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The Cuckoo's Calling (2013)

by Robert Galbraith

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Cormoran Strike (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,051536813 (3.8)499
"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, the legendary 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" -- from publisher's web site.… (more)
  1. 80
    Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (keywestnan, debbiereads)
    keywestnan: I listed Case Histories but I'm really recommending the entire Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson. They are excellently written private eye novels that are especially excellent when it comes to character.
  2. 41
    The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (Eowyn1)
  3. 41
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (Moehrendorf)
  4. 30
    The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: The two detectives have a key trait in common: dogged pursuit of the truth and the truth has many twists along the way.
  5. 43
    The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling (kinsey_m)
    kinsey_m: Rowling's other (and better) adult book
  6. 10
    The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne (aliklein)
  7. 00
    A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George (glade1)
    glade1: Both authors focus greatly on character and scene.
  8. 00
    The Punishment She Deserves by Elizabeth George (glade1)
    glade1: Both authors dive deeply into character and scene.
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» See also 499 mentions

English (511)  Italian (6)  German (4)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (532)
Showing 1-5 of 511 (next | show all)
Removed my rating because it's no longer accurate-- I can't enjoy this book knowing it's written by someone currently spreading transphobic hate. I know that's not very "Death of the Author" of me, but that's just how it is.

Trans liberation now. Read trans authors.


Original review October 2018:
I've always thought some of the best parts of the Harry Potter books are the mysteries, so I thought I'd try out JK Rowling's proper mystery novels.

In general, quite an enjoyable read. Entertaining and involving, with great lead characters and a plausible and interesting mystery, though not especially twisty or high-octane. I also would have liked more focus on Robin, since her character and talents seemed a bit wasted. But JKR is, among whatever else, an eminently capable and readable writer, and I'm looking forward to reading the other Cormoran Strike books that follow.
  misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
Rowling has proven herself to be a highly capable wordsmith. First of all, I would've enjoyed this book even if J. K. Rowling hadn't written it. Having said that, it is inevitable to draw comparisons to Harry Potter and A Casual Vacancy.

The great thing about this story is the characters in it, especially the masks they have on. There is mystery and intrigue mixed with lots of planning and forethought. There were glimpses of mystery and overarching detective narratives throughout Harry Potter, but it's used to its full potential here. A Casual Vacancy's human drama and relationships have also been explored to great degrees in this book.

To put it simply: this is a brilliant, potent combination of both Harry Potter and A Casual Vacancy, both of which I loved.

I look forward to reading more non-Harry Potter stories from her in the future, be it published under her own name or a pseudonym. ( )
  bdgamer | Sep 10, 2021 |
Really very good, you wouldn't know that She Who Must Not Be Named had written it, the voice and style is very different. Very unusually for me, I have actually watched the TV adaption first, and I'm very impressed at how close they managed to get to the tone and style of these characters.

Strike is the usual PI - just about broke, but with good habits instilled from the army (A greater contrast to Jack Reacher may not exist), doing the best he can, against all the personal troubles a background of hardship and injury will do. He isn't expecting the business to last much longer, but the replacement temp he's been sent has such a self-reliant and un-intrusive manner he can't bring himself to sack her for the week. His only remaining client is also a pity case, from his childhood the rich son is prepared to pay double to investigate his sister's recent death, widely reported as suicide. Strike is somewhat reluctant to take the case because the coroner's verdict looks very secure, she was a celebrity and so the police worked extra hard, and the available leads look slim, but the prospect of earning enough to pay his temp for another week and maybe even clear some debts is too much to resist.

With surprising ease Strike gets to interview various rich and/or famous people all of whom profess more or less to care deeply about the dead girl, despite her occasionally flakey lifestyle, drug use et al, from Fashion designers, musicians and friends strike builds up a picture f her last few days, and more importantly her mental attitude at the time. Despite a row with her boyfriend, and a distressing conversation with her mum, she seemed unlikely to be wanting to kill herself then. The temp Robyn is thoroughly excited to find her-self working for a detective and does the best she can to be helpful, and not mind her employers business. After all she's only here for a week or so until she finds a permanent better paying job, and can enjoy life with her new fiancée. The two make an unlikely but successful pair.

Written in the third person it's occasionally odd when it veers into telling us Strike's mental processes rather than showing us through his actions, but other than that does very well at presenting the case. Robyn's very different voice is well handled throughout, and their interactions add just the right amount of lightness to what is at heart a dark story where none of the actors comes out well.

Thoroughly enjoyable a good addition to the crime genre, and I'll catching up on the rest of the series. ( )
1 vote reading_fox | Sep 7, 2021 |
As far as I'm concerned J.K. Rowling can do no wrong. Harry Potter, The Casual Vacancy, and now this, the first Cormoran Strike novel, is very good. It's not perfect, but it's damn close. I took one star off due to two things. The first is, occasionally a character gives up information a touch too easily. The second is, I still questioned one of the motives of the killer toward the end. Not a lot, just a little.

But overall, Rowling set up some intriguing characters as well as an intriguing mystery. Throwing Strike into a world of fashion and excess is a great fish out of water exercise. His temporary secretary, Robin, is great.

Overall, Rowling is firing on all cylinders lately and I find I'm enjoying her adult novels more than the Harry Potter ones. Looking forward to more of these. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
Оце і все?

Все так очевидно... Та ну, я з самого початку все знала... Жах, суцільне розчарування, а не детектив...

Думала я так майже всю книгу. Але останні розділи перевернули все з ніг на голову. І тоді мої думки попливли в іншому напрямку: "Я в шоці. Це ж треба так все закрутити. Та ще й підказки так порозкидати по книзі. І як це я сама не додумалась?"

Якщо трохи детальніше про книгу, то це історія про розслідування самогубства (може, й не самогубства) відомої моделі. У Роулінг (а це її книга, під псевдонімом) є свій стиль. Тут дуже багато розмов, флешбеків у минуле, роздумів. Для мене це було невеликим мінусом, адже в детективі якось хочеться більше зрушень. А тут головний герой більш ніж пів книги топтався на місці. Ну, принаймні, я так думала ( )
  Diana_Hryniuk | Aug 28, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 511 (next | show all)
Ublodig, men ikkje blodfattig
Når Harry Potter-forfattar J.K. Rowling går til krimmen, satsar ho meir på person- og miljøskildring enn på å dikte opp utspekulerte drapsmetodar. Det er heilt ok.
added by annek49 | editNRK, Marta Norheim (Feb 24, 2014)
 
In “The Cuckoo’s Calling” Ms. Rowling — er, Mr. Galbraith — seems to have similarly studied the detective story genre and turned its assorted conventions into something that, if not exactly original, nonetheless showcases her satiric eye (most in evidence in the Potter books in her portraits of the bureaucrats and blowhards associated with the Ministry of Magic) and her instinctive storytelling talents.
 
The Cuckoo’s Calling and Harry Potter both feature dead or absent parents, adoptees, and family intrigue. They both imagine highly complex worlds that are nonetheless knowable—if you study their laws closely—and amusing, and beautiful, and dangerous. If I’m honest, though, I liked Galbraith just a bit better than late Rowling. (The first four Harry Potter books still reign supreme.) While both writers are funny, suspenseful, and sharp about race and class, he seems under less pressure to take himself and his story seriously. I wonder why.
added by zhejw | editSlate, Katy Waldman (Jul 16, 2013)
 
There is no sign whatsoever that this is Galbraith’s first novel, only that he has a delightful touch, both for evoking London and for capturing a new hero. It is an auspicious debut.
added by zhejw | editThe Mail, Geoffrey Wansell (May 2, 2013)
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Galbraith, Robertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Šenkyřík, LadislavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ballester, AuroraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bergner, WulfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bindervoet, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caball, JosefinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Casella, AlessandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daly, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Divjak, DarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dorph Stjernfelt, AgneteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Göhler, ChristophTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gralak, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grinde, HeidiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hjukström, CharlotteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jørgensen, Henrik HartvigNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kurz, KristofTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macaulay, HarveyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDermid, ValForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mutsaers, SabineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nagy, GergelyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pulice, Mario J.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ragusa, AngelaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosso, FrançoisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saarinen, EeroNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torre, Jesús de laTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, SianCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wunder, DietmarNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
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Awards and honors
Epigraph
Why were you born when the snow was falling?
You should have come to the cuckoo's calling,
Or when grapes are green in the cluster,
Or, at least, when lithe swallows muster
      For their far off flying
      From summer dying.

Why did you die when the lambs were cropping?
You should have died at the apples' dropping,
When the grasshopper comes to trouble,
And the wheat-fields are sodden stubble,
      And all winds go sighing
      For sweet things dying.

                  Christina G. Rossetti, "A Dirge"
Dedication
To the real Deeby with many thanks
First words
The buzz in the street was like the humming of flies.
Quotations
The dead could only speak through the mouths of those left behind, and through the signs they left scattered behind them.
The white-painted boutique stood on some of the most expensive acreage in London... To Strike, its colorful windows displayed a multitudinous mess of life's unnecessities. ... a gaudy celebration of consumerism he found irritating to retina and spirit. (page 184-5)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Originally published: London: Sphere, 2013.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

"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, the legendary 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" -- from publisher's web site.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Cormoran Strike is
asked to investigate a
suicide – was it?
(passion4reading)

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