The Moneypenny Diaries

I started and finished it this morning. Apparently ‘edited’ by Kate Westbrook, Jane Moneypenny’s niece, it covers 1962: starts with Bond’s wife Tracy dying (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, I think), and ends with Bond in Japan (You Only Live Twice). Lots of stuff in between, of course, some of it about Bond – but mostly about Moneypenny, naturally enough. There’s a romance, intrigue, all the stuff you’d expect. It’s separated into months, with each month starting with a short bit from Westbrook about her search to validate the contents of the diaries.

My mum and sister told me it was great, so they loaned me their copy. I have to admit that I didn’t read it in all that much detail. I’m not really in a Cold War mood, and the writing wasn’t quite good enough to sucker me in completely. Which is why I was able to read it in a couple of hours. It was pretty good, and I would definitely recommend it to fans of Bond and the Cold War. Interestingly, it’s written with lots of footnotes, explaining exactly who various personages are in ‘real’ life. Some of them definitely are/were real, others I’m not sure about – they could be, and Westbrook has woven them into the story, or she’s just made people up conveniently. I’m actually happy with either explanation, personally.

And it’s totally up for a sequel, too, which I think I would probably read.

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