First edition cover
|Cover artist||Trevor Scobie (Jonathan Cape ed.)|
|21 May 1987|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and Paperback)|
|Pages||224 pp (first edition, hardback)|
|ISBN||0-224-02449-3 (first edition, hardback)|
No Deals, Mr. Bond, first published in 1987, was the sixth novel by John Gardner featuring Ian Fleming's secret agent, James Bond. Carrying the Glidrose Publications copyright, it was first published in the United Kingdom by Jonathan Cape and in the United States by Putnam. It was the last Bond novel to be published in Britain by Jonathan Cape, ending an association dating back to the first Bond novel, Casino Royale in 1953.
No Deals, Mr. Bond has the minor distinction of being the first and, thus far, only non-novelisation James Bond novel to incorporate the agent's name into the title.
No Deals, Mr. Bond begins with a mission in the Baltic Sea dubbed "Seahawk", which involves James Bond stealthily extracting two women that have completed an assignment in East Germany. After accomplishing his mission, the book continues five years later with Bond being called in by M to learn more background into what those women were doing there before being extracted. Their mission, dubbed Cream Cake, was a honey trap that involved getting close to top Soviet personnel as a means to not only spy for the British Secret Service, but to secure the defection of two high ranking Soviet officers, an act that the Soviets occasionally performed against countries of the West. Involving four women and a man, the operation was considered a complete debacle that ended with the members being found out. After being extracted and given new identities, however, two of the women were discovered to have been gruesomely murdered. Bond is subsequently sent by M, "off the record", to find the remaining members of Cream Cake before they suffer the same fate.
During the adventure, Bond believes that Colonel Maxim Smolin, the primary target during operation Cream Cake, is systematically killing off the former members of the Cream Cake operation and leaving a signature of having their tongues removed. This, however, is not the case, and, in actuality, Smolin is a turncoat now working with the British Secret Service. Instead, the former members, in addition to Smolin and another Soviet turncoat, Captain Dietrich, are being targeted by General Chernov, an agent of a department formerly known as SMERSH. The situation is further complicated after M gets a message to Bond warning him that one of the surviving Cream Cake members is a double and that he wants Chernov brought in alive.
Gardner states that he was opposed to this novel being given the title No Deals, Mr. Bond, a title he calls "dreadful" along with other titles suggested by his publishers including Oh No, Mr. Bond! and Bond Fights Back. Gardner originally suggested the title Tomorrow Always Comes.