The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo’s Calling

Robert Galbraith

A brilliant mystery novel, which sees Cormoran Strike investigating the apparent suicide of a supermodel.

How could the death of someone you had never met affect you so?

The first instalment in the Cormoran Strike series, The Cuckoo’s Calling introduces the war veteran turned PI Cormoran Strike. Left wounded both physically and psychologically after the Afghan war, Strike sets up an agency, which doesn’t go as well as he’d hoped. He has also recently broken up with his long-term on-and-off girlfriend and is living in his office. At this low point in his career and personal life, Cormoran receives a visit from a wealthy client, John Bristow, wanting to hire Strike to solve the murder of Lula Landry, John’s adoptive sister and supermodel, who apparently committed suicide a year before. Against all better judgment, Cormoran takes on the job – Bristow is his only paying client, after all.

Meanwhile, Robin Ellacott shows up at Strike’s office, sent by a temp agency. After a rocky start to their relationship, Cormoran allows Robin to join in his investigation and she rediscovers a passion for policework, which she was considering already when at university. The two need to follow a trail of investigation that appears to be cold, as so much time has passed since the crime. However, slowly it transpires that there was more behind Lula’s death than it appeared at the beginning.

What drives Strike in his pursuit of the truth?

What kind of person is Lula? How is the world of fashion portrayed?

What does the character of Robin bring to the story? Is she just a ‘supporting act’ or is she more than that?

Who were you suspicious of at the beginning? Did you ever suspect the real killer?

Why do you think J. K. Rowling chose to write this book under a pseudonym?


When questioning one of Lula’s neighbours, Tansy, regarding the night of her death, Strike finds out that Lula was having an argument with someone in her flat just before she was murdered. Tansy originally hadn’t admitted to this as it would have led investigators into finding out about her husband mistreating her. Shortly after, Rochelle, Lula’s friend, is found dead hours after leaving a meeting with Strike. He becomes convinced that Rochelle was in contact with Lula’s killer and that she was murdered for the money that she was set to inherit upon her adoptive mother’s death.

Strike has a meeting with Bristow in his office, where it is revealed that he is responsible for Lula’s and Rochelle’s murders, as well as Charlie’s, his adoptive brother who died when he was little. Bristow was enraged that Lula has managed to track down her biological brother and he was jealous of her success. He murdered both of his siblings to secure his position in the family and hired Strike to try and frame Lula’s biological brother.

After the case is solved, Robin is prepared to leave for a more permanent and better paid job. However, Strike manages to convince her to stay on anyway.

Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym of J.K. Rowling.

The first three instalments in the series were adapted for TV by BBC.

Initially, before the real identity of the author was revealed, the book wasn’t selling well, with 1,500 copies sold. After  J.K. Rowling was revealed as the author, the book became a best-seller on Amazon.

Latest from the Blog

What to read after you finish Mantel

Finished Hilary Mantel’s Cromwell Trilogy? We’ve put together a list of historical fiction books you may want to read next.

Read More

How to Start an Online Book Club

Now is a great time to launch that online book club you’ve always wanted, but how do you start? Follow these simple guidelines to be up and running in no time.

Read More

Female Writers under Pseudonym

One of the techniques employed by women during the 19th century was the use of a pen name or nom de plume, often using initials or masculine names, to help conceal their sex.

Read More

The Last Page – 10 Posthumous Releases

Ever wondered which books were published after the author’s death? Here are 10 posthumous releases that have since achieved attention.

Read More