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July 2020

The Newest 'Birds of the West Indies'

A new iteration of Birds of the West Indies came out last year.Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 1.29.03 PM

It arrived after I submitted my manuscript, so it's not mentioned in The Real James Bond.

But that doesn't preclude my posting about it.

I recently ordered a copy of the book, and it's pretty awesome. (It even includes QR codes that provide access to more resources online.)

You can read a thorough review of the book in the  Journal of Caribbean Ornithology here.


James Bond's London Dental Bill

Bond Dental Bill img882-001
When I was going through the Free Library of Philadelphia's Mary Wickham Bond archives, I came across some bizarre stuff.

Exhibit A is this 1972 bill from a London dentist -- for 6.3 pounds. 

The language is wonderfully old-fashioned. They "beg to state their fee for professional services."

There still is a dentist's office at that London address (Harley Street Dental & Implant Clinic), but they have not responded to my emails. (Not sure they ever got them).

Mary Bond seemed to have all sorts of ephemera (thank goodness!).  The real James Bond not so much, although he was a bit of an Anglophile.


My Book Interview with James Bond Australia

Screen Shot 2020-07-02 at 7.54.39 AM
James Bond Australia and its sister site Bond on the Box just posted an extensive interview they did with me about my book, Bond, Fleming and 007.

Lots of unusual questions, like..Screen Shot 2020-07-01 at 3.46.35 PM

Fleming describes James Bonds name as "the dullest name in the world", and as being "brief, unromantic and yet very masculine." Do you think the Bond novels would have been as successful, had Fleming chosen a different, equally, "dull" and "unromantic" name?

My answer:

Would Sherlock Holmes have been as popular if Arthur Conan Doyle had chosen another name for his consulting detective? Probably.

007's name is just one small aspect of the books' and movies' success.

You start with a highly skilled writer and add a dashing hero, incredible archvillains, beautiful women and international intrigue, and you have a terrific recipe for success.

You can read the whole interview here.