Review: The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling by Kate Westbrook

Monday May 31 2010
by Sian

I think that we can all agree that the mark of a really good book is an ending that really stays with you. But what makes a really special book is an ending that you can read over and over again for the sheer joy and wonder of it. The last time I experienced this was when I finished Philip Pullman's final book in the 'His Dark Materials' series THE AMBER SPYGLASS. The end of that story simultaneously ripped my heart out and make me feel more hopeful and optimistic about love at the same time. Needless to say, the ending of FINAL FLING the last in the 'Moneypenny Diaries' trilogy was different but no less wondrous somehow.

I've previously recommended The Moneypenny Diaries, but for some reason had it in my head that SECRET SERVANT (the second book) was the final book in the series. I discovered it wasn't quite accidentally by monkeying around on the store computer and instantly ordered FINAL FLING in (and while we won't let you play on the computer, you are more than welcome to order anything in that strikes your fancy). The book arrived in the spring but I didn't get to reading it until my vacation last week, when it seemed the perfect diversion to enjoy while sitting on an outdoor swing enjoying the Pennsylvania breeze.

FINAL FLING is told in part through Jane Moneypenny's covert diary entries and in part through the narrative of her niece Kate Westbrook (the "editor" of the diaries, an alias for Samantha Weinberg). Kate is tying up the final loose ends of her aunt's amazing career as secretary to M and confidante of James Bond and trying to solve the mystery behind her death in the Hebrides. You don't need to have read the first three books to enjoy FINAL FLING, but it will make the reading of it a more enjoyable experience. Really though, it comes down to the final chapter (which I've just enjoyed again, with goosebumps) which is sad, lovely, and delightful all at once.

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