The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman
The Amazing Mrs. PollifaxEmily Pollifax has returned to her quiet, retired life in Brunswick, New Jersey. Yet she brief sojourn as a CIA courier was an exciting highlight to remember as she works at the hospital, speaks at the garden club, and attends church. She reads the newspaper one Sunday morning about a strange occurrence in Istanbul, Turkey. A woman is being sought after being kidnapped from the British Consulate.
Shortly after reading the story, her telephone rings. It is Mr. Carstairs at the CIA. She is needed for another courier job. To her astonished delight, she is swept out and off to Turkey within an hour. Her duty is to meet the same woman at a prearranged spot and hand over a passport and money to come to the United States.
Since this is only her second job for the CIA, Carstairs still has to realize that when Emily Pollifax gets involved, jobs rarely go as simply as planned. It may not be her fault, but she soon finds herself having her passport taken by the Turkish police and detained until the mysterious woman is turned in. Then she has a body dumped in her lap. Soon she has to avoid the Turkish police, the international spies, the assassins, and anyone who is threatening the escape of the woman Mrs. Pollifax is supposed to rescue.
This is a fun, lighthearted, “cozy” mystery. Mrs. Pollifax has to use her common sense and a lot of luck to keep hidden, complete the mission, and perhaps even stay alive. This is one of the early novels so there are still politics left over from WW II.