The world of mysteries and thrillers has produced some memorable friendship but perhaps none quite so distinguished as the one struck up later in life between between Raymond Chandler, the laureate of American hardboiled fiction, and Ian Fleming, the legendary English author of the James Bond novels. The relationship began when Fleming wrote to Chandler asking for an endorsement that would be used to help market the Bond novels in America. Chandler ultimately reviewed two books from the 007 series—Diamonds Are Forever and Dr. No—for The Sunday Times, and the two authors, both on their way to legendary status, struck up a warm personal relationship. In 1958, celebrating Chandler’s 70th birthday, the BBC asked Fleming to “interview” his eminent friend. The result was a rollicking, far-ranging conversation in which the authors discussed the state of the thriller, heroes and villains, the struggle for literary credibility, and how a murder is planned and executed. It would be the last time the two friends met before Chandler’s death the following year, in 1959. Fortunately, the conversation was recorded and made available by the BBC.
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You can also read my Crime Beat columns on Raymond Chandler and Ian Fleming via the below links: