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Devil May Care, the new James Bond novel set back during the Cold War in 1967, arrives on bookstore shelves May 28th. The book's author, Sebastian Faulkes, has written the story in the style of the late Ian Fleming to celebrate the 007 creator's centenary. As we first reported last September, MI6's greatest secret agent also returns to his Bentley-driving roots in Devil May Care. The car is the same one he drives in Fleming's Thunderball and On Her Majesty's Secret Service: a custom 2-seat Bentley R type Continental convertible with the 4½-liter engine from a Mk VI stuffed underhood. To celebrate Bond's return to Bentley, Penguin Books asked the automaker to design a very limited Special Series Edition -- just 300 copies will be made. (Anyone want to place bets on the aftermarket value of book #007?)

Devil May Care numbering plateUnder the supervision of chief designer Dirk Van Braeckel (the man responsible for the current Continental GT's lines), Bentley has delivered a leather-bound, heirloom-quality piece. The 'Flying B' hood ornament is featured on the cover and spine, and the outer leather is stitched in the same diamond pattern you'll find on the seating surfaces of a modern Bentley road car. The inside cover is also finished off in leather, but is styled in tune with cars of the era in which the story is set. The typeface used is the same one you'll find in a Bentley owner's manual, and each individually-numbered book comes with a matching-number pewter die-cast R type model and a similarly-snazzy book block. The numbering on each book, by the way, is featured on a metal plate supplied by the same firm who does the engine plates for the cars. Finally, all books come with a plexiglass slipcase.

As you might expect, this mega-exclusive book is also mega-expensive. £750 will put one on the bookshelf, where it would surely look nice next to the divorce papers you'll be handed shortly after its arrival. If you're a Bond completist, recent lottery winner, or a Bentley fanatic, you can order the super special edition via Penguin007.com, where they've got all manner of Bond info, a countdown clock ticking off the seconds to the book's release and a link to the Special Series Edition minisite. You regular folk (we know you're out there) can meet us at Amazon, where the pricing's a bit more in tune with blogger pay.

[Sources: Bentley, Penguin Books]