Peter O'Donnell, who died a few weeks ago, wrote this spy novel based on his own comic book creation. In all there have been about 90 comic strip storylines and a dozen novels. This is my first exposure to Modesty Blaise and why did I wait so long? The book was fantastic, a great combination of over-the-top 1960s spy tropes, brutal action, and genuine emotion.
The writing in this book was really great, and I loved the relationship between Modesty and her long-time best friend Willie Garvin. He's as good a character as she is, a roguish cockney with an undying loyalty to Modesty.
Modesty Blaise is the book that Vincent Vega is reading on the can right before getting knocked off in Pulp Fiction. It's clearly a book that Tarantino is interested in and I think he had Miramax acquire the rights. There's a lot of Modesty characteristics in Beatrix Kiddo, especially the scene where Beatrix breaks down at the very end of Kill Bill Volume 2.
Next up: Sabre Tooth, book two in the Modesty storyline.