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J.K. Rowling Outed as the Author of The Cuckoo’s Calling

Sunday, July 14th, 2013 | Posted by John ONeill

The Cuckoos CallingThere’s been a huge surge of interest in Robert Galbraith’s debut crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling today.

That’s because “Robert Galbraith” was revealed late yesterday as Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

The book’s publisher has been touting the book as a “classic crime novel in the tradition of P.D. James and Ruth Rendell.” Up until yesterday, it had sold around 1,500 copies in hardback. But in the hours since its author was revealed, it has hit the bestseller list. Amazon is currently out of stock and listing it as shipping in 10 to 14 days (Barnes & Noble still has it in stock online). If you want a first edition hardcover, you better move fast.

The Sunday Times has reported that Rowling has completed a second novel featuring the same detective, Cormoran Strike. It is due next year. Rowling’s first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, was published last year.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

The Cuckoo’s Calling was published April 30 by Mulholland Books. It is 464 pages, priced at $26 for the hardcover (if you can find one). You’ll have better luck with the digital edition, priced at $12.99.


  1. Wouldn’t it be great if it really WASN’T J.K. Rowling–and this was just a scam to sell books? Would people even know that she didn’t write the book? Could they tell? Makes me wonder…

    Comment by John R. Fultz - July 14, 2013 5:41 pm

  2. “Potter’s first novel for adults”? Shouldn’t that be Rowling’s? Unless Rowling actually ghost wrote the novels for a real Harry Potter . . .
    What a horrifying thought.

    Comment by sftheory1 - July 14, 2013 7:16 pm

  3. John,

    I love how twisted your mind is. :)

    And you’re absolutely right, of course. If I’d thought of this a little sooner, I would have spread a rumor that John R. Fultz was secretly J.K. Rowling. Or maybe James Enge or Peadar Ó Guilín. That would have helped move some copies of BLACK GATE!

    Comment by John ONeill - July 14, 2013 7:44 pm

  4. > “Potter’s first novel for adults”? Shouldn’t that be Rowling’s?

    Picky, picky, picky. :)

    I’ve fixed it.

    Comment by John ONeill - July 14, 2013 7:45 pm

  5. Let me admit up front that Rowling clearly knows more about popular taste than any of us, since her books outsell religious texts, mood rings, and 2% milk combined, but I can’t be the only one who finds the plot summary, provided above, to be JUST PLAIN CORNY.

    Comment by markrigney - July 15, 2013 12:23 pm

  6. No need for rumors, John, just tell them the truth. *cough*Dan Brown*cough*.

    Comment by peadarog - July 16, 2013 7:55 am

  7. > I can’t be the only one who finds the plot summary, provided above, to be JUST PLAIN CORNY.


    I know what you mean… but then again, I completely disregarded the first two Harry Potter books as basically unoriginal fantasy. Shows what I know.

    Besides, unlike almost any other writer I know, JK Rowling IS fabulously wealthy. If anyone can write with verisimilitude about the lives of the beautiful and wealthy, it’s her.

    Comment by John ONeill - July 17, 2013 12:31 am

  8. > John, just tell them the truth. *cough*Dan Brown*cough*.

    You bust me up, Peadar. Now, back to the dungeons producing more stories for us.

    Comment by John ONeill - July 17, 2013 12:33 am

  9. […] then there was the whole Cuckoo’s Calling saga… The book dominated crime lists, and crime reviews in newspapers, and crime sections in […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » J.K. Rowling, The Solitary House, and the Public Shaming of Lynn Shepherd - February 26, 2014 2:17 pm

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