The best James Bond books

3 authors have picked their favorite books about James Bond and why they recommend each book.

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Dr. No

By Ian Fleming,

Book cover of Dr. No

Dr. No is so much more sinister than you remember him in the movie that began the James Bond series in 1962. He is a reclusive Chinese-German millionaire who lives on a Jamaican island where an MI-6 agent has gone missing. M calls on James Bond to find the missing agent and upon arrival is treated to a basket of poisoned fruit and a deadly centipede is left in his bed while he’s asleep. Dr. No has pincers for hands which just adds to the tension as Bond closes in. The menacing villain forces Bond to navigate his way through an obstacle course constructed within the facility's ventilation system while Bond suffers electric shocks, burns, and an ordeal with poisonous spiders. This is such an enjoyable read for anyone who likes thrillers.  

Dr. No

By Ian Fleming,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dr. No as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dispatched by M to investigate the mysterious disappearance of MI6’s Jamaica station chief, Bond was expecting a holiday in the sun. But when he discovers a deadly centipede placed in his hotel room, the vacation is over.

On this island, all suspicious activity leads inexorably to Dr. Julius No, a reclusive megalomaniac with steel pincers for hands. To find out what the good doctor is hiding, 007 must enlist the aid of local fisherman Quarrel and alluring beachcomber Honeychile Rider. Together they will combat a local legend the natives call “the Dragon,” before Bond alone must face the most punishing…


Who am I?

From a very early age, writing has always been my one true passion. Ever since I was in eighth grade and my teacher would pass out copies of my journal assignment for that week, I was hooked on the idea of writing. I could create my own world where no one could tell me how my characters should behave. Well, two Pushcart Prize nominations and many awards later, I’m grateful I pursued my dream to become a writer. I hope you’ve enjoyed the list I provided and please feel free to pick up one of my Nick Bracco thrillers about a Sicilian FBI agent who uses his Mafia-connected cousin to track terrorists. 


I wrote...

A Touch of Terror (A Nick Bracco Thriller Book 6)

By Gary Ponzo,

Book cover of A Touch of Terror (A Nick Bracco Thriller Book 6)

What is my book about?

A rogue Russian agent known as The Machine has infiltrated the U.S. border with a case of uranium powerful enough to destroy the entire west coast. FBI agent Nick Bracco recruits his Mafia-connected cousin Tommy to help track down the case and try to save the nation from the devastating attack. But this time Nick and his partner, Matt McColm, have met their match.

Live and Let Die

By Ian Fleming,

Book cover of Live and Let Die

Drawing on Fleming's experiences in Jamaica, MI6 intelligence officer Bond, James Bond, not only outwits the villain's attempt to turn him into shark and barracuda bait but also deploys a limpet mine to good effect in order to save himself and his female companion from death by coral reef dragging, a device I pay homage to in a later novel.

Fleming's Bond novels introduced the world to a clever hero required to take direct responsibility for stopping great evil. Bond doesn't shy away from brute force when required, but prefers more elegant solutions, inspiring later writers.

Like millions of others, the popular movies introduced his work to me, but Fleming was the early master of the art of an espionage/action thriller novel, inspiring many who followed.

Live and Let Die

By Ian Fleming,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Live and Let Die as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

James Bond is not a superstitious man, but it’s hard not to feel unnerved in the presence of Mr. Big. A ruthless Harlem gangster who uses voodoo to control his criminal empire, he’s also one of SMERSH’s top American operatives. Mr. Big has been smuggling British pirate treasure to New York from a remote Jamaican island―and funneling the proceeds to Moscow. With help from Solitaire, Mr. Big’s beautiful and enigmatic Creole fortune-teller, and his old friend Felix Leiter, 007 must locate the crime lord’s hideout, sabotage his operation, and reclaim the pirate hoard for England.

From the jazz joints of…


Who am I?

When writing about quick-witted heroes fighting through danger to protect the innocent and those they love, I draw on the thousands of books and their authors who shaped my own understanding of how a hero behaves; of the principles and emotions which drive a person to persist in the face of massive adversity. Lost in the worlds of those books, inspired by the reading habits of my adopted father, I inhaled these five authors' works in particular. They became an illustrated history of the craft for me, showing through example how adventure writing had evolved and what it could become at its finest.


I wrote...

Techno Ranger: A Sam Harper Military Thriller

By Thomas Sewell,

Book cover of Techno Ranger: A Sam Harper Military Thriller

What is my book about?

North and South Korea collide with the prospect of reigniting war in this action-packed military thriller! 

1LT Sam Harper, surfing engineer, just wants to fit in on his job and impress his CIA ex-girlfriend, but he'll risk everything to prevent mass destruction. Sam's intelligence analysts identify security vulnerabilities in a government lab in Seoul. Meanwhile, a desperate North Korean general sends a naïve Special Forces lieutenant and team across the DMZ to steal nuclear materials technology.

Sends them in disguise to infiltrate the top-secret lab Sam protects. Sam must defend against the Korean People's Army while figuring out how to end the danger to those he cares about, but his involvement with a traitor and a CIA temptress may teach him the wrong lessons about trust.

Book cover of All Fun And Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye

This one’s my go-to fantasy world when I feel middle-aged. Bett runs a mysterious team whose skills include hacking, guns, gadgets, and flying helicopters. When scientist Ross Fleming disappears from his arms research job, Bett calls in the person he knows will do anything to save Ross: his mother, bored housewife Jane Fleming who dreams of adventure. Leaving a trail of broken laws behind her, she gets herself illegally into France to join Bett, where her dreams start coming true: a sports car, a transmitter disguised as an earring, a casino, and a gun she now knows how to fire...  and it’s all narrated with Brookmyre’s trademark humour.

All Fun And Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye

By Christopher Brookmyre,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Fun And Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As a teenager Jane Bell had dreamt of playing in the casinos of Monte Carlo in the company of James Bond, but in her punk phase she'd got herself pregnant and by the time she reaches forty-six she's a grandmother, her dreams as dry as the dust her Dyson sucks up from her hall carpet every day. Then her son Ross, a researcher working for an arms manufacturer in Switzerland, is forced to disappear before some characters cut from the same cloth as Blofeld persuade him to part with the secrets of his research. But they are not the only…


Who am I?

I love reading crime but oh, it does annoy me when an otherwise competent sensible female detective insists on going into the lonely house to tackle the murderer without backup, and needs to be rescued by her male sidekick. Cass is the cool-in-a-crisis heroine we’d all like to be. Like her, I’m a solo sailor (I’ve lent her my yacht for the series) and I’d love to say I’ve learned to be quick-thinking, self-reliant, and prudent—the sea doesn’t forgive stupidity. I also live in a village where everyone sees the lifeboat going out, and having to be rescued would be the ultimate embarrassment. 


I wrote...

The Shetland Sea Murders

By Marsali Taylor,

Book cover of The Shetland Sea Murders

What is my book about?

Liveaboard yacht sailor Cass Lynch is crewing aboard Swan with a birthday charter when there’s a Mayday: a fishing boat’s stuck on the notorious Ve Skerries. The boat’s insured by the birthday boy, and it’s clear there are other tensions aboard: his nieces are arguing over childhood memories, and his sister is apprehensive about returning to the island of Papa Stour, where she lived as a young woman. Then there’s a death... This adventure matches quick-witted Cass against her most ruthless adversary yet.

Spy/Counterspy

By Dusko Popov,

Book cover of Spy/Counterspy: The Autobiography of Dusko Popov

Dusko Popov may or may not have been a model for James Bond, but he did know Ian Fleming. He was also one of the most effective double agents in World War II. His greatest accomplishment was helping to fool the Germans about the location of the D-Day landing. Popov had conclusive evidence that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor months before it happened. He told FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, because the US didn't have an effective spy system yet, but Hoover wasn’t interested. After the war ended, Popov searched for his best friend who had been captured by the Germans, with surprising results. Good for history junkies like me, it contains facts not present in other histories of the War.

Spy/Counterspy

By Dusko Popov,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spy/Counterspy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Very good condition. Minor rubbing to extremities, otherwise nice clean copy.


Who am I?

I have always been intrigued by history, fictional and nonfictional. Unfortunately, warfare is a large part of history and spying is an important part of warfare, and is as old as warfare itself. If you want to win the war you need to know as much as possible about what your enemy is planning to do. I am also a puzzle solver, and making and breaking codes play a large part in spying. I have traveled widely and been to most of the places I write about. However, I am a pacifist at heart, and I keep looking for the key to world peace.


I wrote...

East of the Wall

By Alan Cook,

Book cover of East of the Wall

What is my book about?

Financial fraud investigators Charlie Ebersole and Liz Reid are recruited by the CIA to go into East Germany in June 1963, partly because they have experience in Castro’s Cuba. The job is to obtain intelligence about a secret project of the Germans during World War II, possibly a weapon of mass destruction. Liz has a cousin living in East Germany whose father may have worked on the project. Apparently, information about this project has been lost, even in East Germany. The CIA has been unable to obtain a foothold in East Germany using their own operatives, and the Berlin Wall and the Stasi (East German secret police) make this a perilous mission.

The Hunter

By Tom Wood,

Book cover of The Hunter

Tom Wood immediately swept to the top of my list of great thriller writers when I read this book. It’s the first in the Victor Assassin series and its adrenaline-fuelled excitement gripped me from the first sentence to the final full stop.

Victor is hired to kill a man in Paris and to take the memory stick he is carrying, but Victor’s paymasters aren’t all they seem, and Victor quickly finds himself at the wrong end of a gun barrel when a hit squad is sent to eliminate him.

But Victor won’t be taken out that easily. He shoots his way free of the ambush and fights to stay alive long enough to work out who’s behind what’s happening. The underlying plot is slowly revealed and leads to a great dramatic conclusion.

The Hunter

By Tom Wood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Hunter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

His name is a cover
He has no home
And he kills for a living

Victor is an assassin, a man with no past and no surname. His world is one of paranoia and obsessive attention to detail; his morality lies either dead or dying. No one knows what truly motivates the hunter. No one gets close enough to ask.

When a Paris job goes spectacularly wrong, Victor finds himself running for his life across four continents, pursued by a kill squad and investigated by secret services from more than one country. With meticulous style, Victor plans his escape .…


Who am I?

I worked in high-tech electronics for thirty years, specialising in the design of radio communication equipment. My first love, though, has always been books, particularly exciting page-turners about spies and assassins. Eavesdrop – my first thriller – brought those two worlds together, and “what-if” ideas from my professional life engendered the plot’s high-tech angle. I wrote the early drafts largely while on planes and in airport lounges during business trips, and in snatched moments before starting work each morning. It was exciting when Assent Publishing took it on and did such a great job of producing the thriller ready for you to read. I hope you enjoy it.


I wrote...

Eavesdrop

By Ian Coates,

Book cover of Eavesdrop

What is my book about?

You’re suspended from your job as a Customs Investigator. You’re accused of assisting a smuggling ring. You can’t tell your wife – she’s fighting cancer and has her own worries. You have one choice – to find out what’s going on. A police cover-up, a Middle East assassin, and a Mossad agent – all linked by one diamond smuggler.

From the windswept Romney Marshes to the frozen streets of Helsinki, James Winter’s investigation soon entangles him in a plot that’s intent on destabilising the Middle East; many lives are at stake. Soon, it’s Winter’s own life on the line.

Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties

By Humza Arshad, Aleksei Bitskoff (illustrator), Henry White

Book cover of Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties

Sometimes, I just fall instantly in love with the voice of a book, and ‘Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties’ was one of those books for me. I spent ten years in the Middle East surrounded by brilliant kids with big voices and even bigger dreams, and I miss them! You don’t see these kids often enough in stories. So, how could I resist Humza Khan, a.k.a. Little Badman, who’s determined to become “the greatest 11-year-old rapper Eggington has ever known”?

The only things standing in the way of his plans for fame and glory are the sinister food-obsessed “aunties” who’ve taken over his school and insist on feeding everyone delicious snacks. Furiously funny, with an ending that is simultaneously truly bonkers and genuinely satisfying, this book is pure joy!

“Me and my best friends Umer and Wendy are going to hunt for the truth. Cos something…

Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties

By Humza Arshad, Aleksei Bitskoff (illustrator), Henry White

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of The Guardian's 100 best holiday books for 2019

'Wildly over the top and satisfying' The Observer New Review Children's Book of the Month

'This book is bonkers but proper funny- it's Drake meets James Bond' Match of the Day Magazine

'Microwaved pants and killer bees feature in this rib-aching comic caper, heightened with moments of real tenderness and heart.' The Guardian

"A perfect read for Tom Gates fans: prepare for big belly laughs and great advice on how to be yourself." BookTrust

________

"You've probably heard of me, right? Little Badman. No? Oh. Well. . . Doesn't matter.…


Who am I?

I am Rachel Hamilton and I’m the author of the Exploding series with Simon & Schuster and the Unicorn in New York series with OUP and Scholastic. I love making people laugh, especially when it's intentional rather than accidental. As well as writing books, I write comedy sketches and have performed standup as part of the Funny Girls tour in the Middle East. It's hard to do humor well, so I have huge respect and admiration for the authors on this list, because they do it fantastically. I hope you love their stories as much as I do. 


I wrote...

Louie Lets Loose! (Unicorn in New York)

By Rachel Hamilton,

Book cover of Louie Lets Loose! (Unicorn in New York)

What is my book about?

Louie the Unicorn convinces his parents to let him leave the sunlit meadows and enchanted waterfalls of Storyland and join the New York School of Performing Arts. Despite having the best roommates ever (Miranda the singing mermaid, Frank the belching troll, and Danny the faun who can’t see where he’s going because he’s lost his glasses) Louie struggles to fit in at his new school. Arnie, the other unicorn on campus, doesn't take kindly to the competition and tries to sabotage Louie’s efforts. But, with the help of his new friends, Louie steps up to the challenge and puts on a performance the other students will never forget! 

Blue Moon

By Lee Child,

Book cover of Blue Moon

Jack Reacher can’t catch a break. Who else steps off a bus at a random stop and ends up in a turf war between Ukrainian and Albanian gangs in the middle of the United States. This is one of my favorites from the Reacher series. Lee Child has crafted a character that strikes at the heart of all of us who cheer on the forces of good and want to punish the bad actors. Lovers of justice will love Jack Reacher. His means might be harsh, but the end is satisfactory.

Blue Moon

By Lee Child,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blue Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • THE BLOCKBUSTER JACK REACHER SERIES THAT INSPIRED TWO MAJOR MOTION PICTURES AND THE STREAMING SERIES REACHER

“Jack Reacher is today’s James Bond, a thriller hero we can’t get enough of.”—Ken Follett

“This is a random universe,” Reacher says. “Once in a blue moon things turn out just right.”
 
This isn’t one of those times.
 
Reacher is on a Greyhound bus, minding his own business, with no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there. Then he steps off the bus to help an old man who is obviously…


Who am I?

I have a lifelong respect for the true sociopaths among us who just happen to side with the good rather than the bad element in society. From Sherlock Holmes’ disregard for the shackles of Scotland Yard and the totally criminal world of Don Pendleton’s Mack Bolan I have cheered on my champions for half a century. My heroes share a common trait – the willingness to break the law to uphold the law. The 21st century has brought an entire new set of protagonists whom I consider to be arbiters of justice. While I believe in jurisprudence, I also subscribe to the tenet that most often the end justifies the means.


I wrote...

Serial Justice

By Danny Ray,

Book cover of Serial Justice

What is my book about?

Frustration with a legal system that releases the worst sort of sexual predators after having served minimum sentences leads to a deadly cat-and-mouse game, pitting FBI against FBI, good against evil, and justice against injustice. Is there a moral dilemma here? Can vengeance be justified as justice? Does the end fully justify the means? Are the ‘good guys’ really good?

Book cover of The Man with the Golden Torc

How could I not love a book that sets its tone with “My name is Bond, Shaman Bond”? 

Bond, aka Eddie Drood, has all the latest magical gadgets to help suppress the forces of magical mayhem on behalf of the ancient and powerful Drood family (and yes there’s a pun there on Druid). This is what James Bond would have been if Ian Fleming had gone easy on the Martinis and tried a few magic mushrooms instead. 

The book, and in fact the whole series, is inventive, witty, and in places outright insane, with every book title a parody of a Bond book or film. 

(Also, Mr Green is a very nice man – we met him once over pizza at EasterCon several decades ago.)

The Man with the Golden Torc

By Simon R. Green,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Man with the Golden Torc as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times bestselling author Simon Green introduces a new kind of hero, one who fights the good fight against some very old foes in the first novel in the Secret Histories series.
 
The name’s Bond. Shaman Bond. Actually, that's just his cover. His real name is Eddie Drood, but when your job includes a license to kick supernatural arse on a regular basis, you find your laughs where you can.

For centuries, his family has been the secret guardian of Humanity, all that stands between all of you and all of the really nasty things that go bump in…


Who am I?

I am a fantasy and science-fiction author with a soft spot for books cut with a sharp sense of humour, impaled on the absurd, or littered with the brutal slaughter of conventions and tropes. I love crisp one-liners and surreal worlds, awkward anti-heroes, and kick-ass heroines who bring their own ruthless horde to the fight. If I were to pick out one feature of a book, film, or television show that really catches my attention it would be “Wow. Didn’t see that one coming.”


I wrote...

Hell Of A Deal: Demon Trader - Book One

By Mark Huntley-James,

Book cover of Hell Of A Deal: Demon Trader - Book One

What is my book about?

“Everyone has their demons, but I buy mine wholesale…” Paul Moore, shopkeeper, Master of the Dark Arts, and demonic broker, has just met the hottest witch to ever try to kill him.

Paul thought he was the best, until the demons of the Babylonian Triad launch a turf war, pitting him against rival demons, competing traders, an explosive spice, and ruthless church factions... Paul knows that being a Master of the Dark Arts involves sacrifice, but really doesn't want to be the one dragged to the altar in his fight through life, death, demons, and trying to survive a first date. It's not the end of the world, just the start of a new corner of hell, in a mad, fast-paced adventure full of oddball characters and very dark humour.

Thunderball

By Ian Fleming,

Book cover of Thunderball

I have to mention either John Le Carre or Ian Fleming. I’ll go for guilty pleasure over great mastery. I haven’t read this since I was a kid. But I loved it back then. The Bond of the books is more realistic and complex than the cartoon character of the movies but, don’t worry, this isn’t a tale of gritty realism. A lot of fun and a great way to dispose of a few hours of excess reality.

Thunderball

By Ian Fleming,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thunderball as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I've always loved spy stories. The best offer complex characters, exotic locales, suspense, and stakes higher than any detective story. I got to know quite a few CIA types during my foreign service career. Some became good friends. I never asked them about their work, but once or twice passed a tidbit their way. Once, the local KGB got the notion I was with the CIA or was somehow prone to persuasion. They were all over me for weeks, making me extremely uncomfortable. The station chief held my hand throughout. So, while I can’t claim a lot of personal knowledge, I’ve had a touch. Here’s my list of favorite spy stories.


I wrote...

Tangier

By Stephen Holgate,

Book cover of Tangier

What is my book about?

A tale of danger, betrayal, and redemption, Tangier tells parallel stories set fifty years apart, one a mystery, the other a spy story. In the first, Christopher Chaffee, a disgraced Washington power-broker, travels down the narrow lanes and twisted souls of Tangier’s ancient medina in search of the father he has never known, a man he had for decades believed died in a Vichy prison in 1944. Now he has discovered his father might still be alive and living in Tangier. In the second thread, his father, Rene Laurent, fights to maintain his soul—and his life—in the snake pit of espionage that is wartime Tangier. These two stories slowly intertwine as Chaffee unwraps the mystery of his father’s fate.

At Your Service

By Sandra Antonelli,

Book cover of At Your Service

This books is a delightful mash-up of romantic suspense, a spy thriller, and a cozy mystery. While I was reading it, I couldn’t help thinking how much more interesting James Bond would have been if he’d been paired with women who challenged him. And it’s funny. If an author can make me laugh out loud while reading, they have me hooked. Sandra does a masterful job of infusing her characters with all the best things we learn are important to a romance as we grow older: equality, mutual respect, and a desire to form true partnerships. 

At Your Service

By Sandra Antonelli,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked At Your Service as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A butler. A spy. A toilet brush. A romantic suspense cosy spy-thriller-mystery with a dash of grittiness and humour. It's Charade meets Remains of the Day.

After three years in the employ of a former British army officer turned Risk Assessment Specialist, widowed butler Mae Valentine is familiar with Major Kitt’s taste for scrambled eggs, bourbon, and brawling. Kitt knows of Mae’s fondness for order, her beloved dead husband, and the millions the man left her in trust. Their easy bond is tested the day Mae kills the man sent to murder her and the trust fund vanishes.

Soon, a…


Who am I?

Reading and writing romance about characters who are beyond the first blush of youth is important to me because these characters represent who I am and the people I know. We live in an unapologetically youth-centric culture. When I wrote my first book, I wrote about a 40-year-old heroine, not realizing that in traditional romance publishing, no one over 30, maybe 35, gets to fall in love. Well, I had news for them. I joined forces with some other like-minded readers and writers and we created a group on Facebook called Seasoned Romance, where we say you’re never too old to fall in love.  


I wrote...

Love Game

By Maggie Wells,

Book cover of Love Game

What is my book about?

Kate Snyder is at the top of her game. A former Wolcott University player, the WNBA star and Olympic gold medalist is now a coaching legend at the helm of the #1 college women's basketball team. But the university hires a football coach trying to escape scandal―paying him a lot more than she earns.

Danny McMillan had hoped for a smooth transition at Wolcott, but the fiery Coach Snyder made that impossible. Every time he and Kate are in a room together, snark and sparks fly. Danny gets her frustration, but her pay isn't his problem, right? When Kate and Danny finally see eye to eye, their sparks turn into something even hotter...and they need to figure out if this is more than just a game.

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