The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

GUEST REVIEWER – teachergirl73


A friend gave me a copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith ( a.k.a. J.K Rowling, for my birthday with the recommendation that it was an easy but enjoyable read which just happened to be what I was looking for. I might be one of the few elementary educators out there that did not enjoy the Harry Potter series. My lack-lustre reaction to the series was really more about the genre itself, rather than Rowling’s writing. I read the first book because I felt that I should to know what my students were reading but I never pursued the rest of the series. So, when it came to reading Rowling’s adult fiction, I was not opposed to it but I also wasn’t rushing to the bookstore to get one of the first copies either.

My friend was right, The Cuckoo’s Calling was an easy book to get hooked on. It doesn’t hurt that I am also a huge fan of police-procedural dramas, particularly if they are set in the U.K., which is the basis for The Cuckoo’s Calling. The story begins with the crime scene of what at first glance looks like the suicide of a super-model in the dead of winter. Then the story fast forwards three months and we meet Cormoran Strike, a private investigator and his brand-new secretary Robin Ellacott. Their initial meeting is quite comical, and it seems like Strike might just be a few steps away from both personal ruin having just left his fiancé, leaving him homeless and living in his office. Add that to the lack of any paying clients, Strike’s luck appears to only run bad, until an old childhood acquaintance walks through his door asking for Strike’s help in proving that the death of his super-model sister was not suicide, but murder.

What I think that I liked the most about this story was Rowling’s character development. She did a fantastic job of creating characters with depth and enough visual description that I found that I didn’t want the story to end because I was enjoying the interaction between the characters so much. The other part about the novel that I really liked was that it didn’t seem to need the introduction of the macabre or gruesome details to move the plot along. Instead, Rowling relied on creating well-developed characters (and some quite colourful!) who left you wondering who really did what, right until the end of the novel.

I am looking forward to reading more about Cormoran Strike and his trusty side-kick Robin Ellacott in their next adventure The Silkworm, which will be published by Mulholland Books this summer.

Grade: B+


After several years with the Royal Military Police, Robert Galbraith was attached to the SIB (Special Investigative Branch), the plain-clothes branch of the RMP. He left the military in 2003 and has been working since then in the civilian security industry. The idea for Cormoran Strike grew directly out of his own experiences and those of his military friends who returned to the civilian world. ‘Robert Galbraith’ is a pseudonym.





One thought on “The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)”

  1. Lovely review! It doesn’t surprise me at all that you loved the characters, since I found much of the charm about the HP books to be the characterizations. I’d love to move this one up my TBR pile:-)

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