The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax - Dorothy Gilman A charming little spy thriller. A retired grandmother from a small town in NJ, Emily Pollifax spends her time between her church’s Garden Club, karate lessons, and an occasional assignment for CIA. Imbued with common sense, she is a James Bond of pensioners.
Her latest CIA job took her to Istanbul, Turkey, where she saved the day despite all the misfortunes the author could heap on her. The story is short (170 pages) and occasionally funny, but I think there are too many obstacles on the heroine’s way to success. They pile up ceaselessly, so eventually the reader stops worrying about them. The novel reads more like a spoof than a real thriller. Perhaps that was the writer’s intent all along.
The characters are a bit cartoonish, with no real depth in them, but the storyline is entertaining, and the scenery of Turkish landscapes is vivid.
Occasionally, the author throws around little dollops of wisdom and humor that are as relevant today as they were 40 years ago, at the time of publication. Here is one example:
“You could write to your brother then,” suggested Mrs. Pollifax comfortingly.
The girl turned her head and stared wonderingly at Mrs. Pollifax. “Write?” she repeated blankly, and Mrs. Pollifax understood that she had stumbled upon a word utterly foreign to this girl and her generation.

Keep in mind that the novel was published in 1970, before cell phones, Internet, and emails. Aren’t some generational issues ageless?

Overall impression: read it when you have nothing better on your bedside table or while commuting. Nothing fancy, but you’ll like it.