003½: The Adventures of James Bond Junior is a 1967 James Bond spin-off novel carrying the Glidrose Productions copyright. It was first published in the United Kingdom by the Jonathan Cape publishing company in 1967 and later in 1968 in the United States by Random House. The novel was written under the pseudonym R. D. Mascott; the real name of the author to this day has never been officially revealed by the current owners of the Ian Fleming Estate (i.e., Ian Fleming Publications a.k.a. Glidrose) or EON Productions (Danjaq), who owns the screen rights to the novel.
Although the novel is based around a character who is the nephew of James Bond, in Ian Fleming's own novels Bond in fact was an only child and indeed an orphan, however, unbeknownst to agent 007 he does have a son as told in You Only Live Twice.
003½: The Adventures of James Bond Junior is considered a failed attempt at launching a youth-oriented line of fiction aimed at 8 to 14 year olds. A moderately successful television series by the same name was launched in 1991, produced by EON Productions / Danjaq. The success of the show spawned numerous novelisations, a video game, and comic books. Unrelated to 003½, Ian Fleming Publications began publishing a successful youth-oriented line of Young Bond adventures featuring James Bond as a teenager in the 1930s beginning in 2005.
Although an officially licensed spin-off from the James Bond series, its place within the canon of the books - if any - has never been established.
The plot follows James Bond Junior while he tries to uncover bank robbers in Hazely Hill. He and Sheelagh Smith, his "girlfriend" follow the clues of this mystery, but the information is given to the Commander of the police when James is injured. The Commander ultimately gets the credit for solving the case and threatens James if he says anything.
- James Bond (Junior): son of David Bond, nephew of James Bond 007. Has his own gang of schoolmates, the "Pride of Lions". James' housemaster and Dr. Hartshorn dub him 003 1/2. Writes to his famous uncle who sends him a sheath knife.
- Mrs. Raggles: James's caregiver while his parents are in Dar es Salaam. At the climax, she contacts Commander Sir Cuthbert Conningtower about what James discovers at Hazeley Hall.
- Mrs. Frame: former owner of Hazeley Hall. Had given James exclusive access to the bothy. James had stored his goods in there. She dies in her sleep at start of story.
- Mr. Merck: German. Mammoth build. Broad spatulate nose, curly hair, large lips. Close-cropped ginger hair, curly ginger beard, ginger hairs on the back of his fists. Speaks in a high squeaky voice. The new owner of Hazeley Hall. Steals £2m gold bullion en route from the Soviet Union to Britain at Gatwick airport.
- Sheelagh Smith: child, slightly younger than James. She lives at Hazeley Hall with Merck. Draws and sketches. Her mother Katherine Smith is in Holloway Prison doing a six-month stretch for shoplifting. James entices her with sketching materials to get inside Hazeley Hall Manor so that he can get his goods from the bothy.
- Maureen Gubb (Auntie Mo): Red-headed slattern. Thin, beaky face and flabby neck. Merck's cook and housekeeper. Sheelagh Smith's caregiver.
- Donal: Merck's henchman. Tall, muscular, barrel chested. Wears track suits. Auntie Mo's beau.
- Paddie: Merck's henchman. Bandy-legged. "A squirt".
- Commander Sir Cuthbert Conningtower: Ex-naval-Intelligence author of Spies I've Espied. Drives an XK120 Jaguar. Complexion the colour of a half-ripe blackberry. Drinks gin. Wears dentures. Philanderer. Steals credit for James's investigative work.
- Audrey Wedderburn: Actress. Plays "Chastity Carstairs" on ITV's Stormbusters. Breeds Guard Dogs. Sells them to Merck. Assists Commander Sir Cuthbert Conningtower. Sheelagh sketches her at Hazeley Hall. James assumes that there may be more between them then stopping crime. James sees her late one night with Conningtower in his Jaguar.
- Lady Conningtower: Commander Sir Cuthbert Conningtower's wife. Once beautiful, now wrinkled, but still proud and noble, even when anxious.
- "Pride of Lions": James's own gang. The Pride used to play in Hazeley Hall's ammunition dump. They resent Merck fencing-in Hazeley Hall so they retaliate with guerilla warfare: put silver sand in petrol tanks, puncture tires with one-inch carpet nails, put water in the oil tank, attempt - but fail - to poison guard dogs. On James's advice, the Pride launch "Operation Barker": distract Merck's guard dogs all night so that James can sneak into Hazeley Hall. While there, James sees Merck in a police car and his men in military uniforms driving camouflaged Bedford trucks as they set out to steal the gold bullion.
- Squirrel Joram: "Pride of Lions" member. Comes from a family of poachers. Current King of the Pride after James went away for a year to prep school. Squirrel resents James returning, fears James will reclaim leadership of the Pride. James and Squirrel had been best of friends; they fall out over Sheelagh Smith. James realizes that Squirrel poisoned Sheelagh's Alsatian puppy. Squirrel Joram tells James that Sheelagh is a "nit-ridden gyppo". They kick James out of the "Pride of Lions".
- Bill Asher: "Pride of Lions" member. Chemist's son.
- Charlie North: "Pride of Lions" member.
- Jon Ling: Boy Scout, and James's replacement in the "Pride of Lions".
- Bobbie Maws: "Pride of Lions" member.
- Alfie Maws: Bobbie Maws' father. Publican ("Lion and Unicorn"). Gangly man with a raw face part-paralysed down one side. Suspects stolen gold bullion is at Hazeley Hall. The "Pride of Lions" hold their meetings in the "Lion and Unicorn".
- Mrs. (Nance) Maws: Alfie Maws' wife. Bobbie Maws' mother. "Lion and Unicorn" cook. Won't let her husband contact police about theory Merck has stolen gold bullion at Hazeley Hall. Police have been snooping around their pub and troubling them for serving drinks after hours.
- Nobby Scales: Postman. Jack of all trades. Knows everybody's business. Uses GPO van to kill one of Merck's Doberman Pinschers.
- Captain David Bond: James Bond Junior's father. (James Bond 007's brother.) Airline pilot. Inherited Monkshill estate (in Beacon Hill on the Kent-Sussex border) from his own father three years prior. At story's end Hazeley Hall comes on the market again and Captain David Bond buys the stables, the walled garden and the bothy. Captain Bond shows a profit on the sale of Monkshill.
- Mrs. Bond: James Bond Junior's mother. Her sister Penny is in the hospital so she and her husband David Bond fly to Dar es Salaam to look after Penny's kids.
- Les Bottome: Daily Clarion crime reporter.
- Canon Wycherly-Pidgeon: Vicar.
- Mr. Hignett, B.Sc. Manchester: Headmaster of the Secondary Modern. Face like dough with currants for eyes. Aspirates and drops his aitches.
- Sergeant Daintree: Constabulary. According to Alfie Maws, Daintree is a "six-foot-three strip of eighteen-carat ignorance." Merck complains that Hignett's students are suspected of vandalising Merck's land rovers.
- Satan: Merck's Alsatian (male). Sheelagh one of dog's handlers. James befriends dog with Sheelagh's help.
- Cerberus: Merck's Alsatian (female). Sheelagh one of dog's handlers. James befriends dog with Sheelagh's help.
- Mr. Dash: Mrs. Frame's gardener.
- Mr. Manvell (and daughter): Veterinary; owns a kennel on lot next to the Hazeley property. Drives a Land-Rover. Nearly collides with Lady Conningtower driving her husband's Jaguar late one night.
- Dr. Hartshorn: tends to injured James at book's end. Diagnoses James with pleurisy, double pneumonia and a torn ligament.
- Miss Hubbard: local children's author. Claims she has fairies not only at the bottom of her garden but also at the top.
To this day it has never been confirmed who wrote 003½: The Adventures of James Bond Junior, although many authors have been named as possibilities such as Roald Dahl and Kingsley Amis. Amis is usually seen as completely bogus since a year later he released Colonel Sun under the pseudonym Robert Markham, however, unlike R. D. Mascott, Amis's authoring of Colonel Sun was never a secret. Amis's writing style is also not similar to Mascott. Roald Dahl on the other hand does share some similarities specifically with one book he wrote in 1975, Danny, the Champion of the World. Coincidentally, in 1967, Roald Dahl completed the screenplay for You Only Live Twice for EON Productions, the same year 003½: The Adventures of James Bond Junior was published. Although there is evidence to suggest Dahl may have written 003½, there is equally as much evidence to suggest he didn't.
One author that has recently been identified as a possibility is Arthur Calder-Marshall who wrote a number of similar books especially in style and his descriptions of characters and environments in his books The Magic of My Youth (1951) and The Scarlet Boy(1961). It has also been suggested that the initials R. D. are a play on the name Arthur, which is typically shortened to Artie. Other writers that have been named as possibilities but tend to be rejected, include Peter Fleming (Ian's brother) and Nichol Fleming (Peter Fleming's son and Ian's nephew).