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SPECTRE, an international crime syndicate, devises a plot to discredit and kill British Secret Service Agent James Bond. Rosa Klebb, former head of the Russian secret service organization, has defected to SPECTRE, but her defection is known only to a few top men in the Soviet government. As one of the masterminds of the plot, Rosa goes to Istanbul and contacts Tatiana Romanova, a beautiful cipher clerk in the Russian embassy. She orders Tatiana to offer to help the British steal the Lektor, a valuable Russian coding machine, if James Bond will help her defect to the West. Meanwhile, a SPECTRE agent is in Istanbul with instructions to murder Bond. Russian agents are following him, too, but with the aid of Kerim Bey, a wily Turk whom he contacts upon arriving in Istanbul, Bond manages to foil several attempts on his life. Bond and Tatiana, working on plans to steal the Lektor, escape from Istanbul on the Orient Express headed for the West. SPECTRE agent Red Grant and Russian agent Benz are also on board the train and independently plan to kill Bond and steal the Lektor. Both Kerim Bey and Benz are killed; and Grant, overhearing Bond's request for another British agent to help him, meets the designated man at the next stop, kills him, and takes his place. Grant drugs Tatiana and overpowers Bond, but Bond triumphs when an attaché case explodes, enabling the two to leave the train. Bond then forces a pursuing SPECTRE helicopter to crash and sets the sea on fire to escape from oncoming powerboats. The two arrive in the apparent safety of Venice, but Rosa Klebb enters Bond's hotel room disguised as a maid and tries to kill him with a poisonous switchblade concealed in the toe of her shoe. Tatiana, by now in love with Bond, shoots Rosa, and the Lektor is safely sent to England. Bond remains in Venice with Tatiana.