Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Spy novel pulled for plagiarizing Fleming and Gardner

The L.A. Times reports that the new spy novel, Assassin of Secrets by Q.R. Markham, was pulled today after publisher Mulholland Books, an imprint of Little, Brown, said it discovered that numerous passages where "lifted from a variety of classic and contemporary spy novels", including the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming and John Gardner.

In a statement, Michael Pietsch, executive vice president and publisher of Little, Brown and Co., said: "Upon investigation, it was clear the passages in question were lifted, and Little, Brown determined that the only course of action was to immediately recall books from retailers across the country."

While the publisher did not say how they discovered the plagiarism, some of the detective work appears to belong to the crew over at the CommanderBond.net forums, who spotted several passages in the book that where lifted directly from John Gardner's Licence Renewed and Nobody Lives Forever.

Even the author's name, Q.R. Markham, appears to be lifted from a Bond novel. "Robert Markham" was the pseudonym used by Kingsley Amis for his continuation Bond novel, Colonel Sun.

Simon Gardner, son of the late John Gardner, wrote today on Facebook:

"I do hope the exposure of this act of plagiarism will act as a lesson to others that think they might try to dupe publishers and the public alike. Whether the authors are alive or dead, there are enough fans of popular fiction to come down fast and hard on anyone who tries to rip off their favourite authors. That is the power of fans and I salute and thank you all on behalf of John Edmund Gardner."

Now I think we need to find out who is hiding behind the name Q.R. Markham?

UPDATE: According to publishers Marketplace news director Sarah Weinman, Q.R. Markham is really Quentin Rowan, a co-owner of Spoonbill & Sugartown in Williamsburg. The blog Reluctant Habits (which posted his photo below) reveals that he also plagiarized some of Raymond Benson's Bond work.

"Q.R. Markham" aka Quentin Rowan

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