camera safaris and enough adventure to satisfy just about anybody. Lots of fun!
Nov 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-dl-tb, 2015, mystery, series
2 1/2 stars

This was much too similar to the first book in the series for me to really enjoy it. Been there, done that.
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: w
simon goes out like a light!

best of the series so far
just, wow

i remember reading this way back in my elementary days, kudos to reader's digest condensed books and to my ma for bringing out the bookworm in me

p45-46: she pointed to her suitcase next the door and he picked it up and led her out to the hotel drive.
May 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This one had its moments, but, overall, it wasn't among my favorites.
Stacie  Haden
This is a solid series. Light reading, but not too much filler- just entertaining.

Zambian Safari, 1970's
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fifth in the series. One of my favorites because in it she meets her soulmate. Gives one hope.
Feb 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Colleen by: Jesse
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of spy stories
When I first saw one of the books in the Mrs. Pollifax series, I assumed it was another cozy mystery. I was expecting an American Miss Marple. Then as I read the story, I realized that it was a fun spy novel. I think of it as a Jessica Fletcher-meets-John le Carré kind of tale.

I really enjoyed the first few books in the series and I was eager to read more about this entertaining character. This book takes us on safari to sub-Saharan Africa and Mrs. Pollifax does not fail to deliver an exciting
Dixie Conley
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The thing to remember about this series is that a slightly dotty grandmother is really a CIA spy. Not perhaps the most by-the-book or cliche kind of spy, but a damn good one despite that. In a very unconventional way. She makes things happen simply by being herself, as she does in this novel.

Sent to Africa on safari to get photographs of every person involved with it (one of whom is supposed to be a master assassin), she is also directed to check up on an old friend of herself, Farrell from her
Jan 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
Mrs. Pollifax goes on a safari to take pictures, in hopes the CIA can find a potential assassin before he kills the president of Zambia. However, she gets kidnapped by Rhodesian terrorists, has her film stolen and meets Cyrus. Ferrell turns up again too. He's not as charming as Robin, but a good sidekick, even if he isn't meant to be a sidekick.
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
August 2016 reread -- I am increasing my rating from 3 to 4 stars. The Mrs. Pollifax books aren't great literature but they are a lot of fun and the best of them stand up well to rereading.

Amazing how the world has changed since this was first published in 1976 - issues that were of great contemporary interest then are now of more historical interest. But the characters still shine :)
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second time around I really appreciated the scenery and the fast, evocative descriptions. I vaguely remembered who *didn't* do it although I had forgotten most of the details of the plot.

I can't believe the artist missed the chance to draw the umbrella. At least they got the hat!
Theresa Larson
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While practicing Karate at home in New Jersey, Mrs. Pollifax gets a call from Carstairs, her CIA contact, and he asks her if should would be willing to go to Africa on a new mission. Mrs. Pollifax readily agrees. Carstairs sends his assistant, Bishop, to explain the particulars of her assignment. Bishop informs her that there is an assassin on the loose, and they need him (or her) captured before he kills again. They don’t know what he looks like, but they have received intelligence that he will ...more
Jimmy Lee
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The publishers put the Toronto Star's quote on my edition "the American cousin to Agatha Christie's Miss Marple," and although that's not what I would have said, I'd have to agree with their implication that if you like Miss Marple, you'll like Mrs Pollifax. As the only spy in literature to belong both to the CIA and the local garden club, she strolls through her missions with female aplomb. She enjoys outings, clothing, male companionship, gentle humour, and karate classes, all while keeping he ...more
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I typically do not give cozy mysteries a 5. But I had to on this one, just because of how it made me feel. I love any book that can make me at least chuckle, even make me a little tense but at the same time teaching me something. Mrs. Pollifax's adventures are usually out of the country (she's a "New Jersey girl"). Dorothy Gilman ddan excellent job of rolling Mrs. Pollifax's assignment in with the political and cultural history of the times and always adding local culture lessons into the mix.

Mar 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been years since I read the 4th book in the Mrs. Pollifax series. I remembered liking the first books a lot, so I got the fifth book in the series from the library. I don't know if my memory is incorrect or my taste in books has changed. I didn't like this book, especially the beginning of it. I almost didn't finish it, but that is hard for me to do with mystery novels. I did get interested in some of the character relationships, so I might try the next book in the series just to see what h ...more
Dora Carson
I love the character of Mrs. Polifax so I was happy to read another book in the series, but the story in this installment falls a little flat. The action takes a long time to get underway. The ending is rather abrupt. While Mrs. Polifax's ability to handle difficult situations is usually the highlight, I thought the best part of this book were the descriptions of the safari. The one thing readers of the series can really look forward to is the reappearance of the character of John Farrell. Overa ...more
Mrs. Pollifax is sent by the CIA on a safari in the African country of Zambia with the sole charge to take photos of the other participants and bring them back as one is an elusive international assassin. Of course, the mission goes in a completely different, dangerous direction. Similar formula, but enjoyable. Love that the protagonist is a 60+, grey-haired, widow with grown kids who is pursuing her dream career as a spy - and finding romance along the way.
"But -Duchess?" he said incredulously. "Emily Pollifax from New Brunswick, New Jersey? Here?"
He began to laugh. "I don't believe it. Duchess, what in the name of all that's holy are you doing in the middle of Africa with this bunch of cutthroats? Or to put it more bluntly," he said, sweeping her off the ground in an exuberant hug, rifle and all, "what the hell are you up to now, Duchess?"
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Dorothy Gilman started writing when she was 9. At 11, she competed against 10 to 16-year-olds in a story contest and won first place. Dorothy worked as an art teacher and telephone operator before becoming an author. She wrote children’s stories for more than ten years under the name Dorothy Gilman Butters and then began writing adult novels about Mrs. Pollifax–a retired grandmother who becomes a ...more

Other books in the series

Mrs Pollifax (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax  (Mrs. Pollifax #1)
  • The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax (Mrs. Pollifax, #2)
  • The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax (Mrs Pollifax #3)
  • A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax (Mrs. Pollifax, #4)
  • Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station (Mrs. Pollifax, #6)
  • Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha (Mrs Pollifax #7)
  • Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle (Mrs Pollifax #8)
  • Mrs. Pollifax and the Whirling Dervish (Mrs. Pollifax, #9)
  • Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief (Mrs. Pollifax, #10)
  • Mrs. Pollifax Pursued (Mrs. Pollifax, #11)
“We phungus never judge guilt or innocence, we judge evidence. The law isn’t emotional, you know, it’s cold and impersonal.” 0 likes
“A pity, she thought, that taking a stand on moral issues had to prove so lonely these days,” 0 likes
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