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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 (1614 )
5 star
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4.2 (1430 )
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4.5 (1426 )
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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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  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 09-19-14
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 09-19-14 Member Since 2013

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delightful Adventure"

    Absolutely ADORE this story of widowed Mrs. Pollifax who volunteers to work for the CIA. Is it plausible? No . . . Is it entirely serious? No . . . Does it take you on an adventure you won't forget???? YES, YES, YES!!! You will be rooting for the quirky Mrs. Pollifax the entire journey and wondering about all the strange folks she meets along the way . . . This is better than "Murder She Wrote" . . . can't wait for the next installment!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GrandmaG Kinnelon, NJ, United States 08-28-12
    GrandmaG Kinnelon, NJ, United States 08-28-12 Member Since 2011

    Retired bookkeeper, married, Mom of 2, two granddaughters. Love cozy mysteries.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Totally, absolutely ludicrous, but......"

    This is the second Mrs. Polifax book I've listened to. I have mixed feelings about it, which explains my 3-star rating. It's totally ridiculous. A 60-ish, untrained widow who is bored with her life, VOLUNTEERS herself to the C.I.A. to be a spy, and what's more, they sign her up!! Never happen, of course! But.... remind yourself - this IS fiction!! So once you get past that fact, you start listening, and you keep saying to yourself, "this is almost to the point of being dumb." The other agents she meets actually accept her and work with her, instead of telling her to go home to New Jersey. Bottom line is that it's a nice, albeit silly story, with no foul language and no sexual situations. Would I listen to another? I might, but I'd rent it for free from my library.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glutenfreegirl 09-26-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Quite Delightful and Thrilling Read"
    What did you love best about The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax?

    Mrs Pollifax is a wonderful character and always does the unexpected for a woman in her 60s. I really like Dorothy Gilman's ability to write with detail but not make it boring.


    What other book might you compare The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax to and why?

    Mrs. Pollifax actually reminds me of Angela Lansbury's character in Murder She Wrote.


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

    Barbara Rosenblat is THE voice of Mrs. Pollifax. I cannot imagine anyone else narrating this character.


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

    Dorothy Gilman's writing got me so involved that I was rooting for Mrs Pollifax and her side kicks to come out ahead.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall, a very enjoyable book with a good amount of action but no overt details of gore or violence. I plan on listening to the entire series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MCR Middle Georgia 12-12-11
    MCR Middle Georgia 12-12-11 Member Since 2007
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    "What a great audiobook"

    Simply charming character in Mrs. Pollifax and a mystery spy plot with unexpected twists and turns. Really enjoyed this!

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eoin Kilcullen, Ireland 06-18-12
    Eoin Kilcullen, Ireland 06-18-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great start to the series"

    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!

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana Lumberton, NC, United States 09-22-14
    Dana Lumberton, NC, United States 09-22-14

    A mother of three who love books,cooking and dogs.

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    "Love it."
    What did you love best about The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax?

    She was lady who would not lay down and take what the world wanted her to be OLD. I like that she wanted more.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mrs. Pollifax, just because she showed old can do too.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The party


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

    Yes and I did.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Voracious Reader NY 09-13-14
    Voracious Reader NY 09-13-14 Member Since 2012

    Retired tech writer/editor. Mensa. Pgh Steelers/ Penguins fan. Lib Dem/feminist. Grew up reading lit--M.A. English--now read mys/thrillers.

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    "I bought this even though I read it before"
    What did you love best about The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax?

    The main character. A senior citizen with pizazz. She is charmingly practical, and her UNCOMMON "common sense" and wry humor make the book a joy. Also, she NEVER complains and always remains optimistic. Could use a LOT of Mrs. Pollifaxes in this world!!!
    Barbara Rosenblat's voice is spectacular. She's my all-time favorite "reader" (she really doesn't "read" -- she performs.)


    What other book might you compare The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax to and why?

    The rest of the series. I've read ALL of them. Probably Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled & The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax (#2 in the series, which I bought recently, confusing it w/#1 in the series) were the two I liked least. My all-time favorite is Mrs. Pollifax Pursued.


    Which character – as performed by Barbara Rosenblat – was your favorite?

    Mrs. Pollifax of course!!


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

    I felt bad to learn the man who ran the shop in Mexico was killed.


    Any additional comments?

    I kept waiting for another Mrs. Pollifax & then learned Dorothy Gilman had died. She'll be missed. (So will Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters -- Amelia Peabody series) who also died recently. Delightful books. Her writing added a lot joy to my world.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Westminister, CA, United States 08-15-14
    Donna Westminister, CA, United States 08-15-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Mrs. Pollifax"

    Love her and can't wait to read the rest of them.... Well worth a credit

    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 2014

    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 2015
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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

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