The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax
Emily Pollifax is a widowed housewife who has filled her days with volunteering and gardening. Society tells her that should be enough, but she finds herself unfulfilled and wanting excitement. One day, she remembers that as a child she wanted to be a spy, so she goes to the CIA to volunteer her services. She’s thrilled to be sent on her first secret mission, and doesn’t even care that she’s only a courier and the assignment was a result of mistaken identity. But her mission does not go as planned; she’s kidnapped, taken to Albania, and questioned by communists. In the end, it turns out everyone underestimates an elderly widow.
The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax
After her successful mission in book one, the CIA calls on Mrs. Pollifax to help with some trouble in Turkey. Naturally, things don’t go as planned. But Mrs. Pollifax’s quick wits and new friends help her save the day.
These books are fun and ridiculously adorable. But they’re also very dated, the first having been written in 1966. The good news is that (so far) they don’t seem to be sexist or racist, although the author calling everyone from China “red Chinese” did make me uncomfortable. I remember the Cold War and communists being called “red” vs “white”, and it wasn’t racial or ethnic, but all these years later it sounds wrong to me. But back to the plots. The stories, despite containing kidnapping and murder, are pretty lighthearted and you know there’s going to be a happy ending. Mrs. Pollifax’s adventures are absurd and totally unrealistic, but also fascinating. These books are a quick, fun read.