The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel - Kate Westbrook, Samantha Weinberg The Moneypenny Diaries: Secret Servant - Kate Westbrook, Samantha Weinberg The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling - Kate Westbrook, Samantha Weinberg

I need a little diversion from current reads and the pile of books sitting on my shelf. I also have little craving to return to the world of James Bond.

Not to the actual Ian Fleming books, mind you. That’s an itch that reading the books has cured once and for all, I hope.

But I do love me a spy story…

Following the discussion about pastiche and fan fiction a few days ago, I was left wondering what it is about pastiche work that doesn’t work for me, and could only think of one series that obviously heavily borrowed from another original work and which did not have me running for the hills when I read it: And that is Kate Westbrook’s series of The Moneypenny Diaries.

I first read these in 2013, long before the epic buddy read with KnightofAngels of the complete original James Bond series, and my enjoyment of them may have benefited from not being aware of all of the details and background stories provided by Fleming.

By the same token, I can also see how my dislike for many aspects of Fleming’s original writing could help my enjoyment of Westbrook’s books for the simple reason that these are Bond-related stories that are NOT written from Fleming’s perspective.

This is where the experiment comes in: I want to find out whether I still like The Moneypenny Diaries, and if my appreciation for them has changed.

I also want to figure out why people keep putting a label of “chick lit” on this series, and what exactly “chick lit” is.

What does “chick lit” mean to you all?

The great Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny. For all we know, this lipstick could have been issued by Q branch.