The Unsinkable Mrs. Pollifax.
Dorothy Gilman, creator of intrepid elderly spy Mrs. Emily Pollifax, turns 84 today. Gilman began her career as a children's author, publishing The Enchanted Caravan in 1949. The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, in which the widow from New Brunswick, NJ, chucks her garden club and volunteer work to join the CIA, appeared in 1966. The most recent book in the series is Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled (2000).
There have been two adaptations for the screen: Mrs. Pollifax, Spy, with Rosalind Russell (1971), and The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, with Angela Lansbury (1999).
Another classic and hilarious work by Gilman is A Nun in the Closet, in which nuns discover a man on the lam and various other skullduggery in a house they have inherited.