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The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax - Dorothy Gilman

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 had 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.  Mrs Pollifax 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 Grandma.  I highly recommend this as an audio read. Barbara Rosenblat is wonderful as the “voice” of the charming and resourceful Mrs Pollifax.