The only thing the CIA's peripatetic den mother has to do this time out (her 13th) is provide cover for her old friend John Sebastian Farrell as he hangs around Amman waiting to smuggle the manuscript of a dead Iraqi dissident's explosive last novel out to the West. But Emily Pollifax has been chosen for another assignment as well: to serve as unwitting courier for a celebrated terrorist's cargo to Jordan. The double duty would be a challenge to anybody else, but Mrs. Pollifax, surrounded by a bevy of enemy agents unfailingly more innocent than she is, dispenses a combination of karate kicks and affecting charm that keep her bobbing atop this weightless, though topical, caper. Another dainty sip of Old Reliable (Mrs. Pollifax and the Lion Killer, 1996, etc.)--three parts expert tour-guide, one part game intrigue--the whole mixture gently stirred, never shaken.