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There are two facts about Ian Fleming we particularly like. One is that he wrote kids' classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (thank you Wikipedia) the other is that he was a Naval Intelligence Officer during World War II. And while we don’t ever imagine that Fleming ever owned a flying car (if he did we’re jealous) we do know that his experience led him to create the most renowned spy in the world of fiction.

Throughout his career he produced 12 James Bond novels plus a collection of short stories and although many Bond novels were written post-Fleming, such as the new novel Carte Blanche (read the exclusive extract here), we thought this would be a great excuse to honour the legendary and original Bond-scribe, with a look at the best covers and first lines from his much-loved books.

Carte Blanche, the new James Bond novel by Jeffery Deaver, is published in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton on 26 May, priced £19.99

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