The first Mrs. Polifax book. I really enjoyed it, and plan to read the rest of the series.
Mrs. Pollifax, grandmother & CIA agent in New Jersey, is featured in:
The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax (1966)
The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax (1970)
The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax (1971)
A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax (1973)
Mrs. Pollifax on Safari (1976)
Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station 1983)
Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha (1985)
Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle (1988)
Mrs. Pollifax and the Whirling Dervish (1990)
Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief (1993)
Mrs. Pollifax Pursued (1995)
Mrs. Pollifax and the Lion Killer (1996)
Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist (1997)
Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled (2000)
"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.
Loved every minute of it. Even though I am much younger than she, I lived the life of a spy vicariously through her the entire way. So many exciting things - and dangerous things - happen but Mrs. Pollifax handles the unexpected better than most. Its a page turner and then makes you want to head right for the next book in the series.
The Cold War background politics of this spy novel are dated, but the charm, wit, and resourcefulness of the title character (and the writing) never go out of style.
Mrs. Pollifax reminds me of Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody (though that should probably be the other way round as Gilman's work is older) without the constraints of Victorian society or the journal structure of the novels.
Whether you're looking for a new twist on the spy novel or a strong female character who proves there is life after grandkids this book is certainly worth your time.
Theodora B. reviewed The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax (Mrs. Pollifax, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 5
This is probably one of the best series of books I have read. Mrs. Pollifax is smart, capable, funny and just absolutely wonderful. This is a series of 14 books and they are all great. A wonderful, wonderful read.
An adorable story and beginning of a great series. Mrs Pollifax has reached a point in life she wants some adventure beyond her traditional life. So she heads to DC to find the HQ of the CIA and volunteer to become a spy. This charming grandmother ends up doing just that. She is sent to Mexico as a courier to bring back some secret information. Of course the world of espionage is unpredictable and its Mrs Pollifax's charm and wit that turn a bad situation into success.
This was a highly amusing book. The plot moved well in pace and in events, and dialogue was concise without being too curt to be believable. The strength behind the story, in my opinion, is the wit supporting the writing.
Most surprising in this book is that Gilman constantly brings up and comments upon highly moral topics. Throughout the book, these topics subtly enter the story and are explored for both the readers' interest as well as Mrs. Pollifax's.
Mrs. Pollifax is lovable, as well as Johnny (especially in his moments of indignation), and even her captors become likeable, in their own ways. Gilman most definitely creates the first book as an addicting window to the rest of the books in her series.
Mrs. Pollifax, a quirky grandmother, is sent out on a CIA mission to Mexico in a case of mistaken identity. Her adventures and misadventures begin a second career for her that is important, lively, dangerous, scarey and satisfying.
The story is easy to read but very interesting. This series is more enjoyable if you this book first.
This is the first mystery novel on Mrs. Pollifax. I started to read it and could not put it down until I finished it. It has suspense, mystery, action...a real page turner! Mrs. Pollifax is tired of Garden parties, teas, and volunteering at the hospital... and is looking for something new and exciting to do. She volunteers to work for the CIA and there begins her first adventure as a spy. Great characters full of spunk who do their country proud. Very interesting plot. My kind of lady! Great book. I highly recommend.
Cassandra F. (gran) reviewed The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax (Mrs. Pollifax, Bk 1) on
Other than being annoyingly illogical, this book is entertaining enough that I did finish it. The only reason I started reading it in the first place was that it is on a list of 1,000 contemporary books one should read.
tani reviewed The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax (Mrs. Pollifax, Bk 1) on
This is the first book of many starring the delightful Mrs. Pollifax.
She is an elderly widow who gets bored with life and--due to a mistake at the CIA--succeeds in her desire to become a spy. Her naivete, coupled with her sharp wits lead her into a series of hilarious adventures, some of which have had me laughing out loud. These books are not "deep," long, or very literary in quality, but I have read as many in this series as I could get my hands on and enjoyed them all.
Highly recommended for light reading. No bad language, sex, or unnecessarily or horrifically violent scenes, though there is suspense.
I'll be honest. I had a hard time getting through the beginning of this book. It was written with a bit more formality than I expected. It just didn't grab me right from the start, so it felt like a chore to read. However, that view quickly changed once I got into the meat of the story. The action of the second half is fast paced and exciting. By the end of the book, I really liked Mrs. Pollifax and would gladly read more of her adventures. She showed that she is smart and resourceful, and I didn't feel that I needed to suspend as much disbelief as I thought I would when I read the description. Overall, I enjoyed the book and I'm glad I stuck it out until the end.
First in the series of Mrs Pollifax books, we are intorduced to Emily, Farrell, and Carstairs.
Story of an innocent, untrained CIA operative who is taken prisoner.
Dated politics of the Cold War is the background.
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
I would love to rate/review this book. What I did was pass it on to a dear friend of mine who, after heart surgery, discovered she had a carcinoma in her mouth. She had TWO surgeries on her mouth to remove the carcinoma, including plastic surgery. Praise God she is doing well and now has time to read. This book is right up her alley. I thought it would be a good gift for her! She was very pleased with it and is looking forward to reading it.
This is one of my favorite series of books. I just love Mrs Pollifax. Each book she travels to someplace different and Dorothy Gilman does such a good job describing each place I feel like I have been there. I highly recommend all of the Mrs Pollifax books!
Deceptively amiable plot at first, but don't be fooled by the first bit of reading. The story line escalates to a continually moving plot.
I only wish that the ending paced better. All in all, a fun read!