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Bluffing Mr. Churchill (Inspector Troy #4)

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  429 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
"It is April 1941. Since the Fall of France and the heroic evacuation of Dunkirk, Britain has stood alone against Nazi Germany. Hitler has not yet broken his nonaggression pact with Russia but could do so at any moment, and America is struggling to stay neutral in the face of Britain's plight. With his cover as an SS officer blown, American spy Wolfgang Stahl has just fled ...more
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published December 12th 2003 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published January 1st 2001)
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Aug 16, 2012 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr Lawton has written a wonderful series of Inspector Troy mystery novels. This is a "prequel" to the 5 star Blackout. There are 7 in the series and they were published out of order. They are: "Second Violin," "Bluffing Mr. Churchill," "Black Out," "A Lily of the Field," "Old Flames," "Flesh Wounds," "A Little White Death." I am currently reading The last and still have Second Violin to read. I have tried to read in somewhat order but one thing after another I did not. Let me tell you -- It Real ...more
This book takes us back to Troy's days as a sergeant, which is all good as far as I'm concerned. I much prefer Second World War era Troy to the older Troy. In this book, Troy is still Troy, but he's less jaded. I like the fact that even as a sergeant he's willing to go toe to toe with a superior officer and call him out on the shameful way he conducts a murder investigation.

Having said all that, Troy doesn't actually appear in this book over much until the last third or so. Most of it centres on
Nov 30, 2015 Evelyn rated it really liked it
Probably a 4.5 for this Inspector Troy #4.

Because the Inspector Troy books--about a Scotland Yard Inspector with extraordinary skills--were not published in any historical order, but rather jumped around from pre-WWII (Second Violin, which was published in 2007) to 1950s England (Old Flames, which was published in 1996)it somewhat hard to determined in which order one should read them. It seems, therefore, that I read book #4 without having read book #3.

But, because the author himself has jump
Jun 12, 2015 Vicki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Lawton has written several books in the Inspector Troy mystery series. The books are set in the WW II era, for the most part, and so are infused with real history wrapped around intriguing stories for super sleuth Inspector Troy of Scotland Yard to resolve.

In Bluffing Mr. Churchill, the story begins with a double agent, an Austrian who has joined the Nazi Party and risen to a position of power and influence. Wolfgang Stahl receives a cryptic message that tells him his cover has been blown.
May 20, 2014 DR rated it liked it
To the extent that the title reserves/transfers system at my neighborhood public library can facilitate it, I have decided to try reading the “Inspector Troy” series in timeline order instead of in order of publication. BLUFFING MR. CHURCHILL (#4) backtracks chronologically to April 1941, before the opening of BLACK OUT (#1). An old-school Special Branch copper teams up with a U.S. Army intelligence captain to track down a highly placed S.S. officer who may be hiding from assassins in Blitz-ratt ...more
Jan 29, 2014 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I couldn’t make much sense out of the title until almost the conclusion of the book. Set in Britain during the Blitz in 1941, before the US entry into the war, it concerns spies, their handlers, several branches of the London police, and how they all came together prior to the June 22, 1941 Nazi invasion of Russia (Operation Barbarossa), in which 2700 planes, 3600 tanks and half a million Axis troops poured into Russia. Who knew beforehand, who died because of this knowledge, and how they handle
Aug 05, 2008 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm loving this series of Inspector Troy books by John Lawton, recommended to me by Pam Morrison. I can't put them down. They're police/spy thrillers set in London (and elsewhere) before, during, and after WWII.
Feb 26, 2016 Kelanth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spionaggio, guerra
L'alleato, in originale "Bluffing Mr. Churchill", è un romanzo edito nel 2004 di spionaggio di John Lawton che è un autore di romanzi storici e di spionaggio ambientati principalmente in Inghilterra durante la seconda guerra mondiale e la guerra fredda. Il personaggio principale di questo filone è Frederick Troy: il più giovane figlio di un padre immigrato russo che è diventato un editore molto ricco di giornali e in seguito baronetto. Sfidando le aspettative di classe e della famiglia, l'indipe ...more
Hank Quense
In 1941, before the United States became involved in the war, Captain Cal Cormack is a army captain stationed in Zurich. His entire role is to handle a spy named Stahl who has risen in the Nazi hierarchy to a top-level position. Cal is dismayed to read a German newspaper describing the state funeral given to his spy. At a subsequent meeting with British intelligent agent, Cal is stunned to learn the British know about his spy and that the British are convinced his cover was blown and he escaped. ...more
Mar 31, 2012 JoLene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hf, mystery, kindle, read-2012
This book is part of the Inspector Troy series by John Lawton; it was also published under the name Riptide (in the UK). It is book 4, but I read that it was a prequel from a time perspective. The novel is mostly set in London during WWII, prior to the US entry into the conflict. Wolfgang Stahl is an Austrian officer in the SS, who is also feeding information to Captain Cal Cormack, an American officer stationed in Zurich. During an air-raid in Berlin, Stahl disappears and Cormack is called to L ...more
Bluffing Mr. Churchill (published in the UK as Riptide) is the fourth in John Lawton's not-at-all-strictly-chronological series of detective novels involving Frederick Troy. The events of Bluffing Mr. Churchill take place in the early summer of 1941 (i.e. before the doings of Blackout, the first novel in the series.) Troy is still a lowly sergeant, who's just been promoted to the murder squad of Scotland Yard (I know that's not what they really call it, but I don't remember what it was really ca ...more
Ken Schloman
Apr 30, 2014 Ken Schloman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent plotting along with a believable view of London prior to the US entry into WWII.While listed as Inspector Troy #4, If you read the series in chronological order , this would actually be #2. Of all the "Troy" novels I've read this one comes the closest to being a true "spy thriller" with a few murders thrown in for good measure. Also sets out a plausible scenario about what the British and US knew about Hitler's planned invasion of Russia before it happened. Well worth the read.
Jan 18, 2013 Johanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like all the Troy series, they are always well written and the characters are as interesting as the convoluted plots which are generally set in against a a background of wartime / cold war political machinations. In this one Troy is only a supporting character, most of the action involves an American army officer and an British Special Branch sergeant who are trying to find a German double agent before the Germans do. Lots of period detail about the blitz and life in wartime London.

A 1941 prequel to the Inspector Troy series. Not as much sex and violence fill Troy's early life as in the three novels set in the fifties and sixties...although being a mystery set during the Blitz, it's bound to have some.

Many of the characters from the other Troy books populate these pages as well. In fact, Troy has a secondary role in this book, with the spotlight here on Walter Stilton and Cal Cormack, both complex and colorful characters.

Just as colorful, but rather irritating, is Stilton
David Lowther
Feb 07, 2014 David Lowther rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an intriguing London Blitz-set thriller featuring, amongst others, a Lawton regular in Sgt Troy of Scotland Yard's Murder Squad.

I'm never quite sure of the order in which the Troy stories have been published but this follows Second Violin which I have read.

What makes Lawton's novels a bit different is that the hero(Troy)doesn't appear on every page. In fact, in Riptide he only plays a part in the latter stages of the tale. Instead, we get a whole bunch of fascinating characters, a real c
Mary Simonsen
This is really two books. In the first, we get a vivid description of what life was like in the early years of World War II in London, a city still recovering from the worst of the German Blitz. The second is the mystery itself. With the exception of an American who seems to be incredibly naive and the trashiest female since Moll Flanders, we really don't get to know the characters and that includes the cops, the victims, and the murderer. After a promising opening with a fascinating character, ...more
Jan 03, 2016 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifth of John Lawton's novels I have read. After the first I referred to writing which seduces; now I am equally in agreement with whoever said it was addictive. Not at all chronological, this is set in 1941, has Troy as much younger than the previous one I read, but rather than dislocating I see it as informative, filling in the background, with the usual wonderful characters and sense of London.
BUT what a shameful, insultingly shabby production the book itself was! At least two doz
Edward Beavers
Mar 20, 2014 Edward Beavers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful Read

I was surprised to find out how little this had to do with bluffing Churchill and more to do with mystery & intrigue. An excellent choice of fun reading.

Sharon Jones
Apr 07, 2014 Sharon Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absorbing. During the war.

well written, interesting book. end a little weak or perhaps I wanted more. unusual look at Britain and the British during the war
Charles Kerns
lots of run around, some wartime homefront sex (without much detail), spies, intrigue, two Churchills, and, let's see, some WW2 history in easy-to-swallow story.
Mike Edwards
Fast paced throughout and with some amusing dialogue, but a rather flat ending. I found myself wondering what the real narrative of the novel was.
Dec 21, 2010 Pamela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading three of Lawton's novels I've come to the conclusion that he really doesn't like women...or else he thinks it's just so cool to make all his female characters completely obnoxious (and dangerous to men) when they are not lardy housewives tied to the kitchen stove. Fortunately, for this novel at least, Lawton has dropped the over-the-top porny bits. He does, however, indulge in lots of slangy dialect with alternative spelling (Wot?) in case we don't get it. However, his plot is inte ...more
A Troy novel set in April 1941. Wolfgang Stahl, an American spy, has his cover blown and has to escape. His controller, Calvin M. Cormack, is sent to Britain to contact him, before Heydrich's team reach him. Calvin is teamed up with Chief Inspector Stilton, as his MI5 contacts disappear north, where Hess has unexpectedly arrived.

The setting is the East end of London. Cal has to battle through rhyming Cockney slang, the shifting refugee underworld and Stilton's daughter. When MI5 and the America
So -so read! Didn't have a good and realistic plot and the characters were lacking ... I enjoyed several of his other books and was disappointed with this one!
Good, but downgraded a bit because the title (American market only) makes no sense until the last chapter. "Lilly of the Field" still best (so far).
Aug 08, 2012 Tracyk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book combines two of my favorite topics (especially in mystery novels): World War II and espionage. I like books about the Cold War and this series covers that time period too. The British class system and the resentments it engenders are addressed, and we see the impact from both sides. That continues in Second Violin (6th book in the series). The discrepancies in attitudes of the British and Americans in the early 1940's are also a focus.The fact that John Lawton writes so well makes it a ...more
The first prequel in the Inspector Troy series is a decent historical thriller. Not as enjoyable as the previous titles, it fills in some of the background hinted at in those books.
Harry Addington
I stopped after 180 pages when I realized I had read it before. Slow reading for me.
I am working my way through this series about a detective in London during WWII. The first half of this book was about an American intelligence officer tracking down the German informant who escaped to London. The book really picked up when Detective Troy--the wunderkind as he is described gets involved in the case.
Dec 27, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is of a compelling and suspensful search for a Nazi spy in wartime London. The characters are likable and vividly portrayed. London itself might be the most significant and atrtractive character. An excellent example of a book read for pleasure that offers a bit more than diversion.
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John Lawton is a producer/director in television who has spent much of his time interpreting the USA to the English, and occasionally vice versa. He has worked with Gore Vidal, Neil Simon, Scott Turow, Noam Chomsky, Fay Weldon, Harold Pinter and Kathy Acker. He thinks he may well be the only TV director ever to be named in a Parliamentary Bill in the British House of Lords as an offender against t ...more
More about John Lawton...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Troy (7 books)
  • Black Out (Inspector Troy, #1)
  • Old Flames (Inspector Troy, #2)
  • A Little White Death (Inspector Troy, #3)
  • Flesh Wounds (Inspector Troy, #5)
  • Second Violin (Inspector Troy, #6)
  • A Lily of the Field (Inspector Troy, #7)

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