the cuckoo’s calling part 1


It is a not so secret desire of mine to become a police detective. It is my back up plan, my alternate universe career, and the subject of quite a few daydreams. I can’t stop watching cop shows or reading murder mysteries. (And yeah, I know that’s not exactly how it works in real life.)

So I like a good detective story. I feel like I am reading about my imaginary colleagues. And though solving a mystery in a book isn’t at all like solving a mystery in real life, I’m pretty good at it. (Well, I’m not the worst at it.)

I have just finished part one of The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith J.K. Rowling (Kindle here). I can’t say I never would have read this book if it didn’t come out that Robert Galbraith was a pseudonym for Rowling (that secret didn’t last long, did it?), but I can say I didn’t hear about the book until that story broke. So I picked it up, along with thousands of others.

I’ve just finished part 1, and I want to keep reading–which, I suppose, is the first test. We are introduced to Robin, the recently engaged strawberry blond beauty who takes a temp job at a detective agency. We meet Strike, the detective who recently went through a break up and who has a lot of debt and very hairy hands. We also hear of Lula, the 20-something model who just fell to her death under questionable circumstances. Strike is hired to investigate Lula’s death and I’m excited to see where this leads.

Now, would I have known that it was Rowling? I don’t think I’m that good of a detective. Maybe it would have reminded me of another book, or maybe I’ll see a familiar phrase. But I doubt I would have connected the dots before I knew there were dots to connect.

But there are things that are Rowling-like in the writing, and I may see more as I keep reading. The way she sets up and weaves together a mystery, for one. We saw that in Harry Potter and I’m sure we will see it again here. The voice of this book is also similar to The Casual Vacancy.

The scene setting is good, but it’s much less colorful than describing a Hogwart’s common room. But I can picture Strike’s office, and Robin’s bridal magazines. And I can picture Charlotte’s face as she left Strike’s office after their relationship-ending fight.

There’s also a few 25 cent vocabulary words. I remember that from The Casual Vacancy–as if Rowling had been saving up her grown-up words to use after Harry Potter. And if I’m really reaching, these characters too go down Tottenham Court Road, just as Ron, Harry and Hermione did in Deathly Hallows. But, then again, maybe that’s just a popular street.

I’ll start on part two tonight. Do you want to read it with me? Meet here at the same time next week?

(I bought this book on my own and am not being paid to write about it. But I am a part of the Amazon Affiliates program, so if you buy through my links on Amazon, I’ll receive a little bit of money for it.)


  1. Amy Lee says:

    I found the story interesting, but what you should know is the release of the pseudonym Robert Galbraith was planned. I made up the pseudonym J.K. Rowling while creating ideas for Harry Potter. Robert also happens to be my father’s first name.

    Over the years I created many pseudonyms such as James Cameron for
    the actor Earl Cameron who appeared in the 1965 James Bond film
    “Thunderball” (James Bond + Earl Cameron).

    I also created the name Tom Clancy for actors Tom Cruise who starred in Top Gun
    which I worked on script ideas and Clancy Brown who appeared in Highlander
    which I also worked on script ideas (Tom Cruise + Clancy Brown). This was while I was working on ideas for my Jack Ryan character. The name of “Jack” (Titanic) is a name I
    liked to use often for characters and “Ryan” for actress Meg Ryan who
    appeared in Top Gun.

    I have worked on many script ideas which includes those mentioned above and for Indiana Jones, Beetlejuice, Firestarter, Crocodile Dundee, and many others. I have worked with many of the best writers, actors, directors, producers in the entertainment business. In other words, Harry was never going to be rejected and destined to be a film series from the moment it was conceived. Though, as a blacklisted artist I worked under pseudonyms.

    “Malfoy” is an anagram for “of Amy L”…and that is me.

  2. Jenn says:

    I’m glad you’re enjoying part one!

    Totally laughed at that part Robin and Strike met.

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