Anthony Horowitz to write new James Bond novel

We weren't expecting you, Mr Horowitz...

Many are looking forward to his second Sherlock Holmes novel later this month, but screenwriter and novelist Anthony Horowitz has already moved on to tackle another classic hero – James Bond.

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The Foyle’s War creator and House of Silk author (also known for his teen spy Alex Rider series) will adapt an unpublished short story by Bond creator Ian Fleming into a full novel, due to be released next September by Orion Books. 

“It’s no secret that Ian Fleming’s extraordinary character has had a profound influence on my life, so when the [Fleming] estate approached me to write a new James Bond novel how could I possibly refuse?” said Horowitz.

“It’s a huge challenge – more difficult even than Sherlock Holmes in some ways – but having original, unpublished material by Fleming has been an inspiration. This is a book I had to write.”

The story outline (called Murder on Wheels) was written by Fleming in the 1950s as an outline for a planned TV series, which was later scrapped. The story is said to involve Bond on a misson at the Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany, where he must prevent a Russian sabotage attempt.

“It’s such a good idea. Ian loved cars and driving – he was friends with Stirling Moss, the Lewis Hamilton of the time,” said the author’s niece, Lucy Fleming.

Of course, Horowitz is not the only writer since Fleming to take on Bond – in previous years authors including Sebastian Faulks, Jeffrey Deaver, Kingsley Amis and John Deaver have penned official stories, and Charlie Higson recently wrote a series which imagined Bond’s teenage years. Just last year, William Boyd’s Solo saw 007 attempt to stop an African civil war.

Malcolm Edwards, group publisher at Orion, said: “Anthony is a writer of exceptional skill and I have no doubt he will deliver a book that will resonate and delight Bond fans around the globe.”

Hopefully the news finds them stirred, not shaken.

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Anthony Horowitz’ second official Sherlock Holmes novel, Moriarty, is released on 23 October