New James Bond mission to hit bookshelves in September

LONDON Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:53pm EST

LONDON Feb 18 (Reuters) - A new James Bond novel will be released in September with the latest exploits of the British spy written by novelist William Boyd, the estate of Bond's creator Ian Fleming said on Monday.

Fleming wrote his first Bond novel, "Casino Royale" 60 years ago in 1953 and penned 13 more before he died 11 years later at the age of 56.

The title and plot of the new book remain under wraps, but the Fleming estate gave a hint of the style and the setting to woo fans who have been wowed by Daniel Craig's film portrayal of 007 in "Skyfall" over the past months.

"We can reveal that this novel will see a return to the classic Bond era, featuring a 45-year-old 007 in 1969," it said in a statement.

The novel will be published in Britain on Sept. 26 by Jonathan Cape - Fleming's original publisher - and available from HarperCollins, a subsidiary of News Corp, in the United States and Canada from early October.

The screen version of the suave spy remains a box office superstar, with "Skyfall" becoming the first official Bond film to take over $1 billion at the box office following its release last year.

But to keep the literary James Bond brand alive, his estate has invited various authors to continue the Bond story. The Bond catalogue is one of the most prized in publishing, with global sales of more than 100 million copies.

Most recently U.S. thriller writer Jeffery Deaver wrote "Carte Blanche" in 2011, and Sebastian Faulks' novel "Devil May Care" was published to mark Fleming's 100th birthday in 2008.

The British author Boyd has won acclaim for writing page-turners with complex plots often set in unique historical milieus, from World War One-era East Africa to 1936 Los Angeles.

His latest novel, "Waiting for Sunrise", came out last year.

When Boyd was asked last year to write the Bond novel, he told Reuters it was a "fantastic, exciting challenge". He added that he was already familiar with Fleming as he once put him in one of his novels as a character.

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