I was lucky to have found a copy of The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel, by Kate Westbrook, as it’s not even published in the States. I was able to find a fairly inexpensive, used copy on Amazon. But it was obviously published in England. I only found out about it, because I was researching the James Bond novels on Wikipedia. It sounded interesting, so I hunted down a copy.
This was written mainly as journal entries from Jane Moneypenny, the secretary to “M” at MI6, and colleague of James Bond. In the book, her niece, Kate Westbrook (the supposed author of the book), has been sent Moneypenny’s journals many years after her death. Kate learns by reading the journals that her aunt actually worked for the Secret Service. She then tries to find out if the journals are real, and in doing so, proves that Ian Fleming’s Bond novels were based on fact as well.
This was a clever idea, written from both “Kate’s” and Moneypenny’s points of view to make this work of fiction appear as non-fiction. There was even an overload of history tied in to the stories to make it appear genuine. My only complaints are the long history lessons throughout the book, mainly on the Cuban Missile Crisis, as this set of journal entries were from 1962. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Besides the cleverly written story, it was incredibly fun to read stories from Moneypenny’s point of view. She was written as a deep and complex character. The men in her life are mysterious, and she gets thrown into dangerous situations. And best of all, Moneypenny gets to go on a couple exciting adventures with 007.
This is the first in a supposed trilogy. Wikipedia states this about The Moneypenny Diaries:
The Moneypenny Diaries is a planned trilogy of novels chronicling the life of Miss Moneypenny, M’s personal secretary. The novels are penned by Samantha Weinberg under the pseudonym Kate Westbrook, who is depicted as the book’s “editor”. The first instalment of the trilogy, subtitled Guardian Angel, was released on October 10, 2005 in the UK. A second volume, subtitled Secret Servant is scheduled for publication on November 2, 2006 in the UK.
Weinberg is the first woman to write officially licenced Bond-related literature…
You can buy The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel from Book Closeouts for $4.99 right now!
Now, off to see if I can find a copy of Secret Servant, as there is no plan to release them in America.