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Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief (Mrs Pollifax #10)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,822 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Emily Pollifax answers call for help from John Farrell, his ankle shot (by second thief?) trying to steal document to verify Julius Caesar's signature. He saw invisible assassin Aristotle, last seen in Zambia #5 Mrs Pollifax on Safari. Feisty vacationing agent Kate Rossiter hides them in her aunt's guarded Villa Franca. Farrell and Kate flirt, uncover deadly cartel.
Paperback, 197 pages
Published January 30th 1995 by Ballantine Books (first published 1993)
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88th out of 199 books — 11 voters
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414th out of 444 books — 118 voters

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Community Reviews

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Ledayne Polaski
I wasn't feeling well yesterday so I pulled this book from the shelf for some light reading. This may be the worst "spy novel" I have ever read. The interwoven plots are simply silly, the characters are unbelievable, the writing is simplistic and there is nothing compelling about any of it. It reads as if Gilman, having forgotten or ignored a looming deadline, sat down one afternoon and filled up 200 pages to send off to her editor. Spare yourself!
I read this book five years ago. This time I listened on an audible book. I love the Mrs. Pollifax books. I started reading them many years ago with Reader's Digest books. I enjoy the narrator of these books as well. Dorothy Gilman creates interesting characters, and makes us care about them. The stories take place all around the world, and we learn things about those places. In this book we have little lessons on art. Emily Pollifax is a gardener, and belongs to a garden club at home. Where eve ...more
Vitor Frazão
Li este livro porque uma agente da CIA em part-time pareceu uma ideia deliciosamente ridícula, incapaz de ter sido feita com outro objectivo que não a comédia. Contudo, a obra nem sequer consegue entrar na categoria de “algo tão mau, tão mau que chega a ser brilhante”.

Numa narrativa demasiado apressada, previsível e repleta de clichés, somos apresentados aos agentes da CIA mais excitáveis do mundo (acho que nunca vi um diálogo com tantos ponto de exclamação), vemos assassinos internacionais ser
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I remember thinking that this book was the most boring of the series when I was younger. Now, I don't think it was the most boring but definitely not my favorite. Just a little slower moving in parts and the whole Farrell and Kate love story seemed unreal. Even in my old age the difference between a 26-year-old and a 41-year-old seem immense. I have also realized that there often "swarthy" faces and answering "tartly", and "amused glances" in the Mrs. Pollifax books.
An Odd1
A second thief sneaks in after the first thief has passed guards, unlocked traps, frightened away from treasure, suspected by John Sebastian Farrell 41 p 217 retired CIA agent. Farrell was , invited to Sicily by wealthy art collector Ambrose Vica to authenticate document bearing Julius Caesar's signature. Farrell opens safe in supposedly empty house, races limping from bullet in ankle, telegrams for help to CIA for Emily Pollifax and new husband Cyrus Reed, unavailable.

First she secretly photog
We (unfortunately) got ahold of this as a "book on CD" on a recent drive from Denver to Iowa. It is set in Sicily so we thought it would be good to listen to in anticipation of our trip this Summer. This has to be the stupidest story I have read (or heard) in years and I learned nothing about Sicily from it.
The writing was trite and amateur. Should have listened to NPR instead.
Mark Baker
Mrs. Pollifax is off to Sicily after her friend Farrell sends out an SOS. When she arrives and meets up with him, she finds that several cars are following them. Has Farrell seen what he thought he saw? Who is after them, and why? And what does this have to do with the pictures she took before she left?

Some random elements start this book out, but they all fall into place fairly early, leaving us to enjoy the usual fun ride where Mrs. Pollifax is concerned. Unfortunately, the climax is a bit rus
This is a nice and perfectly predictable book by Dorothy Gilman. Mrs. Pollifax, the grandmotherly karate expert who is also a member of the Garden Club, has discovered a talent for spying. In this novel, she pairs up with an adorable freckle faced gun-toting female (yes, the book's 1990 dating shows and could even be earlier) goes to rescue her old friend Farrell in Italy. Farrell is on the run for his life, which in this type of book means that they stay at an amazing villa repleat with quaint ...more
You expected something American? Model homes, newly built with garages and paved driveways?

Plucking a leaf of tarragon from the herb bed she found its summer fragrance as enchanting as always, and she thought that in her memory the Villa Franca was going to hold a fragrance very much like tarragon, she was going to miss it. Leaving, she would return again to a world of instant communications, to hot water that flowed at the twist of a faucet, to lights that sprang on at the touch of a switch, te
It seems that many reviewers thought this was the least interesting of the Mrs. Pollifax mysteries, and I tend to agree. The mystery was a bit strange, and the behavior of some of the characters didn't seem particularly realistic. I do love the audiobook readings by Barbara Rosenblat, and she does a great job with Emily's voice in particular. I think she's gotten the elderly Emily just right. Part of the appeal of these books is the exposure to different cultures, and this one takes the reader t ...more
Sicily is the setting this time, but it isn't mobsters Mrs. Pollifax is chasing. It's her old friend John Sebastian Farrell, no longer a CIA agent, who needs her help, and an old nemesis of them both who is the danger. They thought "Aristotle" was locked up safely in a French prison after attempting an assassination (thwarted by Mrs. Pollifax and her husband Cyrus) some years before, but now he seems to be on Farrell's trail in Italy. Artwork, forgeries, and a little feudal village high in the m ...more
A mysterious SOS from Mrs. Pollifax's good friend and former comrade John Sebastian Farrell has her traveling to Sicily. She, and the CIA, has few clues about why Farrell is in trouble or what is at stake, but from the moment she touches down in Sicily, trouble and adventure seem to follow Mrs. P's every step. Add young, fiesty agent Kate Rossiter, her eccentric aunt, a handful of countryside villas, and an unwelcome friend from the past, and you have another fast-paced adventure.

Though there wa

I would mark this book as an extremely cozy espionage mystery. I was angry because all of the books action appears off screen. Even the romantic subplot appears off screen. Mrs. POllifax is the viewpoint character, so everything in the book is something she bears or sees, mostly what she hears.
I didn't find her interesting at all. Kate was interesting, Farrell was interesting. The main criminal was interesting, but Mrs. Pollifax doesn't do anything interesting except karate chop a few people.
Im not sure why I picked up this book. Yes I do know, it's because Mrs Polifax goes to Sicily. Sounded intriguing. I am drawn to this series because the protagonist, Mrs. Pollifax is an older woman rather like Miss Marple in Agatha's books and depends on who she is to get herself out of her situations. She is pretty well developed as a character and I like the fact that you can understand her point of view clearly. She acts on what she is rather than disconcerting the reader by acting contrary t ...more
We are moving our offices/bedrooms around, and as a result i have moved some of my really old books onto new shelves, reminding me that i still owned these favorites from my teenage years (where i read much more prolifically). On top of that, i've been in the need of relaxing, easy, and not-disturbing bed time reading, so i decided to haul them out. Actually, this is not unlike when i went through and read all those young adult novels when Madeleine was born. Thing is, i'm compelled - i race thr ...more
I listened to an audible version of Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief. I have read this book before, and I love this series. Mrs. Pollifax is called to join Farell, when he calls for her help, and her husbands. Only Emily can go, since her husband has another responsibility. She finds more trouble than she expected, and meets it head on.
I've read several of the Mrs. Polifax novels by Dorothy Gilman. Recently I've revisited the series. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Mrs. Polifax. Gilman portrays this aging woman with such spunk and intelligence. Not only do we learn about Mrs. Polifax from her dialogue, but also from her thought process that Gilman inserts in a masterful way. It's not often that one thinks of a character making sandwiches for her garden society meetings on one day and ending up in Italy being chased by hoodl ...more
Jenn Estepp
Hm, I'm surprised at how disliked this volume of the series is in these parts. For me, it was a nice change of pace from the usual political uprisings and kidnappings, as it finds Mrs. Pollifax on an almost leisurely caper in Sicily, running about with old friends and old enemies. As compulsive and appealing as ever.
Sheela Word
Light mystery set in Sicily. Heroine is an ordinary-seeming upper-middle-class lady of advanced years (who happens to have a brown belt in karate). Plot is complicated, characters are engaging, violence is mostly absent. Implausible, but pleasant.
Georgia Carvalho
Farrell is back, and he needs Mrs. Pollifax help. In this 10th installment in the series, the story is set in Sicily, and involves art forgery, archaeological digs, and the return of Aristotle. A fun, short book to read on a summer afternoon.
Kyla Zerbes
audio. Very quick cosy but there wasn't much of a mystery this time -- little too easy to figure it out yourself.
Summary: John Farrell, former CIA operative-turned art dealer, has apparently walked into a good deal gone wrong in Sicily. He now waits, wounded and in hiding, for the calvary--and, according to his SOS, only Mrs. Pollifax will do. Within the hour, she is on her way. A youngish-looking female partner named Kate, her mysterious aunt whose farm is mroe heavily guarded than Fort Knox, multimillionaire art collectors, and an uncomfortably familiar assassin await Mrs. Pollifax in Italy. Keeping trac ...more
Jan 14, 2015 Pat rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
Weak plot. Mrs. P travels to Sicily to meet Farrell, short, not the best.
Gena Lott
Oooo! Liked this one a lot! Kept me reading!
Sarah Southerland
Much more enjoyable & fun than # 8 & #9.
another good, fast, enjoyable read
#10 in the Mrs. Pollifx, sixty something window, part time CIA agent mystery series. This time she is off to Sicily at the request of an old friend she first meets on her first CIA mission and then again on another. As usual, what is supposed to be a low profile, fairly easy mission runs into complications which expose Mrs. Pollifax to risks which she manages to over come with the help of others. This one also has a number of multiple plot lines involving misunderstanding and secret identities.
Ann Goldfarb
I just love Mrs. Pollifax! Dorothy Gilman has created such a warm and savvy sleuth! A great fun read!
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Dorothy Gilman started writing when she was 9. At 11, she competed against 10 to 16-year-olds in a story contest and won first place. Dorothy worked as an art teacher and telephone operator before becoming an author. She wrote children’s stories for more than ten years under the name Dorothy Gilman Butters and then began writing adult novels about Mrs. Pollifax–a retired grandmother who becomes a ...more
More about Dorothy Gilman...

Other Books in the Series

Mrs Pollifax (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax  (Mrs. Pollifax #1)
  • The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax
  • The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax
  • A Palm for Mrs Pollifax (Mrs Pollifax, #4)
  • Mrs. Pollifax on Safari (Mrs. Pollifax, #5)
  • Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station (Mrs. Pollifax, #6)
  • Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha (Mrs. Pollifax, Book 7)
  • Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle (Mrs. Pollifax, Book 8)
  • Mrs. Pollifax and the Whirling Dervish (Mrs. Pollifax, # 9)
  • Mrs. Pollifax Pursued (Mrs. Pollifax, #11)
The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax  (Mrs. Pollifax #1) The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax Mrs. Pollifax on Safari (Mrs. Pollifax, #5) A Palm for Mrs Pollifax (Mrs Pollifax, #4)

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