Former spy Ian Fleming falls in love, hard, for a glamorous journalist who leads him on a dangerous escapade.
The arch premise of this fledgling series (Death to Spies, 2002) is that Fleming himself had several sexy Bondlike adventures that led to the creation of the suave 007. Here, at a posh London party (with Noel Coward at the piano), Fleming meets redheaded beauty Nora Blair DeYoung. Their mutual physical attraction is enhanced by common interests. Under the pseudonym Blake Young, Nora wrote gripping accounts from the frontlines of the recently ended war in which Fleming worked as a secret agent. And he now works occasionally as a journalist himself. After turning down an assignment he considers unsavory, the campaign against a suspected enemy agent named Oscar Winterberg, Fleming returns to his idyllic retirement home in Jamaica. Before he’s had time to settle properly into a leisurely routine, however, Nora arrives with the news that she’s tracking Winterberg, who’s now a successful union leader in San Francisco. Fleming accompanies her, their odyssey combining romance and investigation. At length they learn that Winterberg’s committed the surprisingly apolitical crime of bigamy, the knowledge of which could secure them access. So the two concoct a risky plan to confront their prey.
Graceful prose and casual pacing evoke a genre long out of fashion but likely to attract loyal readers.