The Cuckoo's Calling

The Cuckoo's Calling

Audiobook CD - 2013
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A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.

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.

Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Publisher: New York : Hachette Audio, p2013.
ISBN: 1478980826
Branch Call Number: FIC Galbr
Characteristics: 13 audio discs (approximately 16 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Additional Contributors: Glenister, Robert


From Library Staff

Completely embodying the main character, Robert Glenister reads all three entries in J.K Rowling's Cormoran Strike mystery series. A famed BBC actor in the UK, Glenister's narration matches the character's identity perfectly. You'll eagerly look forward to each novel, returning to a familiar voice.

samdog123 Mar 10, 2014

This book got off to a slow start with lots of detail and I really had a hard time slogging through it. But, all of a sudden it just took off and I was so interested. I loved the book, the plot and the characters! Cormoron Strike, detective and his temporary secretary, Robin, are great charac... Read More »

KateHillier Sep 10, 2013

I haven't gotten around to the Casual Vacancy yet so this is the first non Harry Potter J.K. Rowling effort I've read. Short verdict: Not bad. Strike is certainly an interesting enough character that I'd certainly read a second book if it happened to come my way. It was an interesting enough ... Read More »

From the critics

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Jun 13, 2019

Rowling needs to stick with what she does best. The story is plodding and the characters wooden, Harry Potter would hate this muggles tale and would be amazed at how his creator has regressed. She is the richest lady in England, don't screw it up.

ArapahoeHannah Apr 09, 2019

A great first novel in a series with relatable characters and original detective work.

Feb 16, 2019

Very slow moving, but good

Hillsboro_JeanineM Jan 23, 2019

Cormoran Strike has the extraordinary credentials for detective as a former member of the Special Investigation Branch (SIB) of the Royal Military Police but what is wonderful is how human Galbraith makes him as a vet from the war in Afghanistan, in which he lost his leg to an IED. His training gifts him with the rigor of a good investigative skills and the social connections for access to information; As a disabled protagonist, his injury is not a plot device but is ever present and you can feel his discomfort and pain.

Jan 11, 2019

I noticed a lot of readers liked it but a few did feel similar to me. I've never read the Harry Potter series or watched the movies so have no comparison. This book initially felt like a "cute" and fun detective story with initially 2 interesting characters. But that quickly changed. The book is 455 pages long making it at least 300 pages too long because it's just a bunch of useless words saying nothing! An endless amount of words going nowhere and so many characters it quickly became annoying as in "get to the mystery part"! I'm a huge mystery reader and love "who done it" books and this is anything but. It felt like the author was showing off her ability to make a lot of words say nothing making me wonder if she gets paid by the word. And take note that Rowling actually gives Robert Galbraith a rather grand background of Royal Military Police, Special Investigations in RMP, and civilian security. I've not seen an author who writes under another name do that but then again haven't checked either. At any rate it was a huge surprise and kind of ridiculous and egotistical!

Nov 08, 2018

Recommended by Lori Turner

Hillsboro_RobinD Oct 16, 2018

I was nervous to try my go-to genre written by J.K. Rowling. I am blown away by the masterful storytelling in this gritty mystery series! Strike and Robin have me hooked. I listened to this and found the narration top notch. If you are a mystery fan, this is a must-read series.

Aug 07, 2018

J.K. Rowling has spawned a new detective series and features a brilliant, conflicted detective named Cormorant Strike. If you like detective novels you owe to yourself to check out this new series.

PimaLib_ChristineR Jun 23, 2018

I like to think that I would give this book the same review whether I knew who the author was or not. I can see why Rowling chose a male nom de plume. The Cuckoo's Calling is very much in the vein of the classic American hard-boiled detective mysteries by Hammett or Chandler (yeah, I said it). If Humphrey Bogart were still alive, I could see an American version of this book being a movie in which he would star.

The almost-avian-named detective, Cormoran Strike, is a veteran of Afghanistan who wants no pity for his injuries and no easy-ins because of his famous father's name. Robin Ellacott, his new temp secretary, is more than an Effie to his Sam Spade. Besides keeping Strike's secrets, and making her boss look good, as any good Effie would, Robin discovers that she has a love of investigative work and happily takes lead in several aspects of the story.

Like those classic detectives, Strike is a character well aware of the lives of the elite, the different set of rules they play by, without being part of that world. Rowling masterfully creates this tension through Strike's background. His mother was a famous groupie and his father a rock star. Living with his mother as she goes from band to band and then along with her on her downward spiral, Strike is always in the dark shadow of the rich and famous. It's not surprising then that his on-again-off-again relationship is with a wealthy woman who treats him as something of a pet. It's also what let's him slide between worlds as he investigates the supposed suicide of a model.

Lulu Landry has fallen from a balcony three months prior. Strike is about to lose his business and has left the home he shared with his girlfriend when Landry's brother offers him a job investigating her death.

Rowling writes a terrific mystery, full of twists, turns and thrills to the last moment, while also writing Strike and Robin as interesting characters with good backstories. I can't wait to read the next in this series and I'm glad to hear Rowling has many more mysteries in store for this team.

Jun 21, 2018

First in a new series from J. K. Rowling's Alter ego.

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Nov 28, 2014

jkeaton thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Aug 29, 2013

JOSEPH POTTER thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Jul 16, 2013

indigo_owl_52 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 21


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Aug 29, 2013

“Humans often assumed symmetry and equality where none existed.”

JCLHunterSt Aug 01, 2013

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


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DanniOcean Aug 12, 2013

Unless you have been taking an extended tech and media vacation this summer, you will have heard that J.K. Rowling – author of the über-successful Harry Potter series - was outed as the true name behind Cuckoo’s Calling, using pseudonym Robert Galbraith. As any high-powered author would do, she sued the law firm that leaked her identity for a six-figure sum and then donated it, plus proceeds from the sale of the novel for the next three years, to The Soldier’s Charity, an organization that supports veterans and their families in Great Britain. She did this as a thank-you for those in the military who helped her with her research, leading her to create one of the most hard-boiled detectives to hit pages since Sam Spade, Cormoran Strike (how could he not be hard-boiled with a name like that?). A wounded veteran with an infamous set of rock parents, Strike grew up with his half-sister in care of his aunt and uncle. He joined the military as an investigator, went to Afghanistan and came back missing part of a leg (but is far too proud to admit it to those who don’t know him), and opens a detective agency. Unfortunately he has some hard luck with women and alcohol, until he literally runs into (and nearly knocks to her death) fresh-faced, and newly engaged Robin Ellacott, recently arrived in London from Yorkshire, who is assigned as his new temporary office worker. Robin, secretly thrilled to be working for a PI, by far the most efficient tem Strike has ever been assigned, and she proves herself both resourceful and intrepid as Strike gets his first big case – a model falls to her death and three months later her brother shows up, asking Strike to prove it was murder and not suicide. Strike is no hack – he is thoughtful, driven and methodical – much like his creator, Rowling. She slowly unveils the threads of the mystery with great care, precision, a host of fully-formed characters, more than a few red herrings and loads of wit. In fact, it is a far better book than Rowling’s last non-Potter novel, Casual Vacancy, and leaves the reader wanting to know more about Cormoran Strike. Let us hope that being outed as Robert Galbraith does not keep JK Rowling from creating further mysteries for him to solve. Cuckoo’s Calling is a first rate mystery, no matter who the author really is.


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