Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Mrs Poirot

My parents have bred in me a love of mystery stories. Whether in a book (physical or audio) or as film, I grew up surrounded by detectives, adventures, suspense, hidden clues, quirky characters, and all the other elements that comprise an excellent mystery.

These mysteries ranged from young adult/children's literature like Nancy Drew, Edith Blyton's Famous Five and Secret Seven series (which, incidentally, I picked up a copy of each of those series from PaperbookSwap the other day and was delightfully pulled back into those childhood worlds), or the mystery-lite of Patricia St John's books, to more adult mysteries like Agatha Christy and all the various types of mysteries that would show up on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery nights.

Whenever my parents are back here in the US, they go through an inordinate amount of books on tape because of the amount of driving they have to do while they are here. So, when visiting them recently, I was not at all surprised to find in their cars various books on tape/cd checked out from the library. I was even less surprised that some of them were mysteries.

Well, one of those mysteries was Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled which I enjoyed immensely. Upon arriving back home and looking for something new to read, I obtained for myself the first book in this series: The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax. And I have to admit to having fallen completely, head-over-heels in love with Mrs. Pollifax.

In terms of beautifully portrayed character, she reminds me of Agatha Christy's Hercule Poirot--the chubby little Belgian detective with the perfectionistic tendencies, perfect manners, and keen mind. While the suspense in the book is high and the mystery quite well developed, the book is also hysterically funny in parts as you deal with the character of Mrs. Pollifax who feels almost oxymoronic with her surrounding circumstances. After all, the character is based upon a quirky, white-haired, 60ish year old woman who is involved in various charities and other volunteer activities, yet who feels she has nothing to live for but is not quite ready to commit suicide. She goes to the CIA and very pleasantly inquires as to whether or not she can volunteer as a spy for them, thus fulfilling a life-long dream. And it just goes from there.

Read, relish, and enjoy!
Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.
~ Mortimer J. Adler ~

1 comment:

mum said...

Last weekend was another Mrs Pollifax trip set in Africa this time-Mrs P and the Lion something-tamer/killer?

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