HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy…
Loading...

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax (original 1966; edition 1985)

by Dorothy Gilman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,093367,605 (3.91)101
Member:reannon
Title:The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax
Authors:Dorothy Gilman
Info:Fawcett (1985), Edition: later printing, Mass Market Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman (1966)

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 101 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Emily Pollifax is bored in retirement. Her husband is deceased. Her children and grown and married. She still volunteers for various charities, but that’s getting old, too. But what else could she possibly do? America is engage in the Cold War against Communist countries. She figures she’s resourceful, intelligent, patriotic, loyal, and good at puzzles, so she leaves her New Jersey home and goes to Washington DC to meet with the CIA and offer her services as a spy. It so happens they are looking for the perfect operative to pose as a tourist in Mexico City and pick up a certain package, and the director calls in a certain candidate for an interview. He’s charmed by the woman he meets in the interview room, and before he discovers his mistake, he has offered Mrs Pollifax the job.

Well, how difficult could this be? She only has to go to Mexico City (paid for entirely by the CIA, of course), play the tourist for nearly three weeks, and then on a particular day go to a particular book shop and ask for a specific book, commenting on one of the characters. The proprietor will sell her the book and she will bring it back to America. But the best laid plans … oft go awry. And this one is no exception.

But Emily Pollifax IS perfect as a spy. She’s bright, inquisitive, observant and has a great deal of courage. She may be an amateur but she handles herself very well against the enemy. Some of the plot turns really stretch credulity, and the whole thing is obviously dated, but it’s a fun read nonetheless. I figured out the secret right away, but I was still entertained. I’ll definitely read more of this series. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 28, 2016 |
Mrs. Emily Pollifax of New Brunswick, New Jersey is a widow whose children have grown up and married. She is tired of her garden club, volunteer work and life in general. Her doctor advises her to do something fun. So Mrs. Pollifax goes to the CIA and asks if they need a spy, something she's always longed to do. Down the hall, CIA Chief Carstairs is looking for a courier. He wants someone unknown and innocent looking who will be able to pass for a tourist. When he accidentally meets Mrs. Pollifax, he knows he has found his agent. The fact that she has no training is fine since, while the situation is dangerous, she shouldn't be in any real danger. She's given a three-week vacation to Mexico. Her only job is to walk into a bookstore on a certain day, communicate a few code phrases, and bring the package with her back to America. Unfortunately when the day arrives, she walks into the bookstore and is promptly kidnapped. Soon she finds herself on a plane to Albania.

This is a very entertaining book. Mrs. Pollifax is a great character and it's so much fun to see how she deals with her kidnappers. I think it's important to remember the book was written in 1966, in the middle of the Cold War, so references to Cuba, Russia and “Red China” may seen a bit strange to readers who didn't live thorough that period.

Mrs. Pollifax is one of those characters that jumps off the page in vivid color and I can't wait to read the next book in the series, The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
Mrs Emily Pollifax of New Brunswick, New Jersey is a widowed senior citizen with grown children. She feels she has outlived her usefulness and “loathes” her volunteer work. After a visit to her doctor, she is struck with an epiphany: she recalls that when she was growing up she planned to become a spy, so she decides that's what she'll do. She does some research and then boards a train to Washington DC to offer her services to the CIA. What ensues is an amusing spy adventure. She is accidentally sent to Mexico City as a courier, and when the job goes awry she ends up a prisoner in Albania.

Written in the 1960’s and set during the Cold War, this is the first in a series of 14 books. I recall my grandmother reading these in her Reader’s Digest Magazine many years ago and saying they were some of her favorite reads. I enjoyed this first book and plan to continue with the series. And as I’ve heard later books in the series are even better, I may end up agreeing with her. I highly recommend this as an audio read. Barbara Rosenblat is wonderful as the “voice” of the charming and resourceful Mrs Pollifax. ( )
  Bluebird1 | Jan 14, 2016 |
Lovely as always. Mrs. Pollifax is a delight - and this is the best one, where she knows absolutely nothing and still manages on grit and determination and calm, and especially on her gift of making friends in the _oddest_ places. First meeting with Carstairs and Farrell, met up with an assortment of bad guys and some that weren't so bad, found her physical limits and that they were a lot further out than she'd expected. Of course now I want to read the rest (Ok, some of the rest) of the series - soon. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Jan 2, 2016 |
The question - what would you do if you had the time and freedom? Mrs. Pollifax's answer – be as spy. The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman is the completely improbable but completely fun tale of this elderly widow turned spy. Mrs. Pollifax is an endearing, charming character. Her ability to maintain her poise and maneuver (I may even say "Macgyver") her way through every situation has me laughing through the book.

Read my complete review at: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2015/12/the-unexpected-mrs-pollifax.html ( )
  njmom3 | Dec 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dorothy Gilmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bie-De Beth, H. deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Friedmann, GretlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manchette, Jean-PatrickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manchette, MélissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenblat, BarbaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rubin, AlfredoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
柳沢由実子Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
The nurse walked out of the room, closing the door behind her, and Mrs. Pollifax looked at the doctor and he in turn looked at her.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449208281, Mass Market Paperback)

"Mrs. Pollifax is an enchantress."
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
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 our dear Mrs. Pollifax finds herself embroilied in quite a hot Cold War--and her country's enemies find themsleves entangled with one unbelievably feisty lady.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:23 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Mrs. Pollifax is an enchantress." THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW. 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 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
3 avail.
31 wanted
1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.91)
0.5
1 2
1.5 2
2 11
2.5 1
3 60
3.5 14
4 110
4.5 12
5 70

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,270,122 books! | Top bar: Always visible