The Mystery of "The Cuckoo’s Calling"


In case you haven’t already figured it out The book is called "The Cuckoo’s Calling" and a certain man by the name of Robert Galbraith had written this adult crime thriller, or so went the story. It was a witty twist in name choice by a certain other infamous author we’ve all come to love and adore. Her name is J.K.Rowling and she mashed together the monikers of, one, her political hero Robert F. Kennedy and, two, her childhood fantasy name Ella Galbraith to beget a pseudonym for her first ever adult crime fiction.

Cuckoos Calling

Popularity Of "The Cuckoo’s Calling" After The Reveal

Ever since her fame with the Harry Potter series and the Harry Potter movie franchise that followed, hype tracked Rowling everywhere she went. Her debut in the detective fiction world has cemented the versatility of this Brit-born genius.

Not only was The Cuckoo’s Calling getting incredible reviews and sales showed marked growth the whole thing exploded onto the book world in a mess of glitz and glam when the ‘literary thrill-scandal’ came out screaming Rowling was ‘Galbraith’. The rest as they say is magic.

That setting was perfect for the making of a mega bestseller, something Rowling has indeed shown she can accomplish. In fact, upward of 17,662 copies were sold once the cat was out of the bag. But how did it all pan out? How did they get to the bottom of this veritable mystery?

Was ‘Robert Galbraith’ A Leak Or A Publicity Stunt?

Well, for one thing, the author herself is quoted as saying, on the Galbraith website,

"[The 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."

Also on the site she goes on to explain varies reasons as to why she chose to remain mum about the whole affair and why that name RG and no other. Citing plenty of literary inspiration for this book, the author sure has gone a different mile by balancing the whole work with a nice original flair.

I admit I haven’t quite gotten down to reading the book myself, so that means this blog post is merely my contribution to celebrating J.K.Rowling’s new work of art, period. Plus, dontchya just love a good reveal like this?


Synopsis Of "The Cuckoo’s Calling"

The basic idea: Detective Cormoran Strike (the protagonist of the tale) investigates a supermodel’s suicide.

The back-cover detail: 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.

How Did They Really Find Out It Was Rowling Who Wrote "The Cuckoo’s Calling"?

With the kinda storyline you just read above it’s no wonder people started paying attention to this book. There’s no better outline of the scoop than the one I found on in a rather interesting article by Jesse David Fox. Here’s how the mystery unfolded…

• On Thursday, an employee at the Sunday Times tweeted praise for The Cuckoo’s Calling, remarking that it didn’t seem like the work of a novice.

• "After midnight she got a tweet back from an anonymous person saying it’s not a first-time novel — it was written by J. K. Rowling," the Sunday Times arts editor, Richard Brooks, explained.

• When the employee tweeted "How do you know for sure?" the mysterious tweeter replied with "I just now" and went on to delete his or her account.

• Brooks decided to investigate a little before trying to get confirmation from Rowling’s publisher, out of fear the story would leak to a competitor.

• Brooks first did some Internet snooping and found out that The Cuckoo’s Calling shared an agent, publisher, and editor with Rowling’s last book, The Casual Vacancy. He found it peculiar that the editor, David Shelley, would work both with giant star Rowling and some nobody named Galbraith.

• Brooks started reading the book: “I said, ‘Nobody who was in the Army and now works in civilian security could write a book as good as this.’”

• He then sent a copy of Calling, Vacancy, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to a pair of computer linguistic experts, who [using JGAAP (Java Graphical Authorship Attribution Program)] found major similarities, namely the use of Latin phrases and a drug-taking scene.

• By Friday night, Brooks decided he had enough info to pull the trigger and asked Rowling’s people outright: "I e-mailed a blunt question: ‘I believe that Robert Galbraith is in fact J. K. Rowling, and will you please come back with a straightforward answer?’ "

• Saturday morning, a spokeswoman for Rowling confirmed it.

And that’s how it happened, folks.


Whatever the case, this enticing novel that made it to the top spot in USA Today’s Bestselling Booklist has taken the whole world by storm. Although it essentially swims in the crime-thriller genre it hasn’t stopped Rowling’s younger fans from the Harry Potter days to go out and get themselves a copy.

The story appeals to most audiences with a hunger for mysteries and a successful solving of the same through heart-stopping and soul-thrilling dangers and circumstances. Kudos to Rowling’s "The Cuckoo’s Calling".

All this typing about the book has made me thirst for a piece of the action and so I’m off to make my purchase. You’re probably doing the same. How do I know? It doesn’t need Detective Cormoran Strike to work out that mystery, now does it?

Image Credit: hypable.


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