Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Rowling Redux

We participated here on the blog in the big reveal a few months ago that Robert Galbraith, author of the new mystery novel The Cuckoo's Calling, is actually J. K. Rowling, writing under a pen name. I received this news with mixed feelings; after checking out The Casual Vacancy, her first novel après Harry Potter, and disliking it enough that I refused to finish it, I didn't hold out high hopes for her next effort.

I am forced (and delighted) to say that I was wrong: The Cuckoo's Calling is everything they are calling it in the reviews--a stellar debut. The protagonist for this new mystery series, down-on-his-luck private investigator Cormoran Strike, is smart, understated, and endearing. His assistant, Robin, who lands on his doorstep as a temp secretary for a week and discovers that working for a P.I. is much more exciting than the staid full-time jobs for which she has been applying, is equally entertaining. Rowling gives great attention to back story while not bogging down in it, and the little extra interactions and glimpses into their personal lives make these two come alive. Equally diverting is the eclectic cast of characters, from the seedy homeless girl from rehab to the fashion designer at the top of his game, that Strike must find, interview, and see clearly while on his quest to solve the murder of supermodel Lula Landry. I was enthralled, amused, and entertained throughout, and I look forward to the next book by "Robert Galbraith."

Editor's note: We also have this as an audiobook and an e-book.

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