Read The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman Online


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. So, naturally, she became a CIA agent. This time, the assignment sounds as tasty as a taco. A quick trip to Mexico City is on her agenda. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, and ouMrs. 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. So, naturally, she became a CIA agent. This time, the assignment sounds as tasty as a taco. A quick trip to Mexico City is on her agenda. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, and our dear Mrs. Pollifax finds herself embroiled in quite a hot Cold War—and her country's enemies find themselves entangled with one unbelievably feisty lady....

Title : The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780449208281
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 204 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax Reviews

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-03-20 08:33

    I thought I should change my tone here a bit. I've "recently reviewed some audio books, mysteries that I listened to mainly because, well, I was looking for...a book. I figured any book was better than no book. My wife loved whatever series it might happen to be and I listened to them because we had them out of the library anyway.... I wasn't all that taken with many of them. They were sometimes well written, others not. Either I liked or didn't like the main character that much. On the whole I've listened to a lot of audio books I didn't care for much or liked only a little.That is not the case with Dorothy Gilman's Mrs. Pollifax...I'm not ordinarily a mystery fan, but these are wonderful books (and don't really fit "neatly" under the mystery heading). Again I picked the first up for my wife to listen to, listened to it as I drove (my job involved a lot of driving) after she was finished with it, and found it fantastic. I come very close to giving this a 5 star rating and would call it a 4.5. When Mrs. Pollifax comes to the CIA and "accidentally" finds herself heading to Mexico then ends up in an Albanian prison (1966 Cold War era communist Albanian behind the Iron Curtain Albania) then manages to save the day it cracks me up. In a plot that should strain the ability to suspend disbelief good story telling and humor not only saves all but drives the novel forward. I tracked several of these down for my wife...and myself. These are good. Highly recommended, enjoy.

  • Ingela
    2019-03-05 06:29

    Review written May 17, 20164 Stars - A solid good old fashioned spy mystery with an unforgettable grey haired lovely lady. - Impressed and surprised. An oldie spy novel —next to classical— from 1970. Book #1 of a big bunch. I downloaded the 8:16 hrs audiobook (a 2010 edition) narrated by Barbara Rosenblat... and I LOVED it. **********************************************« 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. » . . . ‘It wasn’t that she had so much character, thought Mrs. Pollifax, but rather that always in her life she had found it difficult to submit.’Yes, of course you feel that it's been 45 years since The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax first was published, but this was excellent. Truly enjoying audiobook entertainment in the old school spy thriller genre. Not always believable but with heart. Add a FANTASTIC narration from Mrs Rosenblat. Gosh, so much fun! ~ Even old housewife ladies perform great deeds and surprise you in the case of national security.**********************************************I LIKE - grannies with gunpowder

  • Carolyn Jourdan
    2019-03-02 07:37

    I love all the Dorothy Gilman books, the Mrs. Pollifax mystery series as well as her other books outside the famous series. I'm reading my way through a couple of dozen of them now, back-to-back.What fun.I adore her deep insights about all kinds of people and the spiritual phenomena we encounter in every day life.Her stories always reveal the value of various kinds of people society tends to ignore (unmarried, middle-aged, and elderly people as well as minorities, misfits, outcasts, ...).

  • Dawn Michelle
    2019-03-18 07:47

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE these books. I have the whole series and have gotten both my mother, my MIL and my Auntie-in-law totally hooked on these books. WE LOVE THEM!Where else can you find an older woman, bored with her life, who goes and applies to be in the CIA?? Its amazing. YES, some of the stories are far-fetched, but to me, that just adds to the intrigue of these books. This is the first one and I recommend them to ANYONE!^^I first read these books in Readers Digest Condensed when I was a teen and lived with my grandparents. I loved it when a new book would come and it would have a Mrs. Pollifax book in it. So it was with great pleasure when I was able to buy the series in paperback and have them all the time. I know I have read them more than twice, but since I don't remember the date when I first started buying the in paperback [and reading them as I bought them], we will have to be satisfied with just the two dates I have. I had forgotten a lot of things that happened in this book; I had had them happening in a later book. It was so good to read this again and revisit the world of Emily Pollifax. I highly recommend these books to anyone who loves a little mystery and a lot of adventure.

  • Lynn
    2019-03-14 11:30

    Mrs. Pollifax.....a pleasant sixty-something widow from NJ who decides to ask the CIA if she can help her country as an inconspicuous spy. Written in 1966 with lots of Cold War complications, this was a fun little book. I'm sure I'll come back to this series when I need a change from darker novels.

  • Nikki
    2019-03-14 08:34

    It's taken me forever to read one of these Mrs. Pollifax books because I just didn't think a book could be entertaining enough for me with the heroin being an old lady. But then my sister told me how much she loves these books and how wonderfully fun and charming they are... she even lent me her entire collection to read (thanks, Mandy!) and I have been so delighted with these fun books and this charming character, Mrs. Pollifax. I couldn't have been more wrong or narrow-minded! It's so fun getting to read about all her adventures and the laughs are plentiful. I highly recommend these books.

  • Shaun
    2019-02-28 09:38

    I love well-developed and interesting characters and Mrs. Pollifax excels on both counts.This was fun and extremely well-written (imagine Miss Marple joining the CIA and you'll get a sense of what this book is about.) It's classified as a mystery but it's really much more than that.I don't exactly recall how I came across this series (which first came out in the '80s) on Goodreads but I'm thrilled that I did. As an added, bonus when I purchased the first book it came as part of a three book collection and I'm quite looking forward to reading the others.

  • Ace
    2019-03-04 09:42

    Wonderful. Unexpected.At 63 years of age, Mrs. Pollifax is a little over her life and thinks back to the days when she wanted to be a spy! The rest is the story of the unexpected Mrs. Pollifax. Thoroughly enjoyable spy novel with a twist. I will have to read the rest of these soon.

  • Trish
    2019-03-11 10:36

    Very enjoyable - if rather on the far fetched side. I'll definitely read more about Mrs. P

  • Dolly
    2019-02-27 09:36

    When I first saw one of the books in the Mrs. Pollifax series, I assumed it was another cozy mystery. I was expecting an American Miss Marple. Now that I've read it, I wouldn't necessarily call it a cozy "mystery" series, but it certainly is a fun spy novel. I think of it as a Jessica Fletcher-meets-John le Carré kind of tale. This first book in the series shows us how an unassuming Mrs. Emily Pollifax leaves her elderly suburban life to depart on a spy adventure in Mexico. She begins the story as a bored and depressed senior citizen, but ends up a wise and worldly traveler, ready for more adventure. The story is exciting and entertaining, as implausible as it may be. Mrs. Pollifax is plucky, persistent and determined and a thoroughly enjoyable character. Overall, I found this to be a very fun, quick read and I will certainly read more of the stories in this series. new word: serape

  • Kathy Chumley
    2019-02-23 13:20

    Cute story (from the Cold War years) about an elderly widow who is bored and decides she wants to become a spy. Through a misunderstanding at the CIA office, she's given an assignment that's meant for a "real" spy and the rest is...Well, the rest requires major suspension of disbelief (including her being able to just waltz into the CIA building) but that's okay. She's such a likable old lady that you don't mind. I listened to the audio book and found the narrator to be as likable as Mrs. Polifax herself. I'll probably continue with this series and will most likely also continue with the audio book versions.Don't be put off by my rating. Three stars is a good book in my personal rating system. I've heard of the "dreaded three stars" but that's not how I see them. It's just that I reserve four and five stars for excellent books and great classics.

  • Marts(Thinker)
    2019-03-05 08:32

    Wow, Mrs. Pollifax has a dangerously exciting time...

  • itchy
    2019-03-07 13:20

    what fun it is to read this once again!mrs pollifax will surely never grow old on me;looking forward to her next adventurei don't get the piñata, thoughp14: carstairs had unalterable fath in tirpak's ingenuity, and if tirpak said the microfilms would arrive in mexico city between the twelfth and the eighteenth then the microfilms would be there.p46: "i've lived a very sheltered life," she explained, "and you do have a rather--well, i don't think i've known anyone--i mean, you look as it you'd done some rum things, you see."

  • Jesse
    2019-03-20 05:31

    Mrs. Emily Pollifax is a widow in her sixties, her children have grown up and live far away and have lives of their own, and she realizes that something is missing - that there is a life out there, somewhere, waiting for her. Discovery. Adventure. Intrigue. As a girl, she always dreamed of becoming a spy, so why shouldn't she just drop by the CIA and ask them if they need any spies?I love this book. I love it IMMENSELY. I first read it nearly twenty years ago, and what's even more amazing is that it was written nearly fifty years ago, but stands the test of time perfectly. I love stories with lots of action and adventure (and this story is packed with non-stop action and adventure) I love stories where the characters travel around a lot and see a lot of different places (from the US to Mexico to Albania to the Adriatic Sea is a great whirlwind of a journey!) but what I love most of all is the character of Mrs. Pollifax.Adventure stories - especially those of the time period in which this book was written - are usually the domain of the strong, dapper young male adventurer. Occasionally there's also the older male adventurer, seasoned and experienced. And sometimes there's a young female heroine as well (though she's usually more of a damsel in distress than anything else). But there are very few - VERY few - decent, strong roles for an older woman in an adventure story, and every few sentences I wanted to pump my fist in the air, or hug Dorothy Gilman, for writing not only an unforgettable story but a totally AWESOME role for an older female adventurer. It's nearly as unheard of now as it was then. The world needs more characters like Mrs. Pollifax - but at the same time, she is so special and endearing that there could never be anybody else like her.While some of the events may border on implausible, they're tremendously entertaining, and I honestly felt like I was right there along with her for this wild, wonderful ride. A resounding five stars for The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax. I have no doubt that I will still be reading, and enjoying, this book another twenty years from now, and longer. This is my fifth re-reading of this book (at least!) and it is every bit as exciting, compelling, and endearing as it was the first time around.WELL DONE, Dorothy Gilman.

  • Jane Stewart
    2019-03-22 06:40

    3 ½ stars. I really 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.DATA:Narrative mode: 3rd person. Unabridged audiobook length: 8 hrs and 16 mins. Swearing language: mild, but rarely used. Sexual content: none. Setting: around 1965 U.S., Mexico, Albania. Book copyright: 1966. Genre: spy suspense.

  • MsKingsPens
    2019-02-27 09:47

    This was an unexpected delight! I love mysteries and I have been looking for good, won't be side tracked by romance sleuths. Emily Polifax fit the bill to a tee. Even though I knew she (and Farrell) would make it out of their various predicaments- this is book 1 of 14- Dorothy Gilman made the journey feel perilous and exciting. One of my favorite things about Mrs. Polifax is that, while she was smart and observant, she didn't become a super spy overnight. She messed up a few times and she had to deal with the fear and nerves people who aren't used to the kinds of things she endured would have to make peace with. A few times she got lucky but it felt believable because politics make for strange bedfellows. The story dragged a bit when Gilman got too descriptive and I wish we had spent a bit more time on the denouement, but it was great so I won't complain. I already borrowed book 2 and I cannot wait to read it.

  • Rachel
    2019-03-02 13:44

    If you enjoy Miss Marple, you'll like her American counterpart Mrs. Pollifax. The Mrs. Pollifax series were more suspenseful than I believed it would be, seeing how the heroine of the novel is in her 60s. However, that's part of the books--most people underestimate Mrs. Pollifax. This is the first book in the series, where Mrs Pollifax--deciding that she wasn't satisfied with her normal life--goes to the CIA and asks to become a spy. She is confused with being the courier spy the government needed, and she finds herself suddenly pushed into the world of espionage. This is a good rainy day book.

  • Steph
    2019-03-04 06:42

    Let me tell you about dear Mrs. Pollifax. She is a widow with grown children and grandchildren, and she feels like she has outlived her usefulness. What's a woman like Mrs. Pollifax to do? Well, go after her childhood dream of working for the CIA of course.While I might have found her story far fetched in many circumstances, I ended up being convinced that if anyone could do the things that Mrs. Pollifax did in this book, it would have indeed been Mrs. Pollifax.With a slew of interesting and likable characters, and a plot set in 1960's, I ended up on team Mrs. P and look forward to more in the series.

  • Julie Davis
    2019-03-22 11:34

    I'm listening to this for the pleasure of both revisiting a beloved character and the excellence of Barbara Rosenblat's narration. My mother would bring home the latest from the grocery store and it would get passed around. We all enjoyed Mrs. Pollifax's personality and ingenuity, as well as the author's talent for weaving a spy novel with a light touch.I reread these so many times that the plot is coming back to me, several decades later, but I'm enjoying them immensely anyway.

  • Mo
    2019-03-08 08:34

    3 1/2 starsI loved the premise of this story. I found the character of Mrs. Pollifax to be quite endearing, and at times the book was terrific. At others it read too much like “The Perils of Pauline” for the over fifty set.

  • Anna
    2019-03-07 06:45

    I had read this before, long enough ago to have forgotten many of the details, and I enjoyed it just as much this time. A lovely way to while away the hours waiting out a layover.Popsugar challenge 2017: a book you've read before that never fails to make you smile.

  • Melora
    2019-03-12 11:30

    This lightweight little adventure story is so dated that I can't tell how much of its “campiness” was intended and how much is a function of age. We get the whole panoply of types – the steely-eyed, square-jawed secret agent who calls our heroine “Duchess,” the squinty-eyed oriental, Godless communist villains, Red Chinese... Our heroine, the “unexpected” Mrs. Pollifax, to all appearances a fluffy little old lady, is, of course, endlessly plucky and resourceful, and the tough, ruthless spies and super-villains she encounters just can't stop marveling over her and staring at her in awed surprise. This is a quick read, and, read as a sort of James Bond spoof, weirdly entertaining. I wouldn't read another in the series, but I've certainly read worse.

  • Caitlyn Santi
    2019-03-02 10:35

    There is quite a lot of bad language in this book, no F-bombs, but a ton of "D***" "H***" and taking God's name in vain. I was surprised by how many instances of bad language there were, but I suppose since this is a secular read I should have expected that. I don't cuss, but people in my family do, so as I'm reading my brain just kind of automatically filters those words out of a book before they can offend me, though it does tick me off when those words keep popping up. However, I'm giving this three stars because it was overall a fun storyline.

  • Richard
    2019-03-10 08:37

    This series is my favorite comfort read, although this book is not one I've gone back to as often as some of the others. Always a pleasure, and definitely more plausible and better-written than some of the later entries.I was fortunate to meet Ms Gilman a number of years ago, while she was touring to promote Mrs Pollifax and the Lion Killer. I told her that I've gone back to some of her books three or four times, and she said, "There's no better compliment than that."She told a charming story about how Mrs P. came to be created: She had previously written a couple of children's books, but had just gone through a difficult divorce. She was working at a grocery store and struggling financially to support her children. Mrs Pollifax was a kind of wish fulfillment, an older woman who sets out competently to find new worth and work in the world. Why is the book set in Albania? Because Ms Gilman had never been out of the country, and at that time, Albania was a closed country. She figured that if no one had been there, they wouldn't know if she got the details wrong.Another interesting tidbit related to a later book, Mrs Pollifax Pursued. That's the only book that is (almost) entirely set in the US, because at that time Gilman was dealing with agoraphobia - so Mrs Pollifax stuck (relatively) close to home, also.In our real lives, kind words and a good heart aren't always rewarded, but they work wonders for Mrs Pollifax, senior citizen spy. In a cold world, these books are little bound bundles of warmth, and I'm always glad to see them back in print.

  • Teri-K
    2019-03-15 12:26

    Always, always delightful. I first discovered Mrs. P. when I was in college back in the ****'s. A long time ago. I fell in love. I own all of the books and consider them treasures, replacing them reluctantly when they begin to fall apart. They've traveled with me around the US and overseas. My daughter loves her, too. Recently I discovered these books on audio, and I find them perfect to listen to as I drive, exercise, or especially late at night when I can't sleep.What makes these stories so good? First, there's Mrs. P's spirit, her love of life and respect for people, and that sense of adventure and desire to live a life that matters that took her to the CIA to volunteer to become a spy. She did it, she says, because she felt her life had become "expendable". But as you read these books you realize she isn't at all expendable - in fact the world needs more people like Emily Pollifax - more people who care about their world and the people in it, who will put themselves at risk to help others, who will take the time to appreciate the world around them. I can wax a bit poetic about these books, as they are light-hearted, clean, fun books of a type that can be hard to find today. At the same time Mrs. P. herself makes them more. The best books are the first five or six. But read them all, in order if possible, and enjoy! If I could only read one book series for the rest of my life, I'd pick these. :)NB- Both DD and I had trouble at first with the audio-books, as Mrs. P sounds old in them. But once I got used to that I've enjoyed the audios a lot.

  • Kristin
    2019-02-20 09:22

    This book series was recommended to me by a friend. I am not a mystery lover or spy book enthusiast but I decided to give it a try.The book was published in the 1960s and has a dated feel and tone. It also has an antiquated political storyline in a Pre-Internet world but it was that part that I actually enjoyed. I liked the retro-factor. As for the rest of it...uh...not so much. I just didn't really get into it. I kept thinking that this was a book for the Murder She Wrote crowd and Mrs. Pollifax, in my mind, looked just like Angela Landsbury. It could have been a made-for-TV movie from the 80's. Imagine when I found out after reading the book that it WAS made into a made-for-TV movie starring none other than ANGELA LANDSBURY!! Craziness.This book series is well-beloved and that is wonderful but it just wasn't my particular cup of tea. It didn't hold my interest as it wasn't really a mystery but more of a spy tale sans mystery. So yeah. Not for me, but other people really love it. If you liked the show Murder She Wrote you will probably thoroughly enjoy it.My Rating: Okay...but not for me.

  • Diane
    2019-02-28 11:20

    Mrs. Pollifax has long been a favorite road trip companion. But we had never listened to this, the first in the series. This book explains how the bored 60 something widowed retiree got hired by the CIA as a courier. It was supposed to be a simple assignment; spend a week in Mexico City as a tourist and then pick up a package from a bookstore. Of course, nothing is ever simple when Mrs. Pollifax is involved and she soon becomes a prisoner in an Albanian jail.This series was written 3 decades ago and I usually have to google to find out the context of the international conflict of the time. Red China in Albania? I didn't know that.Emily Pollifax is clever, resourceful and charming. The book is entertaining and unexpected.

  • Amanda McGill
    2019-03-17 13:39

    Meh just wasn't overwhelmed. Emily Pollifax is different from the typical heroine. She is a 60 something widow who is looking for something to entertain her besides garden parties and volunteering. She takes on a job with the CIA that seems pretty tame, however something goes wrong and Mrs. Pollifax is caught in the middle of it all. I just didn't fall in love with Mrs. Pollifax and the story like many other reviewers have. I found the story to be more about the adventure, rather than a mystery, which I didn't enjoy.

  • DeAnna Knippling
    2019-02-22 09:34

    A surprising book. I was expecting something lighthearted, along the lines of Agatha Christie but less so--dear Agatha is light like a small, sharp knife, and not many can match it. First surprise, this isn't a cozy, but a spy novel--an honest spy novel. Second surprise, kindness really does light up a dark world. Third surprise, not telling.A novel about a woman who ought to have been forgotten, having outlived her use, and thriving in a new world she gets tossed into.

  • Leslie
    2019-03-07 12:42

    This was my fourth or fifth time reading this first Mrs. Pollifax book since I was introduced to the series in the 1970s, and I still love it! Despite the fact that I know the plot so well that there are no surprises, I enjoy the characters and situations.If you like spy books with a sense of humor, I would recommend this series.