Bluffing Mr. Churchill: An Inspector Troy Thriller

Bluffing Mr. Churchill: An Inspector Troy Thriller

by John Lawton


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It is 1941. Wolfgang Stahl, an American spy operating undercover as an SS officer, has just fled Germany with Hitler’s henchmen on his trail. He is carrying valuable cargo—the blueprint of the Führer’s secret plan to invade Russia. Stahl’s man in the American embassy, the shy and sheltered Calvin M. Cormack, is teamed with a boisterous MI5 officer, Walter Stilton, to find the spy and bring him to safety. Their investigation takes them across war-torn London, from the shelled-out blocks to the ubiquitous pubs to the underground counterfeiting shops; and in Cormack’s case, into the arms of Kitty, his partner’s rambunctious daughter. As Cormack and Stilton close in on Stahl, bodies begin turning up—and the duo realize they may not be the only ones in pursuit of the spy. Someone, it seems, wants the German dead. When his partner is suddenly murdered in the line of duty, Cormack must turn to the ingenious devices of his lover Kitty’s old flame—Sergeant Troy of Scotland Yard. Together, they investigate the trail of murders and are forced to ask themselves a horrifying question—are Cormack and his spy being played by one of their own in the American embassy?

Brilliantly re-creating London in the time of ration tickets and clothing coupons, Bluffing Mr. Churchill is a blistering page-turned peopled by magnetic characters.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802145550
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 07/31/2012
Series: The Inspector Troy Novels , #4
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 768,128
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

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Bluffing Mr. Churchill (Inspector Troy Series) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
girlwriter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fairly well-written mystery/thriller. I think Lawton got a little caught up in Writing About the Blitz - dropping prominent historical figures in here and there - but I didn't see his twists coming, and for that I am always grateful.
Neilsantos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this, but it was a sort of strange book. I didn't really get the title. The main character, of which this book is part of his series, doesn't show up until like chapter 20. But it did have some scenes that were really well done, and the spirit of the upper class British during the war was great, "there's no Season". I have another of his to try out.
maneekuhi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
4 1/2 stars, completed 6/13, Bluffing Mr. Churchill is my 6th Troy novel, leaving only Lily of the Field. BMC focuses for the first 2/3 on an American officer dispatched from his embassy office in Switzerland to London, to find Stahl,a direct report to Heydrich, and recently missing from the German command. Supposedly a spy to the West, run by the American Cal Cormick. Cal meets Kitty, Stilton's daughter once he is palmed off by his Brit contacts to Special Branch Stilton. Thus begins an interesting and clever hunt for Stahl thru bombed London. As usual a host of interesting characters and dead bodies are intro'd. Troy finally comes on the scene and ultimately saves the day but not before getting wounded for at least the 6th time. Troy meets Anna for the first time, Kolancziewitxztk new asst. The Bluff has to do with whether or not Churchill will warn Russia one last time that they are about to be invaded by the Germans, a threat that Stalin pays no attention. Hate to see this series end. Hope there are more books circa 40's post-Lily.
thejazzmonger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My third of John Lawton's series about Inspector Troy of Scotland Yard. I love Lawton's books. At least, each one I have read, so far, and I cannot imagine, at this point, that he will ever let me down.Lawton creates great characters. Not just the principle characters, but all sorts of minor players that they encounter. All of of them have a distinct personality and a "reality" that takes them beyond being mere plot devices. And you learn, with your first book, not to ignore ANYONE because even the most tangential person at one point may show up later in the book, or a later episode of the Troy sage.That saga begins just prior to the outbreak of World War II, with Second Violin, and I recommend beginning with that book. (The books in the Inspector Troy series were not written and published in the chronological order of the stories, so don't set out to read them by the order of publication dates.Lawton is a master of weaving actual historical characters into the fabric of his tale, always in a believable way. He also does a wonderful job of showing us what was like to live in London during "the Blitz," or flee from a mob of Brownshirts in pre-War Germany. I intend to read the whole series, with relish, and am trying to space them out so the available material won't be exhausted to soon. My highest of recommendations.
dianaleez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
John Lawton's highly enjoyable Frederick Troy series stands out for several reasons. Troy, the son of a powerful newspaper publisher, doesn't quite fit into the stereotypical English mold. As to be expected, he is literate and articulate, cultured and moral, but our Freddie is no James Bond or even Albert Campion. He is merely Freddie, caught between his Russian heritage, the English environment and his education, and his own inclinations. 'Bluffing Mr. Churchill' (or `Riptide' in Britain) is set in a wartime London. And Frederick Troy is for most of the novel a minor character. (Lawton, it appears enjoys tweaking the 'rules' of series writing: his Troy novels aren't chronological, Troy we're told at one point resembles James Mason [shudder!], sympathetic characters sometimes fall afoul of the villains, and Troy doesn't always make the best decisions.) And here, the majority of the novel is devoted to other characters. Briefly, 'Bluffing Mr. Churchill' is the story of Captain Cal Cormack, a bespectacled and seemingly ingenious American soldier and his partner, Chief Inspector Stilton, possibly the most delightful copper the reader will ever encounter. The pair is trying to beat Nazi assassins to Wolfgang Stahl, an American-run German agent who is somewhere in London. Lawton's 1941 London comes alive. The devastation of the air raids, the pervading grief at the loss of life among both civilians and the military, the disruption of the social order and the undermining of the certainty that life as it has been will continue are carefully juggled with the English ability to find honor and courage and humor in the worst of situations. Lawton's novel is in many ways an entertaining social history rendered with sympathy and humor. Five Stars. The bottom line: `Bluffing Mr. Churchill' is indeed a well written mystery set in World War II London and should have great appeal for those who enjoy period mysteries, but it is so much more. It is also a striking portrait of London and its people.
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In the spring of 1941, Britain stands alone against the Nazi machine. Though his country remains neutral, American State Department blue blood Calvin Comrack is in London seeking spy Wolfgang Stahl, who until recently was a top aide to Hitler's SS chief Heydrich. When Stahl was exposed as an enemy agent, he fled Germany hoping to hide in the London underground. Comrack needs to obtain whatever Stahl took with him from Germany which happens to be Hitler¿s invasion plan to end the nonaggression pact with the Soviets.

Comrack learns that police officer Walter Stilton has had contact with the vanished Stahl. He ¿joins¿ the extended Stilton family wanting Walter to arrange a meeting with Wolfgang, but finds himself also attracted to his host¿s daughter police officer Kitty. He competes for her affection with Scotland Yard cop Freddie Troy. However, the rivals become allies in the search for Stahl as the American Embassy disowns Comrack, claiming he is working on his own while the Nazis insist they already have the missing agent.

Freddie Troy, star of several of John Lawton¿s works that take place in the mid to late 1950s (see OLD FLAMES), is only twenty-fives years old and for much of the novel plays a secondary role. Though not quite a Troy prequel, readers get a glimpse of his early days on the force. The story line is a war time espionage tale rather than a police procedural though the latter is an intricate part of the powerful plot. Using real historical figures, groups, and events to add authenticity, BLUFFING MR. CHURCHILL is a great historical suspense thriller that readers will cherish.

Harriet Klausner