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Dorothy Gilman Books In Order

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Publication Order of Mrs. Pollifax Books

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Pollifax on Safari (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Pollifax and the Whirling Dervish (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Pollifax Pursued (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Pollifax and the Lion Killer (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Madame Karitska Books

The Clairvoyant Countess (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kaleidoscope (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Enchanted Caravan (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
Carnival Gypsy (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ragamuffin Alley (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Calico Year (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Four-Party Line (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Papa dolphin's table (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Girl in Buckskin (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Witch's Silver (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Masquerade (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ten Leagues to Boston Town (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bells of Freedom (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Uncertain Voyage (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Nun in the Closet (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tightrope Walker (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Maze in the Heart of the Castle (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Incident at Badamyâ (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Caravan (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thale's Folly (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

A New Kind of Country (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Alfred Hitchcock's Fatal Attractions(1983)Description / Buy at Amazon

Commonly known by her three names Dorothy Edith Gilman, Gilman is a renowned American writer with her prowess commencing at a young, tender age. Dorothy Gilman was born on 25 June 1923 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Gilman is the daughter of Minister James Bruce and Essa Gilman. Gilman’s early days’ experience saw her get into writing, commencing her writing journey at only nine years. At the age of 11, Dorothy Gilman won a much-contested story tournament where she competed against children aged between 10-16 years. Dorothy Gilman attended Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts between the years 1940 to 1945 where she learned and planned to write illustrative books for children.

In the year 1945, Dorothy Gilman married Edgar Butters and was blessed with two children, Jonathan and Christopher. Unfortunately, the couple divorced after 20 years of marriage. She later attended the University of Pennsylvania (1963-1965). Before becoming an author, Gilman sought employment as a teacher and a telephone operator. Under the name Dorothy Gilman Butter, she successfully wrote children stories for more than ten novels. Her breakthrough came after incepting her thoughts on adult novels. Her famous write-up, Mrs. Pollifax, reflected the life of a retired grandmother, later becoming a CIA agent. Dorothy Gilman reflected the experiences and challenges of her life in her writing.

Being an ardent traveler, Mrs. Pollifax settings are based on the areas she transversed through. Her knowledge and love for medicinal herbs are said to be the reason why Dorothy Gilman moved to Nova Scotia, a small town where she grew all her herbs and vegetables. This also inspired other memoirs including A New Kind of Country, A Nun in the Closet and Thale’s Folly. A majority of her books feature adventurous, strong women around the world. Dorothy Gilman was awarded the annual Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America in 2010. Gilman met her sudden death in the year 2012, aged 88 due to complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

Mrs. Pollifax

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax is the first installment in this remarkable series authored by Dorothy Gilman. Within this delightful novel, the author introduces the reader to Mrs. Emily Pollifax, who is in her old golden years. Being of this age, Mrs. Pollifax sought to find meaning in her life. She goes for a regular doctor’s appointment, and the doctor notes that she is somewhat depressed. Asked if alright, Mrs. Pollifax gives the doctor a brief description of her life. The doctor concludes that she needs something that can spark some excitement in her life. After the session, the doctor encourages her to find something interesting to engage in. However, Mrs. Pollifax did not mention to the doctor that she had been, at one point, to the point of committing suicide by throwing herself off the edge of a roof.

The doctors’ advice took the center stage of her mind. Coupled with her memories, she made the decision to do something exciting her life. This was when Mrs. Pollifax decided to travel to Virginia to pay the CIA headquarters a visit. Upon arrival, she asks to see Mr. Mason. Concurrently, Mr. Mason is expecting to fill in an open slot for an agent required for a courier mission. Mr. Carstairs, the head of the department, assumes that Mrs. Pollifax is that woman. Mrs. Pollifax gets hired as a spy despite her lack of training and experience. Her first assignment is a tasty three-week trip to Mexico City. She is assigned to sight see the city as a tourist and later pick up a package containing a microfilm for another agent.

Upon arrival to Mexico, Mrs. Pollifax locates the bookstore where she is supposed to pick up the package. Mrs. Pollifax goes inside and meets the proprietor who hands her the book on solitaire and a simple deck of cards. All along, she wonders there the film she had been sent for was. It is until her return to the United States that she realized that the particular film is in the deck of cards. When her appointment day arrived, she went back to the store but finds the proprietor gone. Another man who claimed he owned the store and asked her to drop her code words.

Interestingly, the man drugged her after she dropped her code words. She wakes up tied next to another spy, Johnny Farrell on a plane. Mrs. Pollifax is drugged once again and wakes up in another plane. Upon recovery, she discovers that they had been taken a hostage in Albania and held in a remote compound, the strong-hold of communism in Europe. Being of a social character, she interacts freely with other people including her captors. She sees the best in every individual she encounters due to her natural tendency to make friends not forgetting how clever, resourceful and charming she is.

Farrell, being a fervent spy, attempts suicide in a bid to keep his secrets from his captors but ends up injured. Mrs. Pollifax insists on getting him medical attention amidst suffering a severely broken leg. Her interaction earns her respect and trust from a Russian spy who agrees to help and make escape plans for Farrell and her. Also within the compound, is a Chinese prisoner who turns out to be a kidnapped scientist. He also agreed to help Mrs. Pollifax in her escape mission and her quest for freedom. The escaping escapade was not that easy. They encountered many dangers and faced many serious challenges but never despaired this thrilling adventure. They eventually made it out and were picked up by the ship from the sea. Mrs. Pollifax returned home with her friends wiser about her recent adventure.

With that said, Mrs. Pollifax, among other books in Mrs. Dorothy Gilman series, is a wonderful read for reluctant readers. The write-up read is exciting, fun and a quick read. Dorothy Gillman has once again done an excellent job of creating well-developed and realistic characters who will grab your attention. Recently, a couple of movies have been produced based on this book, The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax. Gilman’s books are great books for vacation, and perfect long trip companion reads due to their light, engaging and short nature.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Dorothy Gilman

5 Responses to “Dorothy Gilman”

  1. Polly Elgie: 10 months ago

    I am on #10-Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief right now, having started the series a long time ago and never getting going again. I recently bought the whole series at a church book sale and now I can’t put them down–WOW–totally hooked!! I also read the 2 Madame Karitska books and wish there had been many more of them, as they were awesome!!!

  2. Caity Sue: 1 year ago

    In 2013, I had given my dad my entire Mrs. Pollifax series to read (He was 84 at the time). I recently began re-reading the entire series (just finishing #12 today), and discovered my dad had written the date he had read each book, and also wrote 4 numbers and his initials, on the fly page. I realized that those 4 numbers were the last 4 of his social security number. I lost my dad 2 years ago, and I treasure these marks he left in the books. My mom said he got quite a kick out of the books.

  3. christine decourtney: 1 year ago

    Rediscovering more of Dorothy Gilman. What a joy in this tense world.

  4. Mary Yost: 2 years ago

    I have been reading…and re-reading… and re-reading Dorothy Gilman’s Mrs Polifax books for years! I just finished them again. So enjoyable to read, She was a marvelous writer.

  5. Martha Stalion: 2 years ago

    I dearly love the Mrs. Pollifax series of books. I read them each as they were written, but am re-reading them and thoroughly enjoying them once again. I just wish there were more!


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