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Dorothy Gilman was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey on June 25, 1923. She studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Under her married name, Dorothy Gilman Butters, she began publishing children's books in the late 1940s including Enchanted Caravan and The Bells of Freedom. In 1966, she published The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, which became the first novel in the Mrs. Pollifax Mystery series. The series concluded in 2000 with Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled. The series was the basis of two movies: the 1971 feature film Mrs. Pollifax - Spy starring Rosalind Russell and the 1999 television movie The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax starring Angela Lansbury. Her other works include The Clairvoyant Countess, Incident at Badamya and Kaleidoscope. A Nun in the Closet won a Catholic Book Award. She died due to complications of Alzheimer's disease on February 2, 2012 at the age of 88. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax
… (more)
The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax 1,607 copies, 68 reviews
The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax 1,027 copies, 36 reviews
The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax 903 copies, 31 reviews
A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax 839 copies, 19 reviews
Mrs. Pollifax on Safari 835 copies, 21 reviews
Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station 794 copies, 20 reviews
Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist 769 copies, 14 reviews
Mrs. Pollifax Pursued 753 copies, 12 reviews
Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief 714 copies, 13 reviews
Mrs. Pollifax and the Lion Killer 692 copies, 11 reviews
Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled 662 copies, 14 reviews
A Nun in the Closet 509 copies, 15 reviews
The Clairvoyant Countess 462 copies, 11 reviews
The Tightrope Walker 444 copies, 7 reviews
Kaleidoscope 410 copies, 14 reviews
Caravan 409 copies, 12 reviews
Incident at Badamya 366 copies, 6 reviews
Thale's Folly 362 copies, 4 reviews
Uncertain Voyage 298 copies, 2 reviews
Bells of Freedom 112 copies
A New Kind of Country 101 copies, 4 reviews
Girl in Buckskin 54 copies, 1 review
The Calico Year 24 copies, 1 review
Four-Party Line 15 copies, 1 review
Witch's Silver 15 copies
Heartbreak Street 11 copies, 2 reviews
Heart's Design 10 copies
Masquerade 3 copies
Reader's Digest Condensed Books 1970 v04 (Contributor; Contributor) 31 copies
Reader's Digest Condensed Books 1991 v01 (Contributor) 22 copies, 1 review
Reader's Digest Condensed Books 1977 v01 (Contributor; Contributor) 20 copies
Reader's Digest Condensed Books 1988 v01 (Contributor; Contributor; Contributor; Contributor) 16 copies
Mrs. Pollifax - Spy [1971 film] (Original book) 9 copies
O Dom da Vida (Livros Condensados) (Contributor) 6 copies
Bad Trip | The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax | Dead Aim (Contributor; Contributor) 2 copies
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Short biography
Dorothy Edith Gilman was born in New Brunswick, NJ, the daughter of James Bruce, a minister, and Essa (Starkweather) Gilman, and said she decided on a writing career as a child. She attended university as well as fine art schools and became an art teacher and an instructor in creative writing. In 1945, she married Edgar Butters, Jr., a teacher; the couple had two children before divorcing in 1965. Under her married name, Dorothy Gilman Butters, she began publishing children’s books in the late 1940s.

The New York Times said in her obituary: "[Her] best-known heroine, Mrs. Pollifax, is very likely the only spy in literature to belong simultaneously to the Central Intelligence Agency and the local garden club."

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax (1966) was the first novel in what would become a highly popular 14-book series about Mrs. Emily Pollifax, a bored 60-something retired grandmother in search of a bit of adventure in an otherwise mundane life.
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