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Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled

Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled by Dorothy Gilman
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After facing down hijackers on a flight to the Middle East and saving the lives of the passengers on board, a young American woman steps off the plane in Damascus in a blaze of celebrity and disappears. The CIA believes Amanda Pym was kidnapped, possibly murdered.

Masquerading as Amanda Pym’s worried aunt, Mrs. Pollifax begins her determined search, slipping through Damascus’s crooked streets and crowded souks . . . and trekking deep into the desert. Yet she is shadowed by deadly enemies, whose sinister agenda threatens not only Mrs. P. but the fragile stability of the entire Middle East. Only a miracle–or a brilliant counterplot– can forestall a disaster that will send shock waves around the world.
Random House Publishing Group; May 2000
ISBN 9780345443076
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Title: Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled
Author: Dorothy Gilman
Mrs. Pollifax was feeling bored
and rather left out of life. Cyrus had re-cently
accepted an invitation to teach
law three days a week at the university; he was
hugely enjoying it.

"Damned good to feel so useful again," he'd
admitted, and she was glad for him.

She, however, was not feeling particularly
useful. She reminded herself that she was still
growing prizewinning geraniums, was in excel-lent
health, hoped soon to earn her black belt in
karate, and remained a faithful member of the
Save Our Environment club. But . . . How spoiled
I am, she thought. For a woman of what was delicately
referred to as "of a certain age" she ought
to feel fortunate indeed, and yet . . . She realized
that she was absentmindedly scratching her left
arm from which, not long ago, a bullet had been
removed in a Bedouin tent by a man named
Bushaq, and she concluded that what she was experiencing
was letdown.

The price one pays, she thought sadly, for venturing
out into dangerous worlds for Carstairs
and the CIA, only to return to errands at the grocery
store and bank, cooking and cleaning, mulch-ing
her garden for the winter, and pampering her

Across the breakfast table from her, almost
hidden behind his newspaper, Cyrus glanced up
and saw the gesture toward her arm. "Still
hurting?" he asked. "Do wish you'd let Dr. Orton
have a look at that." He hesitated, and then,
"Damn good to have you safe at home again,
Em," and as he said this the telephone rang. He
put down his cup of coffee, reached across his
briefcase and newspaper, and when he answered
it she saw his face change. Handing the phone to
her he said, "It's Bishop."

"Oh," she said, startled, and concealing her
reaction she kept her voice casual. "Bishop, how
good to hear from you, are you well?"

Bishop, however, was not interested in polite
conversation. He said bluntly, "Have any important
plans for this day?"

"No," she said, honestly enough.

"A car will pick you up in forty minutes at
your house," he said. "Carstairs wants to talk
with you. Oh, and you might bring your pass-port
with you, just in case."

And he hung up.

"Emily," said her husband warningly.

"He just wants to talk with me," she told him.

"Hard to believe," growled Cyrus. "You
haven't even been home long enough for that
arm to heal."

"It's healed," she told him. "It just itches."

He gave her a rueful smile. "I know, I know--I
promised never to interfere, but still I don't like
the sound of that call." With a glance at the clock
on the wall he added, "And now I've got to go or
I'll miss my first class, but Em--nothing dangerous,

He knew, of course, that anything Carstairs
might have in mind could be dangerous; after all,
she and Cyrus had met in Zambia under very
dangerous circumstances and they had survived
by luck and ingenuity. Cyrus had gone with her
to Thailand, too, where he'd been snatched away
from her by bandits, but she did not think it wise
to remind him of this, nor to mention that Bishop
had asked her to bring her passport. Instead she
said tactfully, with a bright smile, "Barbecued
chicken for dinner tonight," and when he had
gone she hurried upstairs to dress for her trip to
CIA headquarters.
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