Friday, August 25, 2006

Mrs. Pollifax on Safari, by Dorothy Gillman

Sky introduced me to Mrs. Pollifax and I am forever indebted to her for some good times. Dorothy Gillman wrote the series about a grandmother who decides she needs to spice up her life by becoming a spy for the CIA, between 1966 and 2000. I suppose it has the flavor of Christie's Miss. Marple series, but Pollifax knows karate and I don't think Miss Marple does.

The adventures of Mrs. Pollifax begin in The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax(1966)wherein she decides she needs to spice up her life and shows up at CIA headquarters to volunteer as a spy. Mistaken for a tourist at first, they eventually decide that she might very well be of some use for them. Who would expect a grandmother on vacation? She turns out to be an incredible asset to the CIA and apparently they decide to use her services (again and again). I jumped ahead in the series because the library was selling a copy of Safari which I decided was a "must have." The complete list of titles in the series are as follows:

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax (1966)
The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax (1970)
The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax (1971)
A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax (1973)
Mrs. Pollifax on Safari (1976)
Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station (1983)
Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha (1985)
Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle (1988)
Mrs. Pollifax and the Whirling Dervish (1990)
Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief (1993)
Mrs. Pollifax Pursued (1995)
Mrs. Pollifax and the Lion Killer (1996)
Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist (1997)
Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled (2000)

Through some online exploration I also discovered two films were made out of the series. The first starred Rosalind Russell and was released in 1971 under the title Mrs. Pollifax - Spy. The second was a CBS television movie starring Angela Lansbury, made in 1999, and simply called The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax. Unfortunately, neither are available for sale in any format at the present time. Personally, I'm not sure which one intrigues me more -- liking both actresses very much. (I might have a harder time believing Angela Lansbury in the role given her Murder She Wrote years.)

Mrs. Pollifax is candy reading, really. Enjoyably clean and entertaining. I look forward to stumbling into another adventure with her in the very near future. (Thanks again, Sky!)

1 comment:

Queen of Carrots said...

I love Mrs. Pollifax, also!

Is part of it the secret hope that after years of conventional life I might still burst out and do something dangerous and dramatic?

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