28 MAY 2008

Sending a military speedboat up the Thames with choppers roaring overhead, the Ministry of Defence was clearly taking no chances when it came to safely delivering a special courier – a catsuit-wearing beauty clutching a book-laden suitcase.

While it could have easily have been a scene from the latest 007 flick Quantum Of Solace, the spectacular wasn't staged by the Bond film crew. Instead, the river action marked the launch of Devil May Care, the new novel in the spy series written by acclaimed author Sebastian Faulks.

The work, which features an older, wiser and more vunerable Bond, hit shelves on Wednesday to coincide with what would have been the 100th birthday of the secret agent's late creator Ian Fleming.

On Green Dolphin Street novelist Sebastian is the latest writer to add to the original spy series since former journalist and wartime intelligence officer Ian Fleming died in 1964. At the time he had completed 12 novels about the iconic British agent.

Set in 1967, the new work depicts Bond back in action against an evil mastermind in a variety of settings ranging from Paris and Rome to the Middle East.

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Delivering the suitcase containing the books from the destroyer HMS Exeter to a Piccadilly bookstore was model Tuuli Shipster, whose silhouette features on the cover of the novelClick on photos for gallery
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Acclaimed author Sebastian Faulks, who penned the Sixties-set adventure, played a part in the launch jamboree, ceremoniously handing his work to Tuuli on board a destroyer moored near Tower BridgePhoto: © Getty Images
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At an evening party to celebrate the book's launch, the author and model were joined by Bond fan Stephen FryPhoto: © Getty Images
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