The Author Who Must Not Be Named: J.K. Rowling Revealed as Crime Novelist Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
In a twist any true crime writer would appreciate, Robert Galbraith was revealed to be a pseudonym for none other than J.K. Rowling, the best-selling author of the Harry Potters books.

Over the weekend, the U.K.'s Sunday Times put the pieces together and revealed Rowling's identity. The news comes as a bit of a shock after Rowling's first post-Harry Potter book, The Casual Vacancy, came out to mediocre, at best, reviews. However, changing her name and completely changing the genre she wrote in, Rowling has found the niche she's been looking for in her post-HP writing career.

The book in question, The Cuckoo's Calling, was said to be a debut crime book by Robert Galbraith. Here's a synopsis of the book:

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, thelegendary 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.

In Galbraith's bio, he said he was a retired Royal Military Policeman and drew heavily on this experience for the character Cormoran Strike. The background story on this Galbraith was as intricate as that of a real person and didn't have much link to Rowling. However, the minds at The Sunday Times figured it out when they realized Galbraith had the same agent, publishing house, and editor as Rowling. While the “debut” book was doing well already with rave reviews, sales soared more than 507,000% after Rowling was revealed as the true author.

Did you get tricked along with the rest of the world? Did you read The Cuckoo's Calling? Will you now that you know the truth?

Hat tip to CNN for the details on Robert Galbraith's identity.


  1. Becky119

    I found out about this yesterday and am already trying to find a copy to read. I am intrigued that her book did so well under a pseudonym especially since I did pick up her ‘debut adult novel’ “The Casual Vacancy”. After reading a few chapters it got abandoned. I have been toying with the idea of going back to it. I hate leaving books unfinished…now I’m looking forward to reading more of J.K. Rowling’s writing in a completely different setting. Yay for surprises!!

  2. Georgia Doyle

    I already had a copy on my Kindle but reading it wasn’t a priority. Learning who the auther is certainly bumped it towards the top of my reading list.

  3. david hartzog

    Read it when it came out, thought it was pretty good. Suspected author used pseud., but never thought it was Rowling.

  4. Cheryl Peterson

    When this was recommended to me pre-publication I marked it “not interested”. I still feel the same; I’m burned out on barely scraping by PIs with relationship problems.

  5. internet commenter

    Weird…I’m reading it right now. It meanders a little. There is a little too much going from witness to witness and just talking, and lots of names to keep track of. I would not have said that it would set the mystery world on fire, except for this revelation.

  6. anonymousie

    Tough call. On the one hand, I sort of expect the writing to be at a higher level because I know it’s Rowling, but on the other it was really only the fake bio that made me think the book might be interesting. Like one commenter above, it seemed “more of the same” to me, but I thought with that background that it might be more intriguing, though I haven’t necessarily found former intelligence officers, detectives, secret service, etc, to be particularly natural storytellers.

    Either way, I’ll be giving this book a miss.

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