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The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax [Hardcover]

Dorothy Gilman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sep 1971
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....
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Doubleday (Sep 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385094639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385094634
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,203,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is great for teens AND adults! 24 May 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Elusive Mrs. Polifax is a book about an old grandmother from New Brunswick, N.J. that is a CIA agent that is sent to take eight forged passports to a strange man that helped Shipkov cross the border of Bulgaria when the police were after Shipkov. Mrs. Polifax meets a young rich boy on the plane ride to Bulgaria. He is arrested for espoinage, or spying, when they arrive at the airport. meet the members of the Underground and try to find a way to get them to help get Phillip Trenda out of Panchevsky Institute. They have a wild night trying to free him with ropes, fire works, one pistol, and two dozen geese in just fifteen minutes..
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs. Pollifax, Smuggler 18 April 2008
By Mark Baker TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When a CIA agent barely gets out of Bulgaria, he arrives in America with a message. There is an underground movement and they need passports. Carstairs is quick to get the wheels rolling. Despite the reminders from his assistant, Bishop, he heads to New Brunswick, New Jersey to ask Mrs. Pollifax if she will smuggle them into the country in a new hat.

Mrs. Pollifax is only too delighted to help and soon she's off to Eastern Europe. Things will be hard since she will be under the watchful eye of Bulgaria's tourist board at all times. But why did someone break into her room in the middle of the night? What happened to the young American Mrs. Pollifax met in the airport? And will she deliver the passports?

When I read through this book the first time around, I was disappointed. I'm not sure what my problem was originally because I loved it this time. The adventure is as wild as always. I was alternately turning pages or laughing at people's reactions to Mrs. Pollifax. And the new friends she makes along the way are wonderful. True, the book is ruled by coincidence and isn't believable if you think about it. Trust me, you won't be thinking about those things. You'll have too much fun enjoying the ride.

Since the book was written and set in 1971 Eastern Europe, it is historical now. If you keep that in mind, you'll get a good picture of just how bad life was during that period of time.

While the adventures are dated now, they are still tons of fun. If you want to enjoy some escapist fiction, look no further then this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is great for teens AND adults! 24 May 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Elusive Mrs. Polifax is a book about an old grandmother from New Brunswick, N.J. that is a CIA agent that is sent to take eight forged passports to a strange man that helped Shipkov cross the border of Bulgaria when the police were after Shipkov. Mrs. Polifax meets a young rich boy on the plane ride to Bulgaria. He is arrested for espoinage, or spying, when they arrive at the airport. meet the members of the Underground and try to find a way to get them to help get Phillip Trenda out of Panchevsky Institute. They have a wild night trying to free him with ropes, fire works, one pistol, and two dozen geese in just fifteen minutes..
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Moving 7 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am a huge fan of all of Dorothy Gilman's Pollifax books and, of late, I have been enjoying rereading them for the first time in years. I had forgotten that the third book in the series, "The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax," is not only fun and intriguing (like the others) but is downright moving. This is the first of the Pollifax books where the main character becomes more than just a quick-witted, eccentric, elderly spy and is elevated into a feeling, breathing person. Once again, a great book by Dorothy Gilman.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No One Else Could have Passports Sewn Into her Hat! 26 July 2003
By L Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The 3rd book written by Dorothy Gilman is another book filled with intrigue and heroism. Mrs. Pollifax, a widow who enjoys teas and garden clubs, sets out on her third courier job for the CIA, a mission which starts in Bulgaria. Mrs. Pollifax is a CIA agent assigned to smuggle forged passports into the country, for the use of some agents that have found themselves in need of escape. However, as in her previous two cases, no simple courier job ends up that way, and she also works to assist a group of college kids that find themselves in trouble.
I was enthralled with the third assignment of Mrs. Pollifax, and enjoyed every moment spent with her on this adventure. Mrs. Pollifax is not a person that you would initially feel would make a good CIA agent. She is elderly, loves to wear outlandish hats, and finds a way to talk and get to know everyone around her. But it is just these qualities that make her so invisible in the world of spies, and even the most cynical of agents falls under her spell. I loved the fact that Mrs. Pollifax is learning karate (since she hates guns I worried about how she could plausibly protect herself) and that she was just as lovable yet determined as she was in the previous books. If you have not tried this series, pick up a copy of this book and the previous books, and join the millions of others who are charmed by this beloved character!
The first book in the series is "The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax". Enjoy!
A Cozy Mystery Lover
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is great for teens AND adults! 24 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Elusive Mrs. Polifax is a book about an old grandmother from New Brunswick, N.J. that is a CIA agent that is sent to take eight forged passports to a strange man that helped Shipkov cross the border of Bulgaria when the police were after Shipkov. Mrs. Polifax meets a young rich boy on the plane ride to Bulgaria. He is arrested for espoinage, or spying, when they arrive at the airport. meet the members of the Underground and try to find a way to get them to help get Phillip Trenda out of Panchevsky Institute. They have a wild night trying to free him with ropes, fire works, one pistol, and two dozen geese in just fifteen minutes..
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best in the series 1 Feb 2002
By Kevin W. Parker - Published on Amazon.com
I go back a couple of books in the series now to this one, the third. Fortunately there are no significant references to prior books this time around.
Anyhow, this time Mrs. Pollifax finds her way to Bulgaria. Supposedly she is only taking passports to the underground there, but her boss Carstairs is strongarmed into having her taking other items, sewn into her coat, along with her without her knowing it. Complications, unsurprisingly, ensue. She falls in with a group of travelling college students (and one in particular), and leaps in to help when one of them is held by the secret police.
She leads both friends and foes on a merry chase as she travels around Bulgaria. It's got to be one of the more complex plots of any of the books I've read so far, and as a result one of the most gripping.
Rosenblat again does a superb job with the voices.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is intriguing and a lot of fun! 24 Feb 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just recently discovered the Mrs. Pollifax books and I have been enjoying them immensely. This one is a great favorite of mine because not only are the many characters and the complex plot skillfully handled, but the characterization is wonderful. The author employs the great writer's rule of "Show, don't tell" to give the reader a more detailed picture of who Mrs. Pollifax is. Her character is drawn with more depth in this novel than in either of the two preceding. In addition, the story is exciting and told with a gentle humor that certainly kept me reading.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suspending Disbelief 2 Jun 2011
By Hans W. Glogauer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The writing is good, the story charming and the characters well defined. But, oh, those coincidences. Not an hour has passed after Mrs. P. gets her assignment than she is given a small piece of paper that turns out to be the identification of a secret police agent, pilfered by one student from another.

In carrying out her assignment, she meets a friend of the pilfering student who is good with knots and ropes, the Bulgarian underground just happens to have explosives at hand, with an expert to handle it, a man who is good with shooting arrows, a bribed guard and a woman who works at the exact spot where a prisoner is to be rescued.

I don't mind the sentimental adornments but all this is just too easy and pat.
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