Coming from television producer/director and (of course) author John Lawton, the Frederick Troy series is a mix of historical, crime, and espionage stories. The series focuses on police sergeant (and later Chief Inspector) Frederick Troy who is investigating murder cases in London, England, from the late 1940s to the 1960s. Those books were not written in chronological order.
How to read the Frederick Troy Series in Order?
Every entry in the Inspector Troy book series offers a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one book to the other.
Reading Frederick Troy Books in Publication Order:
- Black Out – London, 1944. While the Luftwaffe makes its final assault on the already battered British capital, Londoners rush through the streets, seeking underground shelter in the midst of the city’s blackout. When the panic subsides, other things begin to surface along with London’s war-worn citizens … A severed arm is discovered by a group of children playing at an East End bomb site, and when Scotland Yard’s Det. Sgt. Frederick Troy arrives at the scene, it becomes apparent that the dismembered body is not the work of a V-1 rocket.
- Old Flames – In April 1956, at the height of the Cold War, Khrushchev and Bulganin, leaders of the Soviet Union, are in Britain on an official visit. Chief Inspector Troy of Scotland Yard is assigned to be Khrushchev’s bodyguard and to spy on him. Soon after, a Royal Navy diver is found dead and mutilated beyond recognition in Portsmouth Harbor. Troy embarks on an investigation that takes him to the rotten heart of MI6, to the distant days of his childhood, and into the dangerous arms of an old flame.
- A Little White Death – England in 1963 is a country set to explode. The old guard, shocked by the habits of the war baby youth, sets out to fight back. The battle reaches uncomfortably close to Troy. While he is on medical leave, the Yard brings charges against an acquaintance of his, a hedonistic doctor with a penchant for voyeurism, and young women, two of which just happen to be sleeping with a senior man at the Foreign Office as well as a KGB agent.
- Bluffing Mr. Churchill (aka Riptide) – 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. 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, and in Cormack’s case, into the arms of Kitty, his partner’s rambunctious daughter.
- Flesh Wounds (Blue Rondo) – An old flame has returned to Troy’s life: Kitty Stilton, wife of an American presidential hopeful. Private eye Joey Rork has been hired to make sure Kitty’s amorous liaisons with a rat pack crooner don’t ruin her husband’s political career. But he also wants to know why Kitty has been spotted with Danny Ryan, whose twin brothers, in addition to owning one of London’s hottest jazz clubs, are said to have inherited the crime empire of a fallen mobster.
- Second Violin – Europe on the brink of war. In London, Frederick Troy, newly promoted to the prestigious murder squad at Scotland Yard, is put in charge of rounding up a list of German and Italian “enemy aliens” that also includes his brother, Rod, who learns upon receiving an internment letter that he was born in Austria despite having grown up in England. Hundreds of men are herded by train to a neglected camp on the Isle of Man. And as the bombs start falling on London, a murdered rabbi is found, then another, and another . . .
- A Lily of the Field – Vienna, 1934. Ten-year-old cello prodigy Méret Voytek becomes a pupil of concert pianist Viktor Rosen, a Jew in exile from Germany.The Isle of Man, 1940. An interned Hungarian physicist is recruited for the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, building the atom bomb for the Americans. Auschwitz, 1944. Méret is imprisoned but is saved from certain death to play the cello in the camp orchestra. She is playing for her life. London, 1948. Viktor Rosen wants to relinquish his Communist Party membership after thirty years. His comrade and friend reminds him that he is committed for life…These seemingly unconnected strands all collide forcefully with a brazen murder on a London Underground platform, revealing an intricate web of secrecy and deception. The ensuing events have personal significance for Scotland Yard Detective Frederick Troy. He finds himself pursuing a case with deadly and far-reaching consequences that ultimately threaten the balance of power in Europe.
- Friends and Traitors – London, 1958. Chief Superintendent Frederick Troy of Scotland Yard, newly promoted after good service during Nikita Khrushchev’s visit to Britain, is not looking forward to a European trip with his older brother, Rod. Rod has decided to take his entire family on “the Grand Tour” for his fifty-first birthday: a whirlwind of restaurants, galleries, and concert halls from Paris to Florence to Vienna to Amsterdam.
Reading Frederick Troy Books in Chronological Order:
- Second Violin (1938-1940)
- Bluffing Mr. Churchill/Riptide (1941)
- Black Out (1944)
- A Lily of the Field (From 1934 to 1948)
- Old Flames (1956)
- Friends and Traitors (1958)
- Flesh Wounds/Blue Rondo (1959)
- A Little White Death (1963)