On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963)
If ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ was a wobble, then Fleming was certainly back on form with the follow-up, ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’, which gives Bond a meaty adventure going after Blofeld in snowy Switzerland. Interestingly, this is the first Bond novel that Fleming wrote after the movies had hit the big screen, propelling Sean Connery to international stardom. It’s for this reason that Fleming makes a cheeky reference to Ursula Andress, the original Bond girl, within the pages of his tenth Bond novel. This one will always be close to my heart, as I read it on my honeymoon in Toronto, and en route to Los Angeles. The brutal ending, captured so well in the big screen adaptation, retains its power to shock sixty years later. With it, Fleming confirms in his readers’ minds that Bond will never find true love, or peace, or contentment. Falling in love never ends well for Bond. Buy The Folio Society’s edition of Ian Fleming’s ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service‘.