Saturday, September 19, 2015


To celebrate the coming publication of DEATH IN THE FACE (via Betimes Books), featuring 007-creator Ian Fleming, I will be live-tweeting the second James Bond film, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, starting at 8 eastern this p.m. (Saturday, Sept. 19).

Head over to if you care to follow along/chime-in.

The filming of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE occupies roughly the last third of my new novel, with cameos by Robert Shaw and Sean Connery, among others key to the film's production.

Last Saturday, this effort to live tweet the entire Bond films series (absent that disaster with David Niven), kicked off with DR. NO.


Sunday, September 13, 2015


My next novel—the next-to-the-last in the Hector Lassiter series—is DEATH IN THE FACE, set largely in the early 1960s.

The novel will be published in October by Betimes Books.

This one features James Bond creator Ian Fleming and finds novelist Hector Lassiter on Playboy Magazine's dime following Fleming through Japan for Ian's research tour of the novel YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE and on into Istanbul for the filming of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE.

For now, here is a teaser, and a glimpse of the chapter title page of the coming novel.

By Craig McDonald
Ian Fleming and Hector Lassiter: Novelists, ex-spies and at last, lions in winter.
It’s 1963, and the future isn’t what it used to be.
Lassiter, crime novelist and screenwriter, senses the culture is slowly but surely shouldering him aside. Yet his slightly younger friend, British thriller writer Ian Fleming, stands on the verge of unimaginable success as his long-running series of James Bond novels at last makes its way to the Silver Screen.
But fortune has come too late for an ailing, deeply troubled Ian, who finds it harder to live the high-life necessary to feed his 007 page-turners: he is a dying man and ex-spymaster pining for a last grand adventure.
Enter Playboy Magazine and its offer to stake Hector to trek Ian on a research trip to Japan for his next Bond novel, You Only Live Twice, then onto Istanbul for the filming of From Russia With Love.
As Hector dogs Ian’s heels through the far-flung cities of the world, he discovers Fleming is secretly determined to right their one shared intelligence failure: “Operation Flea,” the key to a bio-weapon of terrifying scope that could bring Britain and America to their knees.
With cameos by Sean Connery, Robert Shaw and the death-obsessed Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima, Craig McDonald again deftly mixes fact and fiction for a darkly seductive historical romp through the mid-20th Century.
This is the penultimate Hector Lassiter literary thriller in the Edgar/Anthony-awards nominated series BookPage declared “wildly inventive” and The Chicago Tribune calls “the most unusual, and readable crime fiction to come along in years.”

Part 1 / “Every day is a journey…”
1. People Dying Who Never Died Before
2. Strangers On A Plane
3. Dead On Arrival
4. Safe Haven?
5. The Man With The Golden Typewriter
6. Ghost Of A Flea
7. The Last Mission?
8. No Leg To Stand On
9. Tomorrow Never Lies
10. Trust Dies/Mistrust Blossoms
11. Confessions Of A Mask
12. A Hidden Claw
13. Double Agent/Double Cross

Part 2 / “…and the journey itself home”
1.     Into Japan
2. Company Man
3.     Here’s Mud In Your Eye
4.     The Root Of All Evil
5.     Suitcases With Teeth?
6.     To Hell And Gone
7.     Out of Japan
8.     Murder On The Orient Express (1963)
9.     Something Wicked This Way Comes
10. Brinke Of Destruction
11. Every Man’s Death (1964)
12. Coda: Patriotism & The Spy Who Loved Me (1970)