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The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax | [Dorothy Gilman]

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

Mrs. Virgil (Emily) Pollifax of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was a widow with grown children. She was tired of attending her Garden Club meetings. She wanted to do something good for her country. This first in the series sends Emily on her first case after she successfully persuades a skeptical CIA recruitment officer that she is the best person for the job.
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Publisher's Summary

Mrs. Virgil (Emily) Pollifax of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was a widow with grown children. She was tired of attending her Garden Club meetings. She wanted to do something good for her country. This first in the series sends Emily on her first case after she successfully persuades a skeptical CIA recruitment officer that she is the best person for the job.

©1970 Dorothy Gilman (P)1989 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (733 )
5 star
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4.5 (624 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Heather Olson 03-07-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Unexpected Mrs. Polifax is an unexpected pleasure"
    If you could sum up The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax in three words, what would they be?

    A listening pleasure


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax?

    At the beginning of the book Mrs. Pollifax thinks her life is over because she is a widow and her life has no purpose. She comes to realize that she is still a very important part of a lot of lives and though over sixty, still has a lot to contribute.


    Have you listened to any of Barbara Rosenblat???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Barbara Rosenblat is able to portray characters of all ages, both genders, and with a variety of accents so that it is easy to follow the different characters and to know who is talking.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole book is a journey, as Mrs. Pollifax makes friends in the most unlikely places.


    Any additional comments?

    Mrs. Pollifax is a delightful, developing character. Even though at times she seems (as she is) from another world than the one we live in now, she adapts and uses her life experience to solve the problems she encounters. She is a good lesson for any baby boomer.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    motown Bangor, Maine 02-06-12
    motown Bangor, Maine 02-06-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Fabulous!"

    I read the Mrs. Pollifax series years ago and loved listening to them as audiobooks. When I grow up I want to be Mrs. P. Barbara Rosenblat reads Mrs. P in an older voice than I had previously imagined, but she is still wonderful. Try to read them - at least the first three - in order: The Unexpected Mrs. P, the Amazing Mrs. P and The Ellusive Mrs. P. Your credits will not be wasted.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Sioux City, IA, United States 01-01-12
    Laura Sioux City, IA, United States 01-01-12 Member Since 2010

    Say something about yourself! I love to read and to share that with my severely dyslexic teen I have audible!

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    "A favorite for three generations"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have recommended this to several who really enjoyed it.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Love the unexpected way Mrs. Polifax becomes a spy, the humor, the danger is real but it is not grisly or rated R.


    Any additional comments?

    My daughter loved listening to Mrs. Polifax and immediately wanted the rest of them.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 06-04-14
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 06-04-14 Member Since 2009

    I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

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    "Delightful!"

    This is a delightful tale of a depressed older lady who begins to think that her life no longer holds meaning. She decides that what she would really like to do is be a spy. The tale unfolds and Mrs. Pollifax has the adventure of a lifetime. I just loved this story... I found it fun and yet, poignant. I felt that Barbara Rosenblat did a wonderful job of doing Mrs. Pollifax's voice. I would like to see some sequels down the road and follow Mrs. Pollifax on more adventures. Bravo Dorothy Gilman.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele Kingery COLUMBIA, SC, United States 03-16-14
    Michele Kingery COLUMBIA, SC, United States 03-16-14 Member Since 2012

    author of "Starfish"

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    "Wish I'd discovered Mrs. Pollifax Years Ago!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax the most enjoyable?

    Rosenblatt does an exceptional job with the voice characterizations.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax?

    Every moment with Mrs. P. was enjoyable. I loved how she endured with a noble spirit and lack of self pity and whining. She was the least experienced character in the book, yet, in some ways, the strongest in heart, mind and spirit.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scenes on which she took care of and interacted with Farrell.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    If Mrs. P felt despair, I felt it, too.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm thrilled there are several more books in this series. I will read them ALL!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 02-21-14
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 02-21-14 Member Since 2010
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    "3 ½ stars. I enjoyed the beginning and the end."

    The middle was not as good.

    THE MIDDLE:
    It was mostly scene after scene of oh my this bad thing is happening, what will we do, oh, quick do that, gee, we barely made it. I’m not sure why I didn’t enjoy this part. Maybe I would have liked more personality interaction instead of a series of bad things being thrown at them.

    THE BEGINNING AND END:
    I loved it. I was laughing. Here’s this little old lady walking into the CIA offices and saying “I want to be a spy.” The guy is slack jawed and speechless. And in the end, people saying “you did what?” amazed at what she did. That was funny and good. Also she changed the way she treated someone at the end, which was neat.

    This is book #1 in the series.

    I BOUGHT THIS BECAUSE OF THE AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    I wanted to buy more books narrated by Barbara Rosenblat, and this was on her list. She was very good, but I have two complaints. This was recorded in 1989. The recording equipment picks up her breaths and some swallowing which was distracting. Second: I did not like her fragile little old lady voice for Mrs. Pollifax. She made her sound like she was in her 90s. Most women in their 60s don’t sound like that.

    Genre: spy suspense

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jules Crown Point, IN United States 02-23-13
    Jules Crown Point, IN United States 02-23-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Delightful"

    This story is a delightful, cozy mystery. Mrs. Pollifax is a wonderful combination of sweet and spunk. Her tenacity is inspiring and left me looking forward to her next adventure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathi Sterling, VA, United States 01-21-13
    Kathi Sterling, VA, United States 01-21-13 Member Since 2010

    Love fiction--classic to light, serious to comedic. Selective non-fiction. These days lots of mysteries (not too violent, please :-)

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    "The NARRATOR makes this book come alive!"
    Where does The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Well, it was a great lot of fun. A few years ago, I began to read the book, and I put it aside, finding it rather simplistic, sort of light reading and I simply could not get beyond her going to the CIA to naively ask for a job as a spy. (okay, I live outside Washington,DC, so my thinking there is pre-programmed). :-)

    Then I read the reviews for it on here, and thought maybe I'd try listening to it for a different experience. So glad I did! My husband and I sat up till 2am because we were mesmerized.

    There have been a few books that I sadly think were disappointing because of the way they were read. This is just the opposite! A book I could not get engaged with when reading it came alive because of the incredible reading talent of the narrator. I would say it was like reading a completely different book. Higher praise then that I don't know how to offer.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Oh, Mrs. Polifax, for sure.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I found the scene in which she had a conversation in a tiny bookstore with its owner very sweet and touching. This was just before all the excitement began!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I realized even more with this book how much the narrator brings to it in this format. I know I have stopped listening to several books that I would have finished reading. And there have been memorable narrators that I love, no matter what they read. But this was the first time I ever listened to a book that I had made up my mind beforehand about in a negative way, only to have the delightful surprise of hearing an entirely "different" book, at least as read by Ms.Rosenblatt. Highly recommend..

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 01-16-13
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 01-16-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cold War Caper with a Twist"

    On first encountering Mrs. Polifax you expect her to be another Miss Marple, an observer who summarizes the major plot points for the reader and reveals the killer after a string of seemingly unrelated actions. Well, hurrah for Mrs. Polifax, (picture your great aunt Sadie), who takes command of the story and doesn't let go until the end. No couch potato is she in this espionage tale. I was surprised at the brisk pace of the story. Set during the early years of the cold war, it was interesting to realize how little the world has changed, the players have merely shifted. But at the some time how the power struggles have morphed from the days of the Red Scare to today's well armed terrorist organizations.

    The characters felt real for the period, even the CIA operatives and the bad guys. I enjoyed the narrator for the most part, though her American male characters all sounded the same. And a character we meet later in the book who is Chinese sounded more like a person from India. Other than those small quibbles, I enjoyed the book and plan several return trips to visit Mrs. Polifax.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie R. Gurschke USA 10-29-12 Member Since 2012

    Jerseylily

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    "Greatly entertaining!"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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