Colonel Sun centers on the fictional British Secret Service operative James Bond and his mission to track down the kidnappers of M, his superior at the Secret Service. During the mission he discovers a communist Chinese plot to cause an international incident. Bond, assisted by a Greek spy working for the Russians, finds M on a small Aegean island, rescues him and kills the two main plotters: Colonel Sun Liang-tan and a former Nazi commander, Von Richter.Vintage Classics will re-release Colonel Sun in a 224-page paperback edition on October 15. Unfortunately, this seems to be a UK development only; Amazon shows no concurrent American release of Amis’ tale, though you can still pick up used paperback copies of it on this side of the Atlantic, ranging in price from $9.99 to $67.68. I’ve never read Colonel Sun, so I’m hoping one of the booksellers at Bouchercon next month will have the new UK edition in stock.
Amis drew upon a holiday he had taken in the Greek islands to create a realistic Greek setting and characters. He emphasized political intrigue in the plot more than Fleming had done in the canonical Bond novels, also adding revenge to Bond's motivations by including M's kidnapping. Despite keeping a format and structure similar to Fleming's Bond novels, Colonel Sun was given mixed reviews.
READ MORE: “The Curious Case of Colonel Sun: Kingsley Amis’s Missing Bond Novel,” by Aug Stone (The Quietus); “Kingsley Amis’ James Bond Novel,” by Dan Piepenbring (The Paris Review).