March 25, 2009
What a wonderful book.
I'd forgotten about Mrs. Pollifax until my wife ordered Around the World with Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman from Mystery Guild.
In these three full-length novels, Mrs. Emily Pollifax, the inimitable CIA courier, goes to Turkey, Zambia and Thailand.
I've talked about the first two books (The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax and Mrs. Pollifax on Safari), so this time I'll restrict myself to Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle.
In some ways, this is the best of three books. "...[H]e changed so many things in Thailand," one person says of a major character in the book, and Mrs. Pollifax replies, "Perhaps Thailand changed many things in him too."
That's the theme of the book, how groups of gentle people in this conflicted place can change and save you.
This time, Mrs. Pollifax and her husband Cyrus are operating during an attempted coup. When Cyrus is kidnapped, Mrs. Pollifax and a new-found friend go off into the drug smuggling country (the golden triangle) to find him. Without the gentle forest people, the Buddhist monks and her new found friend, neither Emily nor Cyrus would have survived.
They think they are involved in one thing, and actually they are involved in another. And the so-called "smart" people back in the home office (except for one) don't understand what's happening at all.
These adventures lead you to think again about the how there can be oases of gentleness in seas of violence and greed.
This book clearly shows the author's respect for the gentle part of Thailand in the late 1980's. It is as if she wants to give you a different impression of that country and its people.
It had been a long time since I read Mrs. Pollifax. I'm glad my wife helped me to find her again.