Cormoran Strike Series

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Discovery of J.K. Rowling as Robert Galbraith

J.K. Rowling decided to pen The Cuckoo’s Calling under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, as a means to fly under the radar of the public eye and write as freely as she possibly could. The origins for the name Robert Galbraith come from her admiration of Robert F. Kennedy and her childhood desires to be named Ella Galbraith. Rowling has stated publicly that:

[The leak of her pseudonym] was not a leak or marketing ploy by me, my publisher or agent, both of whom have been completely supportive of my desire to fly under the radar. If sales were what mattered to me most, I would have written under my own name from the start, and with the greatest fanfare.

J.K. Rowling also said that she was “yearning to go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback. It was a fantastic experience and I only wish it could have gone on a little longer.” It has come in to question why J.K. Rowling decided to write under a male pseudonym instead of female. Rowling has defended this decision by stating that she wanted to get as far away from her true persona as possible so people would not decipher who the true author is. J.K. Rowling provides a humorous description of what happened when she revealed herself as the author of The Cuckoo’s Calling to her editor:

I am proud to say, though, that when I ‘unmasked’ myself to my editor David Shelley who had read and enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling without realizing I wrote it, one of the first things he said was ‘I never would have thought a woman wrote that.’ Apparently I successfully channeled my inner bloke!

J.K. Rowling was discovered to be Robert Galbraith after a friend of her lawyer leaked the information to the public. Rowling has sought legal action against the lawyer who leaked the information, and the lawyer has since been fined with breaching confidentiality agreements.

Television Adaptation

On December 10, 2014, J.K. Rowling announced on Twitter that The Cuckoo’s Calling will come to BBC One as a TV drama.

 

Production Notes

This television adaptation will be produced by Bronte Film and Television, the independent production company run by Neil Blair and J.K. Rowling. According to IMDb, the project is in development.

Career of Evil (Book 3)

Plot

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible–and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

Career of Evil is the third in the highly acclaimed series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, it is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.

 

Characters

This character guide is taken from Wikipedia.

  • Cormoran Strike – a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and an ex-SIB investigator who was honourably discharged from the military after losing half of his right leg in a bomb attack and wanted to leave fearing he might go insane. He has since become a private investigator. He is a minor celebrity, thanks in part to his notorious rock star father and his solving of two high-profile murders, and at the start of the story, his business is flourishing.
  • Robin Ellacott – Strike’s assistant (originally his secretary) who has just completed a course in criminal investigations, paid for by Strike. Her marriage to her longtime boyfriend-fiancé Matthew Cunliffe, an accountant, is rapidly approaching. Because of her background as a survivor of a rape and attempted murder, she is extremely sensitive regarding sex crimes and, as a result, is unwilling to stop investigation of Noel Brockbank, one of Strike’s suspects, once she discovers that he has been sexually abusing his girlfriend’s young daughter.
  • Donald Laing – a Scot formerly in the military where he became an old enemy for Strike. Laing had actually boxed against Strike in the military and had bitten Strike’s face after realizing that he was losing, leading to military discipline. Despite this, Laing was charming and able to convince others of his good character. However, investigating on his own, Strike found that Laing had been physically abusing his wife and child and ended up having Laing arrested and convicted, for which he served 10 years of a 16-year sentence.
  • Noel Brockbank – a former major from Barrow-in-Furness, who had served in both the first Gulf War and Bosnia, before becoming another longtime enemy of Strike’s. He had married a deceased colleague’s widow with two small daughters; when she was 12, the older daughter told a school friend about her stepfather’s sexual abuse and threats. When Brockbank resisted arrest, Strike struck him, and he suffered a traumatic brain injury from a preexisting skull fracture after which he feigned insanity. During the period of abuse, Brockbank had told his stepdaughter he once tried to saw her leg off (according to Strike she actually got it caught in barbed wire when she was younger giving her a scar similar to the one on the leg sent to Strike’s office which led him to suspect Brockbank); however, he was never tried and was instead invalided out of the military.
  • “Digger” Malley – a professional gangster with a previous murder to his credit and had previously sent a body part leading Strike to suspect him. In a joint operation with Vice Squad into a drug ring, Strike had uncovered the evidence for which Malley had been imprisoned. However, since Strike had given evidence anonymously, Strike believed that Malley was unaware that Strike was behind his arrest and conviction. The police then discovered Malley was in Spain when the leg was sent, eliminating him from the inquiry.
  • Jeff Whittaker – stepfather of Strike and widower of Strike’s mother Leda. Whitaker was only a few years older than Strike and had married Leda because she was famous and because he presumed she had a large fortune; he persuaded her to write him into her will. After Leda’s death in 1994, Whittaker went on trial for her murder but was found not guilty. However Strike and “Shanker”, who both testified for the Crown, remained convinced that Whitaker killed Leda. Strike also primarily suspected Whittaker of sending the severed leg because the sender would have to had seen Leda naked in order to know about her tattoo, but Robin later discovered a nude photograph of Leda (with the tattoo visible) on the Internet, which opened the possibility of other suspects.
  • “Shanker” – Nickname of a former flatmate of Strike, whose mother Leda took him in after she found him badly beaten in a gutter. Shanker works in the illegal drugs trade, is about Strike’s age, has a disfigured face, calls Strike “Bunsen” and also hates Whittaker. He is willing to help Strike and Robin with just about anything in return for money. He helps Strike trace Whittaker, helps Robin confront Brockbank, helps Strike apprehend Laing and, at the end, drives Strike to Yorkshire for Robin’s wedding.
  • Eric Wardle – The police detective inspector originally in charge of the case of the severed leg. He remained friendly with Strike after the events of the previous two novels. He dropped out of the case after the unexpected death of his brother, who was hit by a car.
  • Roy Carver – Wardle’s replacement, who was the detective inspector who had been in charge of the Lula Landry case and who still harbored a grudge against Strike.
  • Matthew Cunliffe – Robin’s fiancé, an accountant who distrusts Robin’s relationship with Strike. After having many arguments and even splitting part way through the novel, Matthew marries Robin at the conclusion of the novel.
  • Elin Toft – Strike’s girlfriend, a former violinist and current radio presenter.

 

Publishing Information

Published October 22, 2015

Mulholland Books is an imprint of Little, Brown and Company devoted to publishing the best in suspense fiction. This website is intended to be a community hub for readers and writers of suspense, crime, mystery, and thriller fiction to gather to discuss any and all topics related to the genre.

www.mulhollandbooks.com

ISBN (hardcover): 978-0316349932
ISBN (paperback): 978-0316349895

 

Reviews

MuggleNet Book Trolley Review  MuggleNet Book Trolley Review
The Silkworm (Book 2)

Plot

In this thrilling sequel, Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott are back again, this time attempting to solve the disappearance of an eccentric author.

After Cormoran Strike’s remarkable success in solving the murder of Lula Landry, his detective business is booming like never before – he and Robin are turning away clients away left and right. But another big case doesn’t come through his door until Leonora Quine walks in. Her husband, the erratic, semi-famous author Owen Quine, has been missing for ten days.

As Strike begins to investigate, he soon finds clues that Quine’s disappearance may be linked to his latest manuscript, entitled Bombyx Mori, a bizarre and heinous story in which Quine seems to insult everyone from his wife to his editor. When Quine is found gruesomely murdered in a method straight from the pages of his novel, Strike must delve into the underbelly of literary London to get to the bottom of the case.

 

Characters

This character guide is taken from Wikipedia.

  • Cormoran Strike – A veteran of the Afghanistan war who was discharged after losing half of his leg in a bomb attack. He is a minor celebrity, thanks in part to his notorious rock star father and his solving of a high-profile murder.
  • Robin Ellacott – Strike’s assistant and secretary who has long harboured a secret fascination with the world of criminal investigations. Now taking on a full-time role within Strike’s agency, she aspires to become an investigator in her own right.
  • Owen Quine – An author once hailed as an avant-garde writer and one of the first “literary rebels”. He has spent decades trying to recreate the success of his first novel, Hobart’s Sin, to no avail. He is regarded as narcissistic and insecure in the extreme, and only tolerated because of the shadow of untapped potential in his works.
  • Leonora Quine – Quine’s wife, who becomes the prime suspect in his murder. She spends almost all of her time caring for their intellectually-disabled teenage daughter, Orlando.
  • Katherine Kent – Quine’s girlfriend and an author of “fantasy erotica” that has mostly been rejected by the London publishing community.
  • Phillip “Pippa” Midgely – A transgender woman undergoing therapy ahead of gender reassignment surgery. She becomes enamoured with Quine after taking a creative writing course he taught; Quine, in turn, was inspired by her personal story as it dovetailed with his original novel.
  • Elizabeth Tassel – A failed writer who became a literary agent. She lives and works on the fringe of the London literary community, which she deeply resents, and expresses by bullying her staff.
  • Jerry Waldegrave – Quine’s long-suffering editor, whose is one of the few people willing to tolerate him. His reputation is ruined by Quine’s behaviour, leading to the breakdown of his marriage and his turn to alcoholism.
  • Michael Fancourt – One of the original literary rebels, who went on to become a bestselling author. He maintains literature is an art form, and that art can only be considered as much when it provokes social discussion; however, this is little more than an excuse for his deeply misogynistic opinions.
  • Daniel Chard – The president of Roper Chard, a London publishing house specialising in modern literature. He lacks social skills and is implied to be a latent homosexual.
  • Richard Anstis – A detective with the Metropolitan Police who was involved in the incident that cost Strike his leg. Strike considers him a capable investigator, but lacking in imagination.
  • Matthew Cunliffe – Robin’s fiancé, who disapproves of her work with Strike.
  • Orlando Quine – Quine’s intellectually-disabled teenage daughter. She is the only person in Quine’s life who does not appear in the Bombyx Mori manuscript, and it is implied that she is the only person he genuinely cares about.
  • Lucy – Strike’s sister on his mother’s side, and the only member of his family that he has any regular contact with. Despite being his younger sister, she tends to mother him, encouraging him to settle down and start a family, much to Strike’s consternation.
  • Alexander “Al” Rokeby – Strike’s brother on his father’s side, and the only member of his father’s side of the family who he has any contact with.
  • Nina Lascelles – A junior editor at Roper Chard who helps Strike acquire the Bombyx Mori manuscript. She becomes enamoured with him and pursues a romantic relationship with him, which is not reciprocated.
  • Joe North – An American writer and friend of Quine and Fancourt. He died of Aids while writing about his experiences living with the disease. After lying abandoned for twenty years, the house where North died became the scene of Quine’s murder.
  • Christian Fisher – The editor of a niche publishing house who leaks the Bombyx Mori manuscript.
  • Dominic Culpepper – An opportunistic tabloid journalist who hires Strike to find evidence of wrongdoing among the rich and poweful. He expresses surprise that Strike does not resort to phone-hacking to acquire evidence.
  • Charlotte Ross – Strike’s on-again, off-again former flame. Following the breakdown of their relationship, she has become engaged to another man, but continues to taunt Strike from afar.

 

Publishing Information

Published June 19, 2014

Mulholland Books is an imprint of Little, Brown and Company devoted to publishing the best in suspense fiction. This website is intended to be a community hub for readers and writers of suspense, crime, mystery, and thriller fiction to gather to discuss any and all topics related to the genre.

www.mulhollandbooks.com

ISBN (hardcover): 978-0-316-20687-7

 

Reviews

MuggleNet Staff Review by Jessica Jordan  Three Broomsticks Review by Irvin K.
The Cuckoo‘s Calling (Book 1)

Plot

A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide.

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.

 

Characters

This character guide is taken from Wikipedia.

  • Cormoran Strike is a down-on-his-luck private investigator. He has few clients, a large debt, and is obliged by a recent break-up to move into his office. He has lost his leg in the Afghan war.
  • Robin Ellacott, aged 25, is Strike’s temporary secretary, recently moved from Yorkshire due to becoming engaged. She is enthusiastic about detective work, and is very intelligent and competent.
  • Lula Landry (Bristow), a 23 year old professional model who died from a fall three months prior to the events of the novel. The subject of Strike’s investigation is to determine how Lula was killed.
  • John Bristow is Lula Landry’s adopted brother, and Cormoran Strike’s client. He works for Tony Landry in a large family law firm.
  • Charlie Bristow is John Bristow’s brother and a boyhood friend of Cormoran Strike. Charlie died in an accident when he was around 9 or 10 years old. Charlie was about 6 years older than Lula Landry (Bristow).
  • Alison is dating John Bristow. She works for Tony Landry.
  • Tony Landry is Lula and John’s maternal uncle. He disapproved of Lula’s lifestyle and is having an affair.
  • Lady Yvette Landry (Bristow) is Lula and John’s adopted mother. She is terminally ill during the events of the novel and her relations with Lula were strained.
  • Sir Alec Bristow is Lady Bristow’s husband. He founded his own electronics company, Albris. Sir Alec was sterile and could not have kids of his own. He and Lady Bristow adopted 3 children: John, Charlie, and Lula Bristow. Lula was adopted when she was four years old. Sir Alec died suddenly from a heart attack.
  • Evan Duffield is Lula’s on-off boyfriend. He was the initial suspect in the media at the time of Lula’s death, but he has numerous witnesses to an alibi. He argued with Lula before her death.
  • Lucy Strike is Cormoran Strike’s judgmental younger sister. Strike attends her son’s birthday party during the novel.
  • Rochelle Onifade is a homeless friend of Lula from an outpatient clinic. She was aware of Lula’s altered will and was blackmailing John Bristow with the information.
  • Guy Somé is Lula’s designer. He is the one who calls her “Cuckoo,” alluding to the title of the novel. He was in Tokyo in the week leading up to her death, but is an astute character witness.
  • Deeby Macc is an American rapper who was supposed to arrive in the apartment below Lula’s on the night of her death.
  • Kieran Kolovas-Jones is Lula’s personal driver who has aspirations of fame as an actor.
  • Ciara Porter is a model and a friend of Lula. Ciara also had a very brief affair with Strike.
  • Freddy Bestigui is a film producer and neighbour of Lula. He is difficult to contact and has a reputation of being difficult. He and his wife Tansy are in the process of divorce.
  • Tansy Bestigui is Freddy’s wife and a key witness, having overheard some events of the night. Her plausibility is an issue for Strike and the police.
  • Cyprian May is a senior partner at the law firm where John Bristow works. His wife is Ursula.
  • Ursula is Tansy Bestigui’s sister. She is married to Cyprian May and has an affair with Tony Landry.
  • Marlene Higson is Lula’s biological mother, who opportunistically sells her story to the press at every opportunity. She lives in much poorer circumstances than Lula’s adoptive family.
  • Matthew is Robin’s fiance, who works as an accountant. He proposes to Robin at the beginning of the book and does not approve her working for Strike, whom he considers to be a shady character.
  • Jonah Agyeman is Lula’s biological brother, to whom Lula’s leaves everything in her will.

 

Publishing Information

Published April 4, 2013

Mulholland Books is an imprint of Little, Brown and Company devoted to publishing the best in suspense fiction. This website is intended to be a community hub for readers and writers of suspense, crime, mystery, and thriller fiction to gather to discuss any and all topics related to the genre.

www.mulhollandbooks.com

ISBN (hardcover): 978-0-316-20684-6

ISBN (paperback): 978-0-316-20685-3

 

Reviews

MuggleNet Staff Review by Caleb Graves