Diamonds are Forever (1956)
The fourth Fleming title is the first with some obvious weaknesses to the resolution, but it’s still a terrific yarn. It returns Bond to America, specifically Las Vegas, where he uncovers a diamond smuggling ring. At the time, homosexual characters rarely appeared in fiction. Fleming, who was more socially liberal than many people imagine, was keen on representation. Thus, the villainous duo of Wint and Kidd, who happen to be a gay couple, can seem quite surprising additions to the story. Most of the female characters in Goldfinger (1959) turn out to be lesbians. As an author, Ian Fleming was ahead of the curve. This novel marks the first time Bond has fallen in love (with Tiffany Case) since his betrayal by Vesper Lynd in ‘Casino Royale’. See our review of this title and buy The Folio Society’s edition of Ian Fleming’s ‘Diamonds are Forever‘.