No Deals, Mr Bond
Two female agents of Operation Cream Cake - double agents and honey traps against the KGB - are murdered. Bond must find the others and conduct them to safety before they meet a similar fate.
Reviewed on 11th July 2013
No Deals, Mr Bond has to rate as one of the worst titles in the series, which is a shame as it's one of Gardner's better novels. I've found the first five to be variable in quality, but by his sixth Bond story, Gardner seems to have got a plot that works and a grip in the character he wants Bond to be.
Two former undercover agents have been killed and M asks Bond to protect the remaining three members of the team. It's a basic and believable story with little reliance on ultramodern (for the eighties) technology or gadgetry, skips over the aspects Gardner's vision of Bond dug into in the previous novels, and is much more like something Fleming would have penned.
Bond still lacks some of the depth of character that Fleming gave him, but at least doesn't seem to contradict the original character. There are moments where Bond's apparent age flickers between his thirties and sixties, but it's hidden well and easy to suspend disbelief of this minor aspect.
A good adventure, and if the rest of Gardner's novels follow the style of this one then I'll be very pleased.