(2012) #18 review: Mrs Pollifax and The Whirling Dervish

Mrs. Pollifax and the Whirling Dervish


Dorothy GILMAN (died 2/2/2012!)

Narrator: Barbara ROSENBLAT

7:15 hours

Audiobook published by Recorded Books in 2005

(Paperback published by Fawcett in 1990)

I listened to this book for the following challenges:




I was looking for an audiobook from my library connected with Morocco, for my 52-countries challenge; finding the book I want, in the format I want, can in itself be challenging at times. And this title came up!

I had never heard of Dorothy Gilman before. I was delighted by Emily’s personality right away, imagine: a grand-mother detective, that can be really cool! She’s sweet, charming, but also full of insights, intuition, and even with some good karate moves!

I thought the book was really good at giving you the impression you were traveling with her in Morocco: the landscapes, and I had heard enough before of the Atlas mountain to know that this sounded quite authentic, the social milieu, and the rich smells of the country! I almost wanted to go there!

It’s a good and simple detective story, nothing scary or over the top, actually a nice little easy read. I regret it was the 9th book of the series, but I don’t think it was a problem – except that I have automatically many more books on my TBR, because of course now I want to read the whole series!!

The narrator was the perfect voice: she really portrayed a sweet, cool, active and attractive  grand-mother, witty, with some humor in her voice. I would not be able to imagine Emily Pollifax now without Barbara Rosenblat’s voice. And really, I think this is the prefect kind of books for the audio format.


Ninth Book in the Series. Emily Pollifax, pillar of the Garden Club and occasional agent for the CIA, is once again called into action, this time in Morocco. Her assignment seems simple enough: accompany Max Janko as he travels across Morocco confirming the identities of seven undercover informants — and try to keep him from making an unpleasant ass of himself. Immediately, things go horribly wrong. The first is Max is not who — or what — he says he is. With no one to bail her out, Mrs. Pollifax determines to outfox the enemy and check out the remaining informants on her own. Only Mrs. Pollifax would expose herself to the dangers of being an American and a woman alone in Morocco. And only she would forge ahead, knowing as she does that one of the original informants has been replaced by a deadly impostor. [found on Mrs Pollifax Fan Blog]


Dorothy Gilman started writing when she was 9. At 11, she competed against 10 to 16-year-olds in a story contest and won first place. Dorothy worked as an art teacher and telephone operator before becoming an author. She wrote children’s stories for more than ten years and then began writing adult novels about Mrs. Pollifax–a retired grandmother who becomes a CIA agent. The Mrs. Pollifax series made Dorothy famous. While her stories nourish people’s thirst for adventure and mystery, Dorothy knew about nourishing the body as well. She used to live on a farm in Nova Scotia, where she grew medicinal herbs. Her knowledge of herbs comes through in many of her stories, including A Nun in the Closet, in which a nun treats a man’s wounds with the herbs growing nearby. Many of Dorothy’s books, including Caravan, feature strong women having adventures around the world. Dorothy spent much of her life in Connecticut and Maine. She died at age 88 of complications of Alzheimer’s disease. [Goodreads]



10 thoughts on “(2012) #18 review: Mrs Pollifax and The Whirling Dervish

  1. Pingback: Cruisin’ thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2013 « Words And Peace

  2. Pingback: Mini reviews: Mrs Pollifax « Words And Peace

  3. We just listened to the only CD we can find of Mrs. Pollifax: Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled.
    It is a rescue mission for a girl named Amanda Pym of Pennsylvania, who has disappered in Syria. We have all of the Pollifax books and tapes. This story is very intense. Copyright 2000, it is one of her best, up there with Unexpected and Whirling Dervish.


  4. Pingback: Mrs. Pollifax: series review | Words And Peace

  5. Pingback: A month of favorites: A Year in Books Timeline | Words And Peace

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