Publication date: 1957
Villains: Rosa Klebb and SMERSH.
Girl: Tatiania Romanova
Villain’s Plot: Killing Bond, basically.
Main locations: Istanbul and the Orient express.
Interestingly the first chunk of the book is a Bond-free zone. Instead we follow the Russian agents as they plan Bond’s death, using a girl and the promise of the SPECTOR decoding machine as bait. Later our man Bond turns up and he just about manages to outwit the would-be killers with the help of Kerim (best ever sidekick?). A nice cliff-hanger ending though…
The movie is very close to the book. The only real changes were making Klebb ultimately work for SPECTRE instead of SMERSH. They also renamed the decoding machine the LECTOR to avoid confusion with the name SPECTRE.
And yes, the Gipsy girl fight is in here too!