The Mrs. Pollifax series has become one of my reading comforts. When I’m tired or world-weary, it’s nice to pick up something familiar with a little mystery and adventure, but no real threat of danger, while some nice people make the world a safer place.
The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax is the third in the series, published in 1971. Life is back to normal for Mrs. Pollifax; she’s hosting her garden club for a rare blooming of her night-blooming cereus. Just as she’s thinking her short-lived CIA career is behind her, she’s being called up to smuggle eight passports into Bulgaria. While waiting for her connecting flight, Mrs. Pollifax meets and befriends an American college student that is traveling across Europe with friends. He says one of his companions wants them to go to Bulgaria but he isn’t interested, so he’s just seeing them off. Mrs. Pollifax later sees him on the plane to Bulgaria with his friends, but he’s acting strangely. When he’s arrested at Bulgarian customs on charges of espionage, Mrs. Pollifax is shocked. She decides to team up with his girlfriend to prove him innocent and get him freed. And she must deliver her smuggled passports, of course!
The Mrs. Pollifax books are completely unrealistic, poor Emily Pollifax would have died halfway through the first book in real life, but the lack of real danger makes the books more comforting. You know whatever mess Mrs. Pollifax finds herself in, she’ll prevail through the power of friendship, quick thinking, and a little luck. There’s not a lot of character development in this book. Emily is learning martial arts, which is a wise addition to her skillset. She proves to be very patient and understanding with the young hippies she meets. The adventure and her work with a local group are interesting and entertaining. Overall a pleasant, though not particularly memorable, read.