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The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax (original 1971; edition 1987)

by Dorothy Gilman

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6171115,790 (3.74)29
Title:The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax
Authors:Dorothy Gilman
Info:Fawcett (1987), Mass Market Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:cozy mystery, Your library
Tags:cozy mystery, collectable, vintage, spy series

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The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman (1971)



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When the CIA needs to get eight forged passports into Bulgaria, it seems like a perfect assignment for Mrs. Pollifax, an amateur who has occasionally been useful to them. All Mrs. Pollifax needs to do is meet a contact and deliver the passports. Nothing ends up being that simple when Mrs. Pollifax is involved. On her way to Bulgaria, she meets a group of young people traveling on the same flight. When one of them ends up in trouble, Mrs. Pollifax may be the only person who can save him.

This book was originally published in 1971, and it is firmly anchored in the Cold War. Yugoslavia hasn't yet disintegrated, Brezhnev is the Soviet leader, and the young Americans look like hippies and are concerned about their draft status. In spite of all the changes in world politics since the book was written, the only detail that made it feel dated is the expressed novelty of someone in the CIA having a phone in his car.

I love the combination of adventure and travel in the Mrs. Pollifax books. Mrs. Pollifax manages to see quite a bit of Bulgaria during her stay, and the descriptions of historic sites and scenery have me longing to see it in person. ( )
  cbl_tn | Apr 19, 2014 |
Mrs. Pollifax starts out a little slow in this spy thriller set in Bulgaria. At one point, I was asking, “ Mrs. Pollifax, what were you thinking?” But then she gets up to speed, and you just can’t help but love her, with her flowered hat, karate chops, and willingness to improvise. Bond is oh so predictable next to her. ( )
  astrologerjenny | Apr 25, 2013 |
I stumbled across a whole set of Mrs. Pollifax books at a library sale several years ago. I had just begun my collection of vintage books at that time and thought these looked interesting.
The first book that I read of this series didn't impress me a great deal. But, over time I have come to respect Mrs. Pollifax.
The one major thing to keep in mind if you aren't familiar with this series, is that these books were written during the early seventies and the spy theme worked well because of the cold war and on going fear of communism. The books were written in "present day" so many of the catch phrases and mannerisms of the seventies were incorporated in the books. For example in this novel a young lady flashes Mrs. Pollifax the peace sign. Words like hippie cropped up and so on. For some this can be off putting, but to me it just added a certain charm to the story.
In "The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax", our protagonist has been sought out by Mr. Carstairs to smuggle several forged passports into Bulgaria. Of course, Mrs. Pollifax gets involved with more than was intended and gets in way over her head.
These books are cleverly plotted, and written with great detail.(even though some things were outrageous) Although considered "cozy" reading by many, I think folks that enjoy spy novels and mysteries in general would enjoy these books.
Overall this one gets an A ( )
  gpangel | Dec 18, 2012 |
Mrs. Pollifax travels to Bulgaria to deliver some forged passports and becomes involved with a group of students who are travelling and become involved in international politics ( )
  Anntstobbs | Feb 3, 2012 |
While waiting for a view of her night-blooming cereus, the mild-seeming Mrs. Pollifax received urgent orders for a daring mission to aid an escape. Soon, the unlikely-looking international spy was sporting a beautiful new hat that hid eight forged passports....

Where giving Mrs. Pollifax the mission instead of a seasoned CIA agent in the first two books was half-way credible, this time it totally isn’t. As always, the storyline is rife with coincidences, even more than normal and if you can’t stand that, then this isn’t the book for you. If, however, you want to read an amusing, cozy spy story than you should definitely pick up The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax. Always fun and more often than not with quite a bit of fast-paced action this is another fine addition to the Mrs. Pollifax series. ( )
  Samantha_kathy | Nov 30, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Mrs. Emily Pollifax is probably the only lovable C.I.A. agent around and here, once again, she's in as full glory as her night-blooming cereus. On a simple courier assignment to deliver eight forged passports to a mysterious underground in communist Bulgaria, she ends up putting a dictatorial general in prison, corrupting the agency's last Bulgarian contact, and even storming the equivalent of a Bulgarian bastille to rescue a supposedly dead American. Oh, the entertaining Mrs. Pollifax.
added by VivienneR | editKirkus Reviews

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dorothy Gilmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brallion-Zeude, GenevièveTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Friedmann, GretlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenblat, BarbaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slagt-Prins, M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vestergaard, KarenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
柳沢由実子Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A small group of friends had assembled in Mrs. Pollifax's living room on this warm July evening.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449215237, Mass Market Paperback)

While waiting for a view of her night-blooming cereus, the mild-seeming Mrs. Pollifax received urgent orders for a daring mission to aid an escape. Soon, the unlikely-looking international spy was sporting a beautiful new hat that hid eight forged passports....

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Mrs. Pollifax has a new hat, and only she and Mr. Carstairs know it conceals eight false passports which she must smuggle into Bulgaria. In her third adventure, Mrs. Pollifax finds herself working with members of the underground to free political prisoners while trying to escape the secret police in Bulgaria. In addition, she helps a young American girl find one of her missing traveling companions.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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