What kind of birthday gift do you get a man who's already got everything? It's a well-worn riddle — and one that gets all the more difficult if the man in question happens to have died a half-century ago.
Luckily for Ian Fleming, today's 107-year-old birthday boy and the creator of James Bond, novelist Anthony Horowitz knows just the gift: a reunion with an old friend.
Horowitz, who's helming the newest official Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, announced Thursday that the book will be bringing back a familiar face — Pussy Galore. The notorious lesbian gangster, with an (ahem) equally notorious name, was last seen on the page in Fleming's novel Goldfinger back in 1959. With the exception of the book's '60s-era film adaptation, Galore hasn't made a significant appearance in the official franchise since.
"It was great fun revisiting the most famous Bond girl of all," Horowitz wrote in his announcement, "although she is by no means the only dangerous lady in Trigger Mortis."
That role may very well be filled by a new character of Horowitz's making: Jeopardy Lane, who will star opposite 007, Galore and Jai Seung Sin — a "sadistic, scheming Korean adversary hell-bent on vengeance." (A betting man might pick Jai to be the new book's lead villain.) The novel's action picks up just a couple of weeks after the end of Goldfinger.
As NPR's Neda Ulaby reports, this is Horowitz's first Bond book and he's no stranger to working in classic franchises. "He's best known for a series about a teenaged spy named Alex Rider," Neda notes, "and for two novels that continue the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, also authorized by the original author's estate."
And Horowitz won't be working entirely from scratch. He's also dipping into some unpublished writing from Fleming himself — a short story that drops Bond into a high-stakes Formula One race. The story, called "Murder on Wheels," was originally a scene composed for a 007 TV series that never was.
"It was always my intention to go back to the true Bond, which is to say, the Bond that Fleming created," Horowitz said, "and it was a fantastic bonus having some original, unseen material from the master to launch my story."
There is one snag with Horowitz's birthday gift, though: The book won't be released until Sept. 8.
Copyright NPR. View this article on npr.org.