The Mrs. Pollifax mysteries are an old favorite of mine. I first heard them when I checked them out from the library in the 1990s. I was new to audio books back then and I did not fully appreciate what good writing and what a great performance I was experiencing.
Ms Gillman's writing is entertaining, concise, and fast moving. The stories are full of action and suspense. And, for me, now and forever Ms Rosenblat is the voice of Mrs. Pollifax.
I am collecting them all and I am pleased to have this great collection in my library permanently. Hearing them again is like having a great visit from a long lost friend. This is truly a classic mystery series.
I have all the Mrs. Polifax books & re-read them on an annual basis starting in the 1970's.
Now reading them on my MP3 player brings the characters to life. Dorothy Gilman was a truly wonderful author, now Barbara Rosenblat brings the characters to life.
A 50-something who loves sci-fi, cozy mysteries, thrillers, an occasional romance, and any genre if it is a good story. And especially if it makes me laugh! No vampires or zombies though - these are NOT sci-fi!
The Mrs. Pollifax series starts with this title. This one was written in the 60s, during the Cold War, and so is dated. Still a fun read! I first read it in the 70s, and have listened to the audio version on CD with my teenagers in the 90s. They enjoyed it too, and it became a tradition on long car trips to find a Mrs. Pollifax book to listen to.
Barbara Rosenblat is my favorite narrator, hands down! She does well with different voices, and her droll tone is perfect for the comedic bits. She did have a little problem near the end, giving Mrs. Pollifax a British accent, but that was just a small slip-up. The first I have ever heard from her, and I have listened to a lot of books she narrates.
I'm looking forward to downloading more of the Mrs. Pollifax series, and I'm letting my now adult children know that they are available on Audible! Maybe they can start a tradition with their children!
Barbara Rosenberg is always a 'value-add' to any book. I spend a good deal of time commuting, and Barbara could make 'Web Logs for Dummies' enjoyable.
Another excellent mystery series for Audible. Especially with Barbara Rosenblat's skilled reading, this series reminds me of the Amelia Peabody series, but in this case, the 'mystery' drives it. The Peabodys are like soap operas; you don't really care about the mystery, it's the characters that drive the story. Mrs. Pollifax, however, leaves you constantly wondering just HOW she's gonna get out of this one. Good stuff!
I've only listened to two of her stories, but I thoroughly enjoyed both. There's an element of 'out of the frying pan - into the fire' to these mysteries, and while I would not say they're 'riveting', they do draw me back.
Barbara Rosenblat is always a joy to listen to. Her ability to make you believe you're listening to actual male characters always amazes.
Miss Marple on 'roids...
The important role created for an elderly lady.
The character crawling through the fields camouflaged as a sheep.
Knowing the PI shop keeper was killed.
I'm glad to have found a new entertaining series to help me though sleepless nights with my ipod.
Prize-winning Poet, Composer and Lyricist.
This story surprised me! Emily Pollifax is an older woman, busy with much volunteer work, but not really happy.In fact, as her doctor notes, she is suffering from mild depression.
However, Mrs. Pollifax does not turn to an anti-depressant. She turns to a dream she had from her youth -- that of becoming a spy.
Her approach to getting that job is phenomenally unique and full of good humor. I enjoyed it from cover to cover (as it were). Enough to listen yet again, and again after that.
Emily Pollifax is intriguing not because she is so outwardly different from women her age, but because of how she looks at life. She comes across as a "doddering old woman" yet she does amazing astounding things that people in their young adult years might find too demanding. But Emily doesn't do these because she's in "shape" to do so. She does them because they befall her.
Her spirit is what is so commendable, and while she like all of us has her "grumpy" moments, for the most part her openness to life in general and learning specifically are truly inspirational. But mostly she is far more interesting that one would expect. In fact, she is completely Unexpected.
Highly recommend to all ages.
Barbara Rosenblat does a wonderful job of creating the voice of Emily Pollifax, making her more alive and believable than print could do.
This is one of the best, and most fun, spy-series on Audible. Barbara Rosenblat is an wonderful reader, whose male characters are always believable. They are pretty much a product of their time, but Gilman always has sympathy for the regular natives of the oppressed countries Mrs. Pollifax visits.
Start with this and move on to the whole series - there is perhaps one so-so book in it, but the rest are all great!
Unexpected. Fresh. Fun.
I can't believe that after years and years of listening to audio book mysteries, I procrastinated on picking up a Mrs. Pollifax. Really. What was I thinking? Well, I am glad I finally did as it perked me up and out of a gloomy mood.
She's witty and delightful. A confection of whipped sugar and spice. You have to love a character that gets up and goes out and joins the CIA in her twilight years and then handles it using a life time of experience as a wife and mom. And she's just genuinely nice.
Gilman had a way of describing the landscape that I felt very much like I was "vacationing" along with Mrs. P.
Well, when you know Barbara Rosenblat is reading a book, you know the performance is going to be fantastic. After years upon years of listening to her...it's like putting on your favorite comfortable cashmere cardigan. She's part of the reason I thought to give it a try.
Yes it was! I finished it in two.
Can't imagine why I bought this -- I don't care for 'spy' stories, and of late, I've been staying away from anything narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. But buy it I did -- and yesterday was the day when I couldn't skip it anymore on my iPod list, so I listened. And you know what? I liked it!
It's not a real traditional "spy" story -- that helped. You don't need to remember the names of legions of foreign assassins or try to figure out who's a double agent and who isn't. To my delight, Mrs. Pollifax didn't know where they keep Albania anymore than I did, and it didn't bother either of us one little bit.
Instead, this is sort of a simple -- albeit absurd -- tale of Mrs. Pollifax, a "elderly widow" (careful there! She's said to be in her mid-60's) who is finding life among the garden clubs and tea parties somewhat boring, so she decides to volunteer to help the CIA wherever they might need her. Through a mistake -- of course -- she's hired to be a low-key courier, which is supposed to involve a relaxed trip to Mexico, where on a specified day, she will go to a particular bookstore and ask for a particular book, then bring home the packet she will be given.
It doesn't, of course, work out that way. Instead, she is captured, drugged and flown off to foreign parts, having been identified early on. Kept under lock and key in a dungeon sort of place with a couple of other much more experienced foreign agents, she's losing hope of ever surviving this adventure. Until she simply decides that she will survive it -- and so she does. (Not a spoiler -- there are 13 more books that follow.)
But at that point, the book takes a turn into what can only be described as utter fantasy -- for us baby boomers, anyway. In order to escape this remote prison in Albania, Mrs. Pollifax and her companions engage in a series of physical escapades that few Iron Man Triathlon participants could conquer. They scale sheer rock walls, clinging to out-hanging roots and handholds, she crawls 3-4 miles on her hands and knees, pretending to be part of a flock of sheep, she rides donkeys, they sail across a major body of water, raft down other parts on a fallen log -- on and on, feats of endless physical derring-do, all without benefit of sleep, food or water. Or training. For days on end.
It's a little much -- but it is endlessly entertaining. It's well done, even though it leaves one feeling seriously outclassed in the physicality department.
And as for the narrator, this was recorded in 2011, so it must have been before Barbara Rosenblat became.. well, before she became Barbara Rosenblat, that annoying narrator who feels the need to act out each and every part, to the extreme, and to munch on something all the way through each narration, which drives me completely bonkers. In other words, it's Barbara Rosenblat back when she was just about the best female narrator around -- which makes listening to her a pleasure all by itself.
Good book! I may not go for any more of them, but at least this one wasn't a mistake.