Wednesday, September 2

Kiss the Girls and Make Them Spy - Mabel Maney

Jane Bond is tired of waking every morning with a vile hangover, lying next to some half-remembered pick up from the night before, but ever since she discovered her lover Astrid in bed with (oh the cliche) her best friend Ruth, Jane's had trouble doing anything else. Bridget's different than the other women, though - a gorgeous Powder Puff Cosmetics seller clad in a hot pink mini dress and thigh high white boots, she's every inch a 1962 moddish girl about town who takes no crap from Jane. She's also an agent for GEORGIE (Greater European Organisation of Radical Girls Interdicting Evil) which creates all kinds of problems when the Secret Service tap Jane on the shoulder to serve her queen and country. Jane's brother, the suave agent 007, is in a sanatorium but his presence is urgently required at a royal event. With a radical haircut and ingeniously tailored suit Jane may be able to pass for her twin brother, leaving the enemies of the state none the wiser.
There are subplots about a conservative group (Sons of Britain Society) plotting to kidnap the queen and reinstate the Duke of Windsor to the throne, and a spy eager to take over from 007 but failing, but you have the gist. The author of gay and lesbian parodies involving the Hardly Boys, Nancy Clue and Cherry Aimless, Maney has turned her hand to one of pop cultures most iconic figures and carried of Fleming's style quite well.
The plot is ludicrously convoluted, just like some of the canon novels, the Britishness is beautifully threaded through (particularly for an American author), there's a great sense of time as well as place, and the dialogue is punchy and often comedically perfect. Like all parodies a little goes a long way, but if you're a fan of the Bond books and prepared for some tweaks this is the book for you. - Alex

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