Zero Minus Ten (1997) – Raymond Benson

While I may not have cared for Raymond Benson’s 007 short story, Blast From the Past (to be clear I liked everything but for the Penthouse Forum ending of the story) I was more than ready to return to the world of James Bond, and see what Benson could deliver with his first novel featuring…

Blast From the Past (1997) – Raymond Benson

Benson takes over 007’s adventures from John Gardner, and delivered this short story that first appeared in Playboy in 1997. Benson shows that he can tell a Bond story in true Ian Fleming style, though the ending definitely is a little more adult, but hardly surprising given the context of where it was published. James…

Cold (1996) – John Gardner

John Gardner’s final 007 novel, Cold aka Cold Fall, his sixteenth, feels a little bit more like the James Bond we know, a balance between Ian Fleming’s literary creation, and his cinematic iteration. Far more enjoyable than his adaptation of GoldenEye, the novel is split into two parts, taking place before, and then after, his…

GoldenEye (1995) – John Gardner

John Gardner’s penultimate 007 novel is a short, uninspired adaptation of the 1995 film, GoldenEye which saw Pierce Brosnan finally step into the shoes of James Bond. I’m not sure if Gardner was simply tired of writing Bond books at this point, or if he was less than impressed with the film’s script and was…

SeaFire (1994) – John Gardner

Author John Gardner outs Ian Fleming’s James Bond through his paces again, in SeaFire. Which sees the agent taking on the villainous Max Tarn who has dreams of being Hitler reborn and the restoration of the Nazis. In a globe-trotting adventure that takes Bond, and returning love interest, and potential bride, Flicka across Europe to…

Never Send Flowers (1993) – John Gardner

James Bond is back, and while I’ve enjoyed Gardner’s efforts with Ian Fleming’s 007, with the minor exception of The Man From Barbarossa, this entry, his thirteenth (of sixteen) feels like a real stumble. It seems to want to be more in line with the cinematic 007, but without a solid story, or set pieces…

Death is Forever (1992) – John Gardner

After The Man From Barbarossa, I was nervous about digging into another Gardner 007 novel, but this time, the author returns to the Fleming roots of the character and storytelling style, and in Death is Forever, James Bond is back in action. Gardner’s twelfth novel featuring the secret agent is a fast-moving tale that takes…

The Man From Barbarossa (1991) – John Gardner

James Bond is back in John Gardner’s eleventh outing with the secret agent. And it was going to happen sooner or later. I just couldn’t get into this one. While I love the idea of tying Bond in with the real political landscape of the early 90s with events that would lead up to the…

The Big Four (1927) – Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot is reunited with his old friend Captain Hastings who comes to England to see his old friend, but the duo find themselves caught up in their biggest adventure yet. The Big Four moves the characters into some new territory, almost James Bondian in nature, as the pair encounter an international master criminal (well…

Brokenclaw (1990) – John Gardner

James Bond is back in action this week in John Gardner’s tenth 007 book, and probably my least favourite of the series at the moment. This one took me too long to get into, and then I felt not a lot really happened in the story to begin with until the climax. Bond is in…