(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

John Gardner specialized in taking over characters created by other writers. By presenting characters such as James Bond and Dr. Moriarty in his own way, Gardner added an extra dimension to his novels: The original characters remain in the reader’s mind, available for comparison with Gardner’s versions. Gardner also pioneered the practice of including comic elements in the standard mystery, effectively creating a new genre. His work shows great attention to historical detail and more than a touch of the occult. Gardner’s professionalism and ability to imitate other writers’ styles helped him, particularly in his James Bond novels. However, his own stylistic sense was better than that of Ian Fleming , so his stories read somewhat differently. Nevertheless, he retained Fleming’s readers and handed the series over to other writers after illness forced him to abandon it. His books have been translated into more than fourteen languages.