From Russia with Love displays a Bond worried that he is losing his edge. He has been living too well, he fears, and that he has become soft. When he is sent to Istanbul to pick up Tatiana Romanova and a code machine she has fortuitously stolen from her division at SMERSH, he is concerned that he's been reduced to "pimping for England". Well, his mission to literally "pick up" Romanova has been made simpler because she has decided to defect after seeing picture of Bond in a file at her work. And she fell in love instantly. Right. What the reader knows (and that Bond begins to suspect) is that this is a trap. The Soviet intelligence service SMERSH has planned to use a literal lunatic (a man who murders at full moons because he becomes overwhelmed with the impulse, no real reason) in their plan to discredit and kill Bond. Behind this scheme is in part Corporal Rosa Klebb, one of my favorite Bond villains. She is old, ugly, has some interesting personal proclivities, and is utterly professional in her plan to kill Bond. So, for a baddie, she's well rounded and interesting. Fleming once again pays great attention to detail, from the locations in which SMERSH meets to the airplane which Bond happens to be flying. There of course is some troublesome characterizations of women and anyone who isn't British. However, as a spy-thriller From Russian with Love works very well. Also, it happens to be a favorite of the former director-general of MI-5. The interview can be found here.