Sir James Bond 007, a legendary British spy who retired from the secret service 20 years previously, is visited by the head of British MI6, M, CIA representative Ransome, KGB representative Smernov, and Deuxième Bureau representative Le Grand.
All implore Bond to come out of retirement to deal with SMERSH who have been eliminating agents: Bond spurns all their pleas.
When Bond continues to stand firm, his mansion is destroyed by a mortar attack at the orders of M, who is, however, killed in the explosion.
Bond travels to Scotland to return M's remains to the grieving widow, Lady Fiona Mc Tarry.
However, the real Lady Fiona has been replaced by SMERSH's Agent Mimi.
The rest of the household have been likewise replaced, with SMERSH’s aim to discredit Bond by destroying his "celibate image".
Attempts by a bevy of beauties to seduce Bond fail, but Mimi/Lady Fiona becomes so impressed with Bond that she changes loyalties and helps Bond to foil the plot against him.
On his way back to London, Bond survives another attempt on his life. He learns that many British agents around the world have been eliminated by enemy spies because of their inability to resist sex.
Bond is also told that the "sex maniac" who was given the name of "James Bond" when the original Bond retired has gone to work in television.
He then orders that all remaining MI6 agents will be named "James Bond 007", to confuse SMERSH.
He also creates a rigorous programme to train male agents to ignore the charms of women.
Moneypenny recruits "Coop", a karate expert who begins training to resist seductive women: he also meets an exotic agent known as the Detainer.