Mrs. Pollifax on Safari

Gilman, Dorothy. Mrs. Pollifax on Safari. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1977.

Reason read: to continue the series started in September in honor of Grandparents’ Day.

Note: This may be my third Pollifax book but I’m actually skipping the next two in the series, The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax (#3) and A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax (#4). Mrs. Pollifax on Safari is actually #5.

Lovable Mrs. Pollifax is back! This time she has traveled to Africa to go on safari. Her mission is to take lots and lots of pictures and oh by the way, find an infamous assassin. Acting as the CIA’s voluntary grandma spy, Emily Pollifax, albeit with bumbling charm, befriends every strange character she meets in the hopes one of them is the elusive and deadly Aristotle. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Gilman mystery if something didn’t go according to plan. This is a quick read, but highly enjoyable.

As an aside, this is not a spoiler but, but. But! Gilman gives Pollifax an umbrella to carry throughout her journey through Africa. Because the umbrella/parasol is mentioned a dozen times I thought for sure it would be used as a weapon, contain a secret clue or something significant. In the end, Pollifax gives the umbrella away without incident. Oh well.

Laugh out loud lines, “If I can find someone to water my geraniums, yes I could go to Africa for the weekend” (p 8). Who does that?

Author fact: Here’s what I got from the back flap of Safari: at the time of publication Ms. Gilman lived in Maine! How cool is that?

As an aside, in 1977 the clothing store “Abercrombie’s” was a good place to go for outfitting an African safari wardrobe.

Book trivia: Like the other Pollifax books, Safari is short. This one is barely 180 pages long.

Nancy said: Nancy calls Mrs. Pollifax on Safari “lighter fare” and describes the plot. She ends the chapter by saying the rest of the story is “pure fiction” (p 267).

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the ever so simple (and obvious) chapter called “Zambia” (p 266).



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