While James Bond is trying to figure out the mystery surrounding the murder of Major Tallon and the safety of the Moonraker launch, his suspicions alight on Sir Hugo Drax’s trusted A.D.C. Krebs. He wonders, however, how Krebs could get away with anything, seeing as how he is constantly as his master’s side.
But how could Krebs possibly be involved, with Drax’s eye constantly on him? The confidential assistant. But what about Cicero, the trusted valet of the British Ambassador in Ankara during the war? The hand in the pocket of the striped trousers hanging over the back of the chair. The Ambassador’s keys. The safe. The secrets. This picture looked very much the same.
The reference here is to a wartime scandal in Ankara (capital of Turkey) in which the British Ambassador had documents stolen out of his safe and sold to the Germans by his own valet, Elyesa Bazna. He was given the codename “Cicero.”
The 1952 movie 5 Fingers starring James Mason is loosely based on the scandal, and there was also a 1956 teleplay entitled Operation Cicero in which Ricardo Montalban played the role of Bazna.
It’s another real-world reference by Fleming which was something that would’ve been familiar to his readers at the time, and which also lent some believability to the story he was writing.