We were delighted recently to receive a copy of Elaine Faber’s latest Mrs. Odboddy book, Undercover Courier. The first book in this series was so much fun, we could not wait to read this one, and Mrs. Odboddy did not disappoint.
Agnes Agatha Odboddy is a 71-year-old widow who was an undercover agent back in World War I. Now, in the midst of World War II, she sees Nazi spies and conspiracies everywhere, and her neighbors in Newbury, California, think she’s kind of a nut. But as the saying goes, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean “they” aren’t out to get you.
This book opens with Mrs. Odboddy being abducted by two goons who start driving her off to goodness knows where, and just days before she’s due to leave for Washington to meet Eleanor Roosevelt and accompany her on a tour to visit the troops in the Pacific. Well, whatever they intend to do to her, she will not give in. She is a “warrior on the home front, scourge of the underworld,” after all. But it turns out that the “abduction” is really just a couple of guys having a laugh at her expense. They’ve been sent by Colonel Farthingworth to escort her to his office; he has a very important mission for her. Will she agree to personally deliver a package to President Roosevelt?
A great train story, a lot of history
Of course Mrs. Odboddy accepts the mission. How could she not? She is a patriot through and through. And so she and granddaughter Katherine set off on what will surely be the most dangerous train journey of their lives. As per her usual, Mrs. Odboddy sees a spy in every passenger. But what if this time she’s right and one of their fellow passengers is actually after that top-secret package? I won’t tell you much of what happens. Let’s just say it is totally Mrs. Odboddy (which means it is a lot of fun—just imagine a 71-year-old woman hopping a mail train!).
As in the previous book, we enjoyed the historical setting of this story. We felt that we were getting a glimpse into real life in the WWII era. We were reminded of rationing; of black Americans being treated as “less than,” even when they were serving in the military; of more limited communications capabilities in a time before cell phones. We loved seeing Mrs. Odboddy meet the president and first lady, and it was most interesting to finally find out what was in that package!
And some cat!
The cat in this series is Ling-Ling, a Siamese whom Mrs. Odboddy took in when the cat’s original person was sent to an internment camp in the previous book. We do see a fair amount of Ling-Ling in the very first part of the book, but she doesn’t go on the train trip, so she’s not really a part of the main plot.
A fun series, well worth a readWe really enjoy this series. You know we love history, and there is plenty of history in the Mrs. Odboddy stories. Plus, Agnes Agatha Odboddy is a character who is just fun to read. What will she do next? We can’t imagine. I do have to withhold one paw only because of the relative lack of cat, but this book has plenty of other things going for it. If you like history and you’re up for some wackiness, check out Mrs. Odboddy—we think you’ll love her just as much as we do!
A fun read!
A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good read; two paws is for a great read. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!
We received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. We wouldn’t tell you it was good unless we really liked it!
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