Thursday, May 26, 2011

Launch of new James Bond book, Carte Blanche, lifts the roof at St Pancras International

The first copies of the eagerly awaited new Bond book, Carte Blanche, arrived in style at St Pancras International in London today (Wednesday 25 May 2011). Copies of the book by the best–selling American thriller writer Jeffery Deaver, published in the UK tomorrow by Hodder & Stoughton, were delivered by the Royal Marines Commandos in a stunning display involving abseiling, a fast car and a beautiful Bond girl on a motorbike.

In a scene which could have been lifted from a James Bond novel, Jeffery Deaver pulled up at Europe’s longest bar – The Champagne Bar at St Pancras International – in a special Carte Blanche red Bentley Continental GT flanked by a Bond girl clad in black leathers.

It was by air, however, that the author received the first copy of his novel. In a dramatic twist to the launch, four members of the Royal Marines Display Team descended from the iconic roof of St Pancras International onto the concourse below, bearing copies of the novel. The books were handed over to Deaver in front of members of Ian Fleming’s family and invited guests, before being put under lock and key in an undisclosed location. The plot of the book remains, until midnight tonight, a closely guarded secret.

Despite the secrecy surrounding Carte Blanche, it can be revealed that each part of the launch had particular relevance to the new novel and to Ian Fleming, the creator of the original James Bond novels, who would have been 103 this Saturday, 28 May. St Pancras International, at the heart of London, is a fitting venue for a very British icon who became an international phenomenon whilst the Bentley Continental GT is the car of choice for Deaver’s Bond. The day’s Bond girl, who drove a BSA 1966 Spitfire motorbike to the launch, is inspired by one of Bond’s love interests in Carte Blanche, whose passion for speed and fast engines rivals Bond’s own.

As an integral component of the Naval Service the role of the Royal Marines Commandos is also pertinent. A Commander in the Royal Navy, Ian Fleming worked as Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence during the war years and was responsible for the creation of a specialist unit of commandos known as 30 Commando or the 30 Assault Unit: trained commandos specialising in targeting enemy headquarters to secure documentation with an intelligence value. In Carte Blanche, Jeffery Deaver’s 21st century Bond served in the Royal Naval Reserve, including a tour in Afghanistan, before joining the secret service.

Lucy Fleming, Ian Fleming’s niece, commented at today’s launch: “On Saturday my uncle, Ian Fleming, would be 103 years old. If he had been here today he would have loved the occasion.
“With his brilliant plot and clever twists, his perfectly horrible villain and his detailed knowledge of the British intelligence Service, Jeffery Deaver brings Bond straight into the heart of modern espionage.”

Carte Blanche will be published in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton tomorrow, Thursday 26 May 2011, just ahead of Ian Fleming’s birthday on Saturday 28 May. 
Priced at £19.99, the book will be available nationwide. For more information, visit


Bentley Motors:

  • To celebrate the release of Carte Blanche Hodder & Stoughton has partnered with Bentley Motors to create an exclusive Bentley special edition. Each copy of the special edition is custom-produced to Bentley’s exacting standards and arrives inside a stunning metal case. The result is a striking and unique collector’s item. The special edition is strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide at a price of £1,000 each.
For more information about Bentley Motors, visit:

Chesca Miles

Chesca Miles is the first and only female motorbike stunt rider in the UK who combines her career as a rider with modelling and singing.  She began riding bikes at 14 and was an experienced rider by the time she was old enough to hold a licence.
For the launch, Chesca rides a BSA spitfire, courtesy of the London Motorcycle Museum.
Bond Books

·        Over 100 million Bond books have been sold (and over half the world’s population has seen a Bond film)

·        Ian Fleming wrote 14 James Bond books: Casino Royale (1953); Live and Let Die (1954); Moonraker (1955); Diamonds Are Forever (1956); From Russia with Love (1957); Dr. No (1958); Goldfinger (1959);  For your Eyes Only (1960); Thunderball (1961); The Spy Who Loved Me (1962); On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963); You Only Live Twice (1964); The Man With The Golden Gun (1965) and Octopussy and the Living Daylights (1966)

  • Fleming’s other works include the children’s favourite, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1964), which was made into a film and  stage musical, The Diamond Smugglers (1957) and a collection of travel writings called Thrilling Cities (1963)

  • Charlie Higson is author of the Young Bond books which are published by Puffin

  • Samantha Weinberg, writing as Kate Westbrook, is the author of the Moneypenny Diaries

  • Other previous authors of official James Bond novels include Kingsley Amis, John Gardner, Raymond Benson and Sebastian Faulks, whose book became the publisher’s fastest selling hardback fiction title

  • All of Ian Fleming’s original James Bond books are published by Penguin in the UK and the US

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