Bond investigates the murder of a motorcycle dispatch-rider and the theft of his top-secret documents by a motorcycle-riding assassin. The rider was en route from SHAPE, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, then located in Versailles, to his base, Station F, in Saint-Germain in France. Since Bond is already in Paris, his superior, M, sends him to assist in the investigation in any way he can. Bond disguises himself as a dispatch-rider and follows the same journey to Station F as the previous rider: as expected, the assassin attempts to kill Bond. Bond, however, is ready and kills the assassin. He then uncovers the assassin’s hidden base of operations.
“For Your Eyes Only”
“For Your Eyes Only” begins with the murder of the Havelocks, a British couple in Jamaica who have refused to sell their estate to Herr von Hammerstein, a former Gestapo officer who is the chief of counterintelligence for the Cuban secret service. They are killed by two Cuban hitmen at the direction of their leader, Major Gonzales; all three work for von Hammerstein. The Havelocks turn out to be close friends of M, who served as the groom’s best man during their wedding in 1925. M subsequently gives Bond a voluntary assignment, unconnected to sanctioned Secret Service duties, to travel to Vermont via Canada, find von Hammerstein at his rented estate at Echo Lake and assassinate him as a warning to future criminals who might think to target British citizens. When Bond arrives on the scene, he finds the Havelocks’ daughter, Judy, who intends to carry out her own mission of revenge with a bow and arrow. Judy kills von Hammerstein by shooting him in the back with a arrow from 100 yards (91 m) away at the exact moment that he dives into a lake. A shoot-out then occurs between Bond and Gonzales and the two Cuban gunmen. Bond kills all of them and returns to Canada with Judy, who has been wounded during the gunfight.
“Quantum of Solace”
After completing a mission in the Bahamas, Bond is in Nassau and attends a dinner party at Government House. When the other guests have left, Bond remarks that if he ever marries, he imagines it would be nice to marry an air hostess. The Governor then tells Bond the story of a relationship between a former civil servant, Philip Masters and air hostess Rhoda Llewellyn. After meeting aboard a flight to London, the couple married, and went to live in Bermuda, but after a time Rhoda began a long open affair with the eldest son of a rich Bermudian family. As a result, Masters’ work deteriorated, and he suffered a nervous breakdown. After recovering, he was given a break from Bermuda by the governor and sent on an assignment to Washington. Upon his return Masters was determined to end his marriage and he divided their home into two sections, half to each of them and refused to have anything to do with his wife in private—although they continued to appear as a couple in public. He eventually returned to the UK alone, leaving Rhoda with unpaid debts and stranded in Bermuda—a cruel act which he would have been incapable of carrying out just a few months earlier. The governor explains his point to Bond: when the “Quantum of Solace” drops to zero, humanity and consideration of one human for another is gone and the relationship is finished. Despite the success of Masters’ plan to take revenge on his unfaithful wife, he never recovered emotionally. After a time, Rhoda married a rich Canadian. The governor then reveals that the dinner companions whom Bond found dull were in fact Rhoda and her rich Canadian husband.
Bond is sent by M to investigate a drug-smuggling operation based in Italy that is sending narcotics to England. M instructs Bond to get in touch with a CIA informant, Kristatos, who in turn tells Bond that a man named Enrico Colombo is behind the racket. When Bond sets out to find more information on Colombo, he is captured and brought aboard Colombo’s ship, the Colombina. Colombo informs Bond that Kristatos is actually the one in charge of the drug smuggling operation, and that Kristatos is backed by the Russians. Colombo agrees to help Bond by providing information about things “as long as none of it comes back to Italy”; Bond agrees to help Colombo eliminate Kristatos. Bond, Colombo, and his men sail the Colombina to Santa Maria when Kristatos’s men are loading another shipment of drugs, they attack Kristatos’s ship and adjacent warehouse and discover Kristatos lurking near the warehouse, preparing to detonate a bomb. Kristatos tries to escape, but is killed by Bond.
“The Hildebrand Rarity”
Bond is on an assignment in the Seychelles Islands; through Fidele Barbey, his influential and well-connected local contact, he meets an uncouth American millionaire named Milton Krest, who challenges the two to aid him in the search for a rare fish, The Hildebrand Rarity. Bond, Barbey, Krest and his English wife, Elizabeth, set off aboard the Wavekrest in search of the fish. During the journey, Bond learns that Milton verbally and physically abuses everyone around him, especially his wife—whom he punishes with the use of a stingray tail he dubs “The Corrector”. Krest finds the Hildebrand Rarity and kills it—along with many other fish—by pouring poison into the water. After finding and killing the Hildebrand Rarity, the Wavekrest sets sail for port. Along the way Krest gets very drunk, insults Bond and Barbey and tells his wife he will beat her again with the stingray tail. Later that night, Bond hears Krest choking; investigating, Bond finds that Krest has been murdered—apparently by having the rare fish stuffed down his throat. So as not to be entangled in a murder investigation, Bond throws Krest overboard and cleans up the scene of the crime, making it look as though Krest fell overboard after one of the ropes holding his hammock broke: Bond suspects both Barbey and Mrs. Krest, but is unsure which is responsible. However, when Mrs. Krest invites Bond to sail with her to Mombasa—his next destination—aboard the Wavekrest, he accepts her invitation with reservations.
Secret Service operative James Bond, code name 007, is assigned to apprehend a hero of the Second World War implicated in a murder involving a cache of Nazi gold. Bond appears briefly in this story, which is told mostly in flashback and from the point of view of Major Dexter Smythe, the villain. Bond chooses not to take Smythe into custody immediately, but Smythe’s guilt drives him to commit suicide by allowing a scorpion fish to sting him and his “pet” octopus to attack him, bringing on a fatal heart attack.
“The Property of a Lady”
James Bond investigates a Secret Service employee, Maria Freudenstein, who is a double agent about to be paid by her Russian keepers by auctioning a clock crafted by Peter Carl Fabergé at Sotheby’s in her name. The Russians have sent the Resident Director of the KGB in London to attend the auction and underbid for the item to push the price to the necessary value to pay for her services as a double agent. Bond attends the auction in hopes of spotting this man; after he does so, the man is expelled from London as persona non grata.
“The Living Daylights”
An unusually morose James Bond is assigned sniper duty to help British agent 272 escape from East Berlin. Bond’s duty is to prevent a top KGB assassin codenamed “Trigger” from killing 272 by eliminating the sniper. Bond waits for three nights for the agent to come over no man’s land and notices a female orchestra arriving and leaving for practice each night; a beautiful, blonde cellist catches his eye while he waits. When he sees the agent start making his way over the broken ground, he sees the Russian sniper take up position and realises it is the cellist: a split second decision sees Bond deciding instead to shoot the butt of her rifle, preventing her from making the kill. The mission, while successful, is also considered a failure due to Bond’s last-second decision, and it ends with Bond hoping that M fires him for it.
“007 in New York”
A brief tale in which Bond muses about New York City and his favourite recipe for scrambled eggs, during a quick mission to the titular city to warn a female MI6 employee that her new boyfriend is a KGB agent. It is notable for including a rare humorous conclusion and for its mention of Solange, a young lady of Bond’s intimate acquaintance who works in a shop, Abercrombie’s, “appropriately employed in their Indoor Games Department”.