As I was cleaning up the basement yesterday (very ambitious I know) and trying to determine just what was in some of those long forgotten boxes, I came across some absolute gems that I can’t believe I have never written about. If you like espionage, spy drama and suspense, of course you have to try out Ian Fleming and his James Bond series. These novels are dedicated to the genre and have some of the most original stories concerning ole 007. Now, many of you may not know that little about the James Bond film franchise and the movie story lines are from Fleming’s books. The only two actual James Bond movies that were based on Fleming stories and accurately portrayed were From Russia with Love and to a lesser extent Casino Royale (which were both deadly movies by the way). The rest of the Bond movies only have the title, certain names and locales from each story in common. Don’t get me wrong, I love just about every James Bond movie out there (even the George Lazenby as Bond one, actually I loved the George Lazenby one). However, if you love Bond and have only watched the movies, there is whole other world of James Bond stories out there for your enjoyment. Fleming truly is a great writer of espionage stories and stories involving great plots. After Fleming’s last publication in 1965, there was hiatus of 16 years before author John Gardner picked up the reins as Bond’s new storyteller. These novels are just as intriguing and captivating as their predecessors. Honestly, some of Gardner’s Bond stories are very, very good and follow along one giant story line taking place through numerous Bond novels (this is where you might want to start at the beginning of the Gardner Bond novels and work your way through in order). There are also other writers out there since Gardner that have written James Bond stories but I can’t really vouch as to the quality of the works. So to recap: grab a martini (shaken and not stirred of course), grab some Bond novels and get reading. PS – greatest Bond movie ever: Dr. No (Hands Down)!