Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax (1970)

by Dorothy Gilman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6621614,511 (3.81)28



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 28 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Some parts were a little too dramatic, but the story made sense in the end and was enjoyable.
  jlapac | Aug 14, 2013 |
Mrs Emily Pollifax is an unassuming American grandmother who recently became a spy for the CIA. In her second job for The Agency Mrs Pollifax must travel to Istanbul to make contact with a Russian spy, Magda Ferenci-Sabo, who is a double agent for the Americans. However with half the world’s spies descending on Turkey to be the ones to capture the apparently defecting woman to learn her secrets trouble soon finds Mrs Pollifax. Unperturbed she makes use of a series of unlikely allies that she meets in her journey across Turkey while finding and losing Magda Ferenci-Sabo several times and enduring several harrowing near-death experiences.

Despite having an entirely ludicrous premise I found myself thoroughly enjoying this story. Mrs Pollifax is a delightful character who is able to face whatever life throws at her with remarkable aplomb and she befriends a wonderful assortment of quirky people on her journey. There seems to be a decent enough flavour of the time period (my memories of 1970 being those of a 3-year old I can’t be certain) without the book being too dated and there is definitely a sense of the real Turkey depicted. Although it was 20-odd years later I’ve taken the same kind of bus rides as Mrs Pollifax took across that marvellous country and had much the same experiences as were described in the book.

Although unrealistic, the plot hangs together very well and even though you are certain things will all work out for Mrs Pollifax in the end there are enough escapades along the way to offer a decent amount of suspense. If you like realism in your crime fiction then this story isn’t for you but if you like the Amelia Peabody novels or the occasional guaranteed happy ending after a smashing adventure then I can recommend this book. The narrator for this audio version adds an extra half point to my rating as it was excellent and really helped me get lost in the story. ( )
1 vote bsquaredinoz | Mar 31, 2013 |
I love Mrs. Pollifax. It's great to see an older woman heroine, and one as plucky, intelligent, flexible and caring as she. In this installment, she goes to Turkey, meets a double agent, Gypsies and a confidence-lacking young Englishman, among many others, and survives kidnapping, a scheming Frenchman, and other disasters. This is one of my "comfort" books that I read over and over when I need to forget my worries for a time. ( )
  bookwren | Sep 21, 2012 |
What could be better than a little old lady in a funny hat that wants to apply for work as a spy being almost accidently sent on a mission by someone who thought she was already a spy and of course she is perfect... Everything goes wrong and right. Fun. Fun. Fun. ( )
1 vote Homeschools8 | Apr 5, 2012 |
Both this series and this book in particular make for fun, short reads while transporting one to various foreign countries and introducing one to different ways of life as well as to more than a little touch of hardship and danger. Maybe using Mrs. Pollifax as a CIA courier is a stretch, but it is nice to see an older woman as a competent protagonist. And as Mrs. Pollifax so ably puts it:

"It was the unexpected that brought to these moments this tender, unnameable rush of understanding, this joy in being alive. It was safety following danger, it was food after hours of hunger, rest following exhaustion, it was the astonishing strangers who had become her friends. It was this and more, until the richness of living caught at her throat, and all the well-meant security with which people surrounded themselves was exposed for what it truly was: a wall to keep out life, a conceit, a mad delusion."

We should all be so lucky to feel this in our lives. ( )
  dallenbaugh | Jan 30, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Mrs. Pollifax had attended church that Sunday morning, and her hat--a garden of pale pink roses and green leaves--still sat on her head as she ate lunch in the sunny kitchen of her apartment.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449209121, Mass Market Paperback)

When Emily Pollifax answers the phone that Sunday morning, she quickly forgets all about her Garden Club tea that afternoon. For the voice on the other end belonged to a man she had never seen, a man from the CIA who asked her if she could leave immediately on a mission that would take her halfway across the world! What could Mrs. Pollifax say but yes?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:25 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When Emily Pollifax answered the phone that Sunday morning she quickly forgot about her Gaden Club tea in the afternoon. The last time she had heard the voice on the other end of the line it had sent her off on a journey that plunged her into a wild tangle of secret agents and high adventure. Now the man from the CIA was asking if she could leave immediately on a mission that would take her halfway across the world. What could Mrs. Pollifax say but yes?… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
4 avail.
17 wanted
1 pay2 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.81)
1 3
1.5 1
2 6
3 41
3.5 12
4 70
4.5 3
5 36


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,278,465 books! | Top bar: Always visible