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Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station Mass Market Paperback – Mar 12 1985


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett (March 12 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449208400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449208403
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 1.5 x 17.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #224,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Publisher

My grandmother is a big fan of the MRS. POLLIFAX mysteries by Dorothy Gilman. I was at first hesitant
to try the books, because I wasn't sure if I'd be able to relate to mysteries featuring a suburban grandmother
working for the CIA. But because my grandmother's taste in literature has always been impeccable,
I decided to delve into Mrs. Pollifax's adventures. I began with THE UNEXPECTED MRS. POLLIFAX, the first
in the series, and immediately found them delightful. Mrs. Pollifax is just the kind of grandmother I'd
love to have: resourceful, intelligent, somewhat sly, and, of course, a secret CIA operative. Her
adventures take her to all corners of the globe: from an authentically described communist China
(MRS. POLLIFAX ON THE CHINA STATION) to an exhilarating safari across Africa (MRS. POLLIFAX ON
SAFARI). I've thoroughly enjoyed joining her on her adventures, and intend to read them all. I recommend them
to everyone who's interested in learning about different countries and cultures--and, obviously, espionage!

--Malinda Lo, Editorial Assistant

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Serene Night on Aug. 5 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed Mrs. Pollifax and the China Station. For folks who don't know who Mrs. Pollifax is, she's a 'sweet little old lady' who just happens to work for the CIA and have a brown belt in Karate. The stories are always filled with adventure, suspense, and yet, are for the most part wholesome and 'cozy.'
In this installment, Mrs. Pollifax is sent to China disguised as a tourist, to help rescue a prisoner from a labor camp. Armed with very minimal information and a secret partner, Mrs. Pollifax and friends, must find a way to extricate Missing Mr. " X" from China, without getting arrested, detained or worse... Killed!
This was a great installment in the Mrs. P. series. Although some of the minor characters were irritating: i.e. Jenny, and 'perfect all-knowing' Iris, I liked seeing Mrs. Pollifax in action, and her interaction with her co-agent was amusing.
Definitely a must for Mrs. P. Fans.... A fun, light mystery sure to entertain just about everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
All of the books in the Mrs. Pollifax series (as well as the whole of Mrs. Gilmans' works) are truly delightful. The reader will be swept away by the adventure, humor and intrigue, all the while learning about the customs and history of foreign lands. You can start with any book in the series, but if you have the chance, read them all. They are not to be missed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By HannahR on Oct. 14 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a big fan of the intrepid Mrs. Pollifax and especially enjoy this book. The intrigue, adventure and characters are wonderful and I find real involvement with the plot. Don't miss a chance to live the spying life vicariously through Emily Pollifax - especially the earlier novels which I have found are much better than her more recent additions!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dorothy Gilman rarely ceases to amaze with her talent at keeping the pages turning. In "Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station," Gilman once again creates plausible situations that never fail to catch the reader off guard. Again it is nearly impossible to decide whom to trust. A very fun read!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 63 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Fun, Light Hearted Mystery Aug. 5 2003
By Serene Night - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed Mrs. Pollifax and the China Station. For folks who don't know who Mrs. Pollifax is, she's a 'sweet little old lady' who just happens to work for the CIA and have a brown belt in Karate. The stories are always filled with adventure, suspense, and yet, are for the most part wholesome and 'cozy.'
In this installment, Mrs. Pollifax is sent to China disguised as a tourist, to help rescue a prisoner from a labor camp. Armed with very minimal information and a secret partner, Mrs. Pollifax and friends, must find a way to extricate Missing Mr. " X" from China, without getting arrested, detained or worse... Killed!
This was a great installment in the Mrs. P. series. Although some of the minor characters were irritating: i.e. Jenny, and 'perfect all-knowing' Iris, I liked seeing Mrs. Pollifax in action, and her interaction with her co-agent was amusing.
Definitely a must for Mrs. P. Fans.... A fun, light mystery sure to entertain just about everyone.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Charming and Entertaining - Mrs. Pollifax on assignment in China! Aug. 5 2006
By That Chatty Gal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This was the second Mrs. Pollifax novel I've read and I was not disappointed. If you're at all a fan of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple - I think you'll really enjoy Mrs. Pollifax. If you've never read Mrs. Pollifax - begin with the first in the series so that you understand how she came to be working for the US Goverment - that book is: The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax. This book, is charming overall. The author does an excellent job hiding the identity of Mrs. Pollifax' accomplice - and enemy - until the time is right for us to know. The suspense is very good. I love the small unfolding romances as well. My only complaint, if you can call it that, is that Mrs. Pollifax is able to resolve something tricky (I won't tell you which thing and ruin it for you - don't worry) by almost luck at one point - I would have prefered her to use her brains and resourcefulness more in some instances. But - it is a minor quibble - she's so charming - I'm eager to read more of the series! Hope you enjoy it too. :)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Mrs. Pollifax in search of Mr. X April 3 2003
By Karen Potts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Mrs. Pollifax is thrilled when Mr. Carstairs, her boss at the CIA, gives her an assignment to China. As luck would have it, Mrs. P. has recently completed a course in Chinese history, so she is primed and ready to go. She joins a tour group and is told that one of the other group members is actually a CIA agent who will become her partner later on. She tries unsuccessfully to detect her future partner and is very surprised when the agent's identity is revealed. She sees a lot of interesting Chinese countryside and tries to get acquainted with other tour group members. Later in the book, she rides a runaway horse and encounters some rough stuff from a Russian spy. This book, as the others in the series, is charming, and a little romance adds some pizzazz to this one.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The unlikliest spy June 6 2007
By Roger Long - Published on Amazon.com
It would be hard to imagine a more unlikely international spy and detective than the Emily Pollifax, garden club habitue, geranium raiser, suburban grandmother, and brown belt karate expert. But there you have it--and it all works just beautifully.

I've read about all of the Pollifax books, and so far this is the best. Mrs. Pollifax is contacted by her CIA superior and given the dangerous assignment of going to the Peoples Republic of China (during the Cold War) and rescuing a Chinese engineer who is in a remote-area labor camp/prison. In the tourist group with Mrs. Pollifax is another CIA agent, but Mrs. Pollifax is not told who he is. This secret is kept for about half the book.

The tour of China alone is quite good all by itself, especially when the tour group arrives at the Taklamakan Desert in western China. The other operative makes himself known to Mrs. Pollifax, and together they work to rescue the Chinese engineer--but not without great danger, a Soviet spy who intervenes because the USSR wants the engineer as well, and heroics on the part of the heroine. Miss Marple she is not, unless that spinster has learned to perform karate under extreme duress.

This book is satisfying on all counts: interesting plot, atmosphere, fine characterizations, and realistic dialogue. It is to be hoped that this book will remain in print for a long time.
Mrs. Pollifax's First Trip to the Orient is Also Her First Disappointment May 5 2015
By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have only read Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station once, back in 1996. I really didn't remember much about it other than feeling like there was very little story to the book. I thought maybe going into it expecting less would make it a better book. The reality matched my expectations.

The book opens with Mrs. Pollifax getting her latest assignment from Carstairs, her boss at the CIA. See, Mrs. Pollifax fills her spare time with garden club meetings, karate, and the occasional job as the most unlikely spy ever. This time around, she's heading to China. She's joining a tour group. All she has to do is break away from the tour in Xian long enough to find the barber beneath the Drum Tower and find out the precise location of a camp for political prisoners. Someone else on her tour, and Mrs. Pollifax isn't to know who until he makes contact, will use that information to free one political prisoner in particular, someone that the Russians have expressed quite a bit of interest in due to his knowledge of the China/Russia border.

Once she arrives, Mrs. Pollifax quickly realizes that her assignment will not be easy. The group is under constant surveillance by their guide, a member of the China Travel Service. And Mrs. Pollifax begins to suspect that, even if she can get the information, her partner may not be able to sneak away from the tour group to use it. Will this mission be successful?

This was the sixth book in the series, and came out in 1983. As usual, the events are shaped by the political realities of the time. There is lots of talk about the changes, or lack there of, taking place in China as a result of Mao's death. The interior, where most of the book takes place, had just recently been opened for tourists. Details like that always make these books interesting.

Unfortunately, those details also slow this book down. The first half reads more like a travelogue than a spy adventure. Even when the plot picks up in the second half, it is still bogged down by travel. The few twists are either telegraphed well in advance or so clumsily handled that they feel forced into the story from another book. The climax is over almost before it begins.

Fortunately, Mrs. Pollifax herself is still very fun to spend time with. She is her normal, charming self. The growth she's developed by this point in the series is rather obvious by how she handles some events later in the book. The rest of the cast only really starts to take shape later in the book. I had trouble keeping them all straight early in the book, and one or two never fully form as characters. The rest don't come into their own until the second half, making this a second half book in every way.

I have no proof, but I have long suspected that author Dorothy Gilman had tired of the character. True, it was only book six, but those six books were written over a 17 year period. I feel like she signed a contract for another book intending to make it the last and then couldn't come up with a decent plot, padding the first half with the travelogue. The Mrs. Pollifax's character growth and the end of the book definitely feel like a conclusion, and if the series had ended here, I think most fans would have been satisfied. Of course, since the author went on to write 8 more books about the character, maybe I am wrong.

Either way, the second half is barely enough to give Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station a recommendation for fans. But if you have yet to meet this charming, engaging character, you'll be better served by picking up one of the earlier entries in what is one of my favorite series.


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