The sixth Young Bond novel, and the first by Steve Cole, released in 2014.
It's the early summer of 1934, and Bond is temporarily staying at the famous progressive, co-educational Dartington Hall school in Devonshire while Aunt Charmian finally mounts her expedition in Mexico. Needless to say, he once more gets into trouble when the film reel the Film Club obtained for viewing turns out to have something a lot more dangerous than Mae West on it.
Now Bond and three new friends are taking an airship to Hollywoodland... but someone is willing to kill to get that film back.
- Airships: Studio boss Anton Kostler owns two, the Allworld and the smaller Zelda. Naturally, one of them gets blown up.
- Big Bad: Allworld Studios founder Anton Kostler.
- Call-Forward: Bond reckons he "could get a taste for cocktails", and is introduced to judo for the first time.
- Celebrity Resemblance: Bond is told for the first time that he looks like Hoagy Carmichael. This comes in useful later when he briefly claims to be Carmichael's son.
- Character Development: After the events of the last year, James is notably colder and more distant towards his classmates, and more aware that knowing him can be dangerous. He also shoots Kostler in the brain with his air pistol - he's slowly becoming more comfortable shooting people.
- Deadpan Snarker: Hugo Grande, who admits it's partially a coping mechanism for his condition.
- Good All Along: "Fedora Man", aka Dürr, turns out to be an SIS agent named Adam Elmhirst investigating Kostler.
- I Call It "Vera": Bond's air pistol. Boody Pryce carves "Queensmarsh" into the butt of Bond's air pistol, in reference to the place he got it. Bond thinks the name (one part patriotism, one part muck) is oddly fitting.
- Red Right Hand: Less exaggerated than usual, but one of Kostler's henchmen has a port-stain birthmark from his ear to his jaw. Noticing this is the first indication Bond gets that Kostler and the film are connected.
- Snuff Film: The plot is kicked off by them discovering the film reel Dan "borrowed" is actually footage of a man being tortured by gangsters. And it's one of a series...
- The Stinger: SIS agent Adam Elmhirst is keeping an eye on young Bond, and knows some people who'll be interested to know what Andrew Bond's son is up to.