James Bond is sent by M to Jamaica to investigate the sudden disappearance of the local secret service man and his assistant.
It’s not much of an assignment though. An investigation by local police has come to nothing and the view of the island’s Governor, with which M agrees, is that the pair have eloped.
Before he leaves for the airport M grudgingly tells Bond to “hurry up and get your holiday over”.
When he arrives in Jamaica, Bond checks into the Blue Hills Hotel. The hotel is high in the Blue Mountains and his corner room overlooks Kingston Harbour in the distance.
After showering he orders a double gin and tonic from room service with a whole lime. When it arrives he cuts the lime in half and squeezes the juice into the glass. He then adds the two squeezed halves to the glass then almost fills it with ice. Finally he adds tonic and takes the drink out to his balcony. There he sits there enjoying the drink, the view and the warm climate. When finished he orders another.
Later Quarrel collects him from his hotel and drives him to a favourite restaurant on the waterfront with good food, drink and music. The Joy Boat is owned by a friend of Quarrel known as Pus-Feller. Quarrel tells Bond got the name because he once fought a big octopus.
Pus-Feller greets them when they arrive and shows them to a table under a palm. Bond has his third G&T with lime of the evening while Quarrel drinks a Red Stripe. For dinner they order broiled lobster followed by rare steak and native vegetables. When the food arrives they order more drinks and during the meal they discuss their mission.
The following morning Bond eats an unspecified “delicious breakfast” while once again admiring the view over Kingston below. He then goes to King’s House for a meeting with the acting Governor and then the Colonial Secretary with whom he gets on well. Not only does Pleydell-Smith prove to be a useful ally in King’s House but he also buys Bond lunch at Queen’s Club. Fleming doesn’t specify what they eat, only that they finish the meal with coffee.
Bond gets back to his hotel and finds a basket of fruit has been delivered to his hotel room in his absence. Suspicious, he examines the fruit and suspects it has been poisoned. He also discovers his things have been tampered with and so phones Pleydell-Smith and asks to have the fruit analysed.
After showering and a brief phone call with Quarrel, Bond watches the sunset from his balcony with a drink ordered from room service. He has another before going down to the dining room.
The next morning Bond and Quarrel drive to stay at a rented beach house near Port Maria on the northern shore. The house is deep in the trees behind a beach of white sand. It’s within the grounds of Beau Desert, an old plantation within which lie the ruins of a nineteenth Great House.
They had previously stayed here in Live And Let Die prior to Bond swimming underwater to the Isle of Surprise in Morgan’s Harbour. This time they are there to get Bond back into shape prior to setting sail for Crab Key.
The Jamaican Great Houses
According to Wikipedia: In Jamaica, “great house” is the standard term for the house at the centre of plantation life, what in the United States is called a plantation house.
Arriving at 8:30, Quarrel cooks them breakfast. Fleming mentions the smell of coffee and frying bacon, but presumably they had eggs too.
On the last evening Bond sits in the garden with a pint of Canadian Club Blended Rye with ice and soda water and watches the sunset. After a while he realises he’s drunk a quarter of the bottle and pours another large slug to which he adds ice. When Quarrel tells him its time to go he drains his glass and and joins the Cayman Islander at the canoe.
After making the crossing to Crab Key at night Bond and Quarrel sleep on the beach. The next morning they are startled to find they’ve been joined by a girl collecting shells.
Unfortunately Honeychile Rider’s arrival at Crab Key complicates things. While Quarrel had dropped the sail a couple of miles offshore so they didn’t get picked up by radar, the girl sailed all the way to Crab Key. It doesn’t take long before they have company.
Making their escape, the three arrive at an wrecked camp. It had been used by wardens watching a colony of rare Roseate Spoonbills. Quarrel manages to find a couple of cans of Heinz pork and beans among the debris of the camp. They eat the beans cold from their hands with a lump of bread.
After Bond and Honey are captured by Dr No’s men they are taken to his “clinic”. After being taken to their rooms they are brought a tray with “a delicious smell of bacon and coffee”.
First Bond drinks down a large tumbler of chilled pineapple juice then lifts the cover of a hotplate to find scrambled eggs on toast with four rashers of bacon, a grilled kidney and “what looked like” an English pork sausage. He also finds two kinds of hot toast, bread rolls, marmalade, honey and strawberry jam, “boiling hot” coffee and fresh cream.
That’s pretty close to what Fleming tells us, in From Russia With Love, Bond always has when he’s at home. The main difference is that there he eats a lightly boiled egg. A mink lined prison, indeed. But how Bond noticed the “delicious smell” of the coffee is something of a mystery since it is in a large Thermos decanter.
Unfortunately either the coffee or the pineapple juice is drugged and they both collapse in bed (separately).
After waking they are asked to choose from an extensive menu for dinner with Dr No. Bond chooses caviar, followed by grilled lamb cutlets and salad, then angels on horseback.
Angels on Horseback
While we tend to associate dessert with sweet dishes, Bond sometimes chooses savoury desserts. Angels on Horseback is one such dish, consisting of shucked oysters wrapped in bacon and cooked in the oven.
When Honey refuses to choose for herself, Bond selects melon, roast chicken and vanilla ice cream with hot chocolate sauce for her. Afterwards Bond pours himself a Bourbon and soda from the drinks tray in Honey’s room. He returns to his own room with his drink while she has her hair and nails done. He has another before dinner.
After they finally meet, Dr No offers them a drink. The girl asks for a Coca-Cola while Bond opts for a medium dry vodka martini with a slice of lemon peel. He specifies that it should be “shaken and not stirred” and made with Russian or Polish vodka.
Although he had previously stipulated, in Casino Royale, that the drink he later named the Vesper should be shaken, Doctor No is the first book in which Bond asks for his drink to be shaken, not stirred.
Dr No asks for his bodyguard to put another bottle of coke beside Honey and to put the shaker beside Bond. After draining his glass Bond pours himself another drink and, as Dr No tells his story, a third. Champagne is served with the meal and Bond’s lamb cutlets are “perfectly cooked”.
Return to Beau Desert
After escaping from Crab Key, Bond and Honey return the beach house Beau Desert. They have “a wonderful breakfast” after the girl washes and treats Bond’s wounds. He then drives to Kingston and the emergency ward.
When he gets back from Kingston, Bond finds that Honey has left him a Thermos of coffee and sandwiches. He also finds a note in which she tells Bond that he owes her “slave-time”.
Bond is just finishing his third Bourbon on the rocks when she arrives at seven. She leads him through the cane fields to where she lives in the basement of the great house. Bond is pleasantly surprised.
She serves him cold lobster and fruit with mayonnaise, bread and butter. But they don’t get far with the meal as Honey soon leads Bond towards her bedroom.