James Bond Books

Latest Book Review: Young Bond - Heads You Die ( 2016 )

Author: Steve Cole Published by: Red Fox ( Penguin )

Read this author's 2nd Young Bond adventure which takes him to Havana, Cuba.

The paperback front heading of "Risk everything to win. Or lose your life" meanwhile the back cover warns us "HEARD OR TAILS. LIVE OR DIE.'

All this happens after his Hollywood adventure, James still with pal Hugo is sent to Cuba by Aunt Charmain to spend a holiday with a family friend, Dr Gerald Hardiman. On their arrival in Havana and after a brief meet-up meal, things go pear shape with his disappearance. The boys set out to find him and along the way discover what he has been doing in the Caribbean.

After the usual prologue when a woman steals a secret from Scolopendra Industries. A boat chase ensues but she fails with a disastrous ending. Meanwhile the boys after advising the Police get little help and encounter/meet up with 2 young girls Maritsa & Jagua, the latter being the daughter of the villain, Scolopendra described with "long hair, panther-black .. immaculate in a steel grey suit." His silver dollar tosses remind of Batman's Harvey 'Two-Face' Dent that decide "Head you die". He is aided by La Veleda, a mysteriously dressed lady whom we discover has her own agenda. Jagua tries to convince dad but sadly doesn't believe a word. His 2 henchmen Ramon and El Puno, both nasty piece of works, pursue the party across the island.

The explosive climax after escaping the burning villain's lair and still in pursuit of the doctor is out at sea as the group minus one battle to stop the discovered deadly virus which is destined to cripple Britain. Despite contacting British Secret Intelligence Service, failing to speak to agent Adam Elmhirst ( wonder why ? ) from previous & later adventures. Help is found from American agent Franklin Ford who is subjected to much torture from all before saved.

The adventure with plenty of blood & killings is told over 310 pages & 32 chapters priced at £6.99. Strange I keep records of books read but kept feeling I read this one before, worth a read to the exciting conclusion when Young Bond, battered & bruised, lives to fight another day while helpful friend Hugo is luckier with the ladies this time.

Just the BOND BOOK FACT ...

  1. On 21/06/17: A first edition of Casino Royale was sold at auction for £22,500 by Thomson Roddick and Medcalf Auctioneers in Carlisle.
  2. On 23/10/15: Two 007 first editions sold for record prices - Ian Fleming's Casino Royale from 1953, fetched £27,280 while 1955's Moonraker went for £13,020 at London's Bloomsbury Auctions.
  3. On 05/06/15: A rare, uncorrected proof copy of Fleming's Goldfinger was sold for a hammer price of £1,800 (£2,115 including buyer's premium) at auction in Aylsham, North Norfolk - three times the pre-sale estimate of £500-600 at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers.
  4. On 30/05/14: A collection of first and early edition Ian Fleming books net £2,900 at Lichfield's Richard Winterton Auctioneers. A total of 14 hardback editions, dating from the late 1950s, went under the hammer including Goldfinger, Octopussy and Casino Royale. The highest bid was for 1960 first edition of For Your Eyes Only which sold for £410.
  5. On 11/04/14: A first edition of Ian Fleming's Casino Royale thrilled bidders by selling for £24,180 at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions' sale of Modern Literature, held at their saleroom in Newbury, Berkshire.
  6. On 16/12/10: A rare first edition of Casino Royale was sold at a sale in South Cerney, Gloucestershire for £19,000, also sold was a first edition of Live and Let Die for £6,600 and a copy of Moonraker sold for £7,200.
  7. On 04/11/10: A rare 2nd edition of Casino Royale was sold to a local book dealer for £1,800 and became the most expensive single item ever sold by a Helen and Douglas House charity shop in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.
  8. On 17/12/09: A first edition copy of Casino Royale was sold for £10,625 ( an increase in price see 2 ) at a London auction.
  9. On 07/12/06: A first edition copy of Casino Royale was sold for £6,240 ( a drop in price see 4 ) at a London auction.
  10. On 13/12/01: An Edinburgh charity shop received a windfall of more than £5,000 after the London auction of a 1954 first edition of a James Bond book. The rare copy of Live And Let Die had been handed in anonymously to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund shop with a number of other books in a plastic bag. "It was just lying with a pile of books and we go through them all to check for anything special," said volunteer John Fyfe, who spotted that it may be worth than the shop's normal top price of £30. It was sold to an anonymous buyer for £ 5,287 at Sotheby's.
  11. On 09/03/01: A first edition copy of Casino Royale was sold for £11,400 at a Swindon auction.
  12. On 25/11/99: A complete set of first edition Ian Fleming James Bond books with their original dust jackets were sold for a record £13,800 at a London auction.