Other Works

J.K. Rowling has published several books outside of the Harry Potter series. Starting in 2012 with The Casual Vacancy, a darker and more dramatic story geared toward adults, Rowling shifted away from fantasy for a time and began to focus on writing books that were based in the real world. After the success of The Casual Vacancy, Rowling began publishing the Cormoran Strike series of detective novels under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. In May of 2020, Rowling returned to fantasy with The Ickabog, an original fairy tale that was published online for free in installments and then later released as a published book. In addition to her written work, Rowling’s Harvard University commencement speech was published as a book in 2008 under the title Very Good Lives.

The Christmas Pig

The Christmas Pig is a delightful adventure story of a boy named Jack on an adventure to find his most treasured toy, Dur Pig. Jack will start on a magical quest alongside his newest toy, the Christmas Pig, to save the best friend he has ever known.

The Christmas Pig will be released on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, in Australia, India, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK by Hachette Children's Group and in Canada and the US by Scholastic. It will also be available in over 20 other languages by other publishers and as an audiobook in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish by Audible. The book is suited for children ages 8 and above.

The Ickabog

The Ickabog is a children's fairy tale that takes place in the fictional kingdom of Cornucopia, a place known for having an abundance of delicious food. When the children and sheep in the kingdom start to go missing, there are rumors that a fearsome beast known as the Ickabog is taking them. The kingdom endures years of hardship until four brave friends end up going on an unexpected adventure to rescue the missing children and discover the truth.

When J.K. Rowling began writing The Ickabog, she would read the story to her younger children chapter by chapter each night while she was working on it. When she decided to write a novel for adults instead, she put the story away and started to think that she would not publish it. In spring 2020, when the world was dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and going into lockdown, however, she wanted to provide something entertaining for children who were stuck at home and after a few rewrites, began releasing The Ickabog online for free one chapter at a time.

The published edition of The Ickabog was released on November 10, 2020, with illustrations by children who had entered a contest held by the author and her publishers. Net royalties are donated to the Volant Trust to help charities supporting vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19. Since the published edition has become available, the chapters are no longer available online for free.

Cormoran Strike
The Cormoran Strike series, published by Little, Brown and Company, revolves around Cormoran Strike, a war veteran and current private detective. Cormoran is assisted by his partner, Robin Ellacott, and together they solve cases of murder and intrigue.

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 to write as freely as possible. The origins of the name Robert Galbraith come from her admiration for Robert F. Kennedy and her childhood desires to be named Ella Galbraith.

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

The Cormoran Strike series was adapted as a TV drama for BBC One produced by Brontë Film and Television, the independent production company run by Neil Blair and J.K. Rowling.

Book 1: The Cuckoo's Calling

Publication Date: April 4, 2013
464 pages

After returning home from the War in Afghanistan, investigator Cormoran Strike is having a difficult time earning a living. He lost his leg in the war, has a lot of debt, endured a breakup, and has one client left.

Strike's luck changes when John Bristow walks through the door. His sister Lula Landry, who is a famous supermodel, fell to her death a few months ago. The police deemed it a suicide, but John is skeptical of this ruling. Strike is launched into a world for multibillionaires, rock stars, and desperate designers while trying to solve this case.

MuggleNet Review by Caleb

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Book 2: The Silkworm

Publication Date: June 19, 2014
454 pages

Cormoran Strike is riding off his latest success in solving the murder of Lula Landry when Leonora Quine walks in. She says that her husband Owen Quine, a semi-famous and erratic author, has been missing for ten days. She initially believes that he has sought time alone like he has done in the past and she wants Strike to find him.

As Strike begins to investigate Quine’s disappearance, he finds out that the novelist has completed a manuscript, “Bombyx Mori,” which depicts almost everyone Quine knows in unfavorable lights. This means that anyone mentioned in this manuscript may be a suspect for his disappearance. When Quine is found murdered in a method straight from the pages of this manuscript, Strike must venture into the underbelly of literary London to solve this case.

MuggleNet Review by hpboy13  MuggleNet Review by Jessica

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Book 3: Career of Evil

Publication Date: October 22, 2015
512 pages

Robin Ellacott received a mysterious package and is horrified by its contents: a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, Cormoran Strike, is alarmed but not surprised at the contents of the package. There are four people Strike has met in the past who he thinks could be responsible, and any one of them is capable of this brutality.

The police have focused their attention on one suspect, while Strike and Robin dive into the dark and twisted world of the other three men. Meanwhile, more unspeakable acts occur, and time is running out for Strike and Robin to solve the crimes.

MuggleNet Review by hpboy13  MuggleNet Review by Jessica

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Book 4: Lethal White

Publication Date: September 18, 2018
656 pages

Billy, a troubled man, seeks out Cormoran Strike to help him investigate a crime he believes he witnessed as a child. Billy cannot remember concrete details but is certain his story happened. However, before Strike can properly question him, he flees the office in a hurry.

Strike and Robin - now a partner in the agency - follow the story that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secret sanctum within parliament, and to a sinister manor deep in the countryside.

MuggleNet Review by Charlotte   MuggleNet Review by hpboy13

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Book 5: Troubled Blood

Publication Date: September 15, 2020
944 pages

Cormoran Strike has not tackled a cold case before… until now. While visiting family in Cornwall, private detective Cormoran Strike is approached by a woman who asks for his help in finding her mother, Margot Bamborough, who went missing in 1974. Intrigued by this cold case, Strike agrees to help find Margot, adding to the already long list of cases he and Robin are working on.

As Strike and Robin investigate Margot’s disappearance, they face a case that includes tarot cards, a psychopathic killer, and an unreliable witness. They soon learn that even cold cases can be deadly.

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TV Adaptation

The Cormoran Strike series was adapted as a TV drama for BBC One with Tom Burke as Cormoran Strike and Holliday Grainger as Robin Ellacott.

The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm had three episodes each, while Career of Evil had two episodes and Lethal White had four episodes.

The series first aired on BBC One on August 17, 2017, with The Cuckoo’s Calling, followed by The Silkworm on September 10, 2017. Career of Evil was released on February 25, 2018, and Lethal White premiered in the United Kingdom on August 30, 2020. The Cormoran Strike series was not released in the United States until June 2018. Lethal White aired in the United States on January 20, 2021.

MuggleNet Review of The Cuckoo's Calling by Sophie  MuggleNet Review of The Cuckoo's Calling by Taryn  MuggleNet Review of The Silkworm by Sophie  MuggleNet Review of Career of Evil by Lizzie  MuggleNet Review of Lethal White by Elizabeth  MuggleNet Interview with Tom Burke by Taryn  MuggleNet Interview with Tom Burke by Jennifer  MuggleNet Interview with Holliday Grainger by Taryn

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The Casual Vacancy
The Casual Vacancy was published on September 27, 2012, and was J.K. Rowling's first book for adults as well as her first novel to take place outside of the Harry Potter series. The story, which spans 503 pages, is set in the West Country of England in a town called Pagford, where the community is shaken up by events stemming from the death of parish council member Barry Fairbrother. Major themes of the book include poverty, social and class divisions, sex, and substance abuse. A paperback edition of the novel was published on July 23, 2013. The novel was adapted into a miniseries, which premiered in 2015.

Summary

When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm, the village of Pagford is in shock. The members of the community must come together and hold an election to fill the casual vacancy left by his absence. What they are not expecting is that this election will put the personal lives of everyone in the community on display.

Battles begin to erupt between different social classes, opposing political parties, and even within families as the community rushes to fill the open seat. Meanwhile, a mysterious online presence calling themselves "The_Ghost_of_Barry_Fairbrother" seems determined to stir up trouble by revealing every shameful secret the citizens of Pagford have been trying to keep quiet. Who will win in the end, and will it be worth the price?

MuggleNet Review by Caleb  MuggleNet Review by hpboy13

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TV Adaptation

On December 3, 2012, a TV adaption of The Casual Vacancy was commissioned by BBC One and BBC Drama in joint production with the US channel HBO. It was released as a miniseries divided into three one-hour installments. The series premiered on February 15, 2015, on BBC One in the United Kingdom and on April 29, 2015, on HBO in the United States.

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Very Good Lives

In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a commencement speech at Harvard University. This commencement speech, which draws from her own past life experiences and events during her post-graduate years, has been transcribed into an 80-page book. Very Good Lives was published on April 14, 2015, by Little, Brown Book Group on Kindle and in hardback. Sales from the book went to Lumos and the university-wide financial aid at Harvard University.

MuggleNet Review by Claire

 

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