Having just finished the audio book of The Spy Who Loved Me and started the one for OHMSS, an anomaly is puzzling me, as follows.
In chapter 13 of "Spy" - "Bedtime Story" - Bond, at the "Dreamy Pines" motel with Vivienne Michel, tells her the reason why he's in the neighbourhood and what he's been up to recently. It sound's improbable to me that a special agent would open up in this way to a young woman he hardly knows, but anyway he does. It involves a top level Russian defector, a Toronto crime syndicate hired to assassinate him, and one Horst Ulhmann, an ex-Gestapo type who is a member of SPECTRE, which has been paid £100,000 to by the Russians to see that this defector dies. The reader, or listener now, is told that this incident happened less than twelve months after Operation Thunderball, and that SPECTRE was back in business.
Compare and contrast with chapter 2 of OHMSS - "Gran Turismo" - in which we are privy to 007's proposed letter of resignation from the Double O section. Here, he cites as his reason for wanting to leave the lack of any evidence, in the twelve months since Operation Thunderball, that Blofeld was still alive or that a revived SPECTRE was in existence.
As I say, puzzling. Especially since, during the course of Bond's Canadian assignment, he puts himself in the line of fire, literally, to prevent the assassination. Something one might remember, surely?
Was it an oversight on the part of the author? The chapter in "Spy" seems to be there to remind the reader of James Bond's full time job, and give a good reason why, out of the blue, he turns up at the "Dreamy Pines". When Ian Fleming came to write OHMSS had this incident simply been forgotten? It's curious when in the same chapter of OHMSS mentioned he refers to Le Chiffre, Vesper Lynd and the events of Casino Royale, although of course the first few chapters of OHMSS are set in Royale-les-Eaux. And in previous Bond novels, past adventures have been mentioned, albeit briefly.
Was Bond's "bedtime story" made up, by Bond, to keep Vivienne interested? Was he in Canada and northern United States for reasons that had nothing to do with Russian defectors, Toronto gangsters and ex-Gestapo men? Did Viv Michel make the whole thing up? We're told she's a journalist. But where would she get the detail about Bond? Her journalism didn't involve reporting intelligence matters (Unless, of course, she'd read one of those fanciful novels about Bond referred to by M in his obituary in You Only Live Twice!)
Or, given the negative reaction to "Spy" at the time, did Mr. Fleming simply want to treat OHMSS as a direct follow on from Thunderball, and not mention anything in it relating to his previous book, even if it might be relevant to the current storyline - which I'd have thought the events in chapter 13 of "Spy" would be.
Sorry if this reads a bit like "Pedantry Corner" in Private Eye magazine, but it's something I hadn't thought about until recently.