Somehow for a long time, I have got disconnected with the spy fiction genre. It’s strange but in fact it was this genre and the writings of Frederick Forsyth, Colin Forbes and Robert Ludlum that made me realise my unhealthy addiction towards thrillers. But, somehow I don’t feel the same affinity with the modern spy thrillers. With their over use of gadgets and other technology I feel left out. And also the whole concept of one man fighting terrorist and uncovering political conspiracy over and over again without his cover as a spy being blown, is not digestible. For me a spy thriller served as standalone novel is the best way.
Mrs. Pollifax and her “spy” thrillers though fall in the category of a series, but still manage to hold my attention till the last page. The reasons being, a fast plot with a nice twist in the end, a very modern style of writing without extra long paras or flowery language. Even the methods used by Mrs. Pollifax to solve the crime or ferret out the criminal are traditional without much emphasis on the use of gadgets. And, lastly for the protagonist, Mrs. Pollifax herself. Not a spy in the traditional sense, much more of a information collector in this book, she gets embroiled in the thick of things and uses her skills ato come out of the whole affair unharmed and victorious. For me she represents a perfect example of what Miss Marple would have been like had she lived in USA in the 1980s.
Though not as well read in recent times as these books by Dorothy Gilman should be, the writer and her series does form an integral part of any crime fiction lover’s bibliography. A thoroughly enjoyable and fast read, like most of the books in the series.