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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
8,662556792 (3.81)519
"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. 10
    A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George (glade1)
    glade1: Both authors focus greatly on character and scene.
  6. 10
    The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne (aliklein)
  7. 43
    The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling (kinsey_m)
    kinsey_m: Rowling's other (and better) adult book
  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 519 mentions

English (529)  Italian (7)  German (4)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (553)
Showing 1-5 of 529 (next | show all)
A solid mystery with well-developed characters. I like finding a PI novel that isn't noir. ( )
  Aug3Zimm | Sep 6, 2022 |
Great mystery with unique and interesting characters. ( )
  DebCushman | Aug 25, 2022 |
I'l confess that I picked this up to read/listen simply out of curiosity about what kind of crime novel J K Rowling would write. A pretty good one, as it happens.

There's nothing very innovative about it, but it's very well done. The opening sequence was reminiscent of P D James, and some of the character types could have been taken from any hard-boiled detective novel. Except that there's nothing very hard-boiled about it. In some respects, particularly the relationship between Strike and his secretary Robin, it's actually kind of warm and fuzzy.

Robin's character pretty much sums up my feelings about the book. On one hand, she is SUCH a trope. In the back of my mind I kept hearing "Nancy Drew, Girl Detective!" But on the other hand she was SO appealing that I quickly became invested in her as a compliment to Strike. Both were engaging, as was the plot. Just as with the characters, it was an updated version of a common theme, but it held my attention until the end.

I gather that there have been criticisms about the length of the book and I suppose those may be well placed. But the listening experience was good, and I didn't get that feeling of an excess of repetition. Although it was unfortunate that we had to listen to Strike recap everything in the epilogue ...

A solid 4 stars. I'll definitely read another in this series. ( )
  BarbKBooks | Aug 15, 2022 |
Supermodel Lula Landry falls to her death from her apartment and everyone thinks it's suicide. Everyone but her brother, John Bristow, who think she was murdered and hires private detective Cormoran Strike to find out if she was killed.

Robert Galbraith alias J.K. Rowling has written an interesting book. Both well written and with great character. Cormoran Strike is without a doubt one of the most interesting and human detectives I have ever encountered. What I love about him is that he isn't super smart. He is good at his job, but he doesn't rub your nose in it all the time.

But as much as I like Cormoran there is a character I love more. And that is Robin Ellacott. Here we have a character that has everything. In the beginning, of the book her boyfriend Matthew propose to her and she accepts it. She is working as a substitute for a while until she gets a permanent job. Working for Cormoran Strike is just a passing thing. That is until she gets to her new workplace and sees that he is a private detective. She has always wanted to work for a private detective and even though her life is perfect and this is just a work for a week before she gets a higher-paid permanent job. But you really can tell how much she is enjoying her new job even though her fiancé Matthew isn't that happy about it.

But why only 3 stars in the end? I loved the characters, I will without a doubt read the next book. I liked the story, even though I felt the story dragged on a bit sometimes. But I didn't like the ending.
I just didn't see the reason for why John Bristow would hire a private detective to discover who killed his sister when he was the one that did it? I know he tried to frame Lula's other brother. But everyone thought she had committed suicide, he was in the clear, nobody knew about another testament, well except Rochelle. But no one would have known she was murdered. Also if Bristow hadn't hired Cormoran. The only solution I can think of is that Bristow was truly and utterly mad and stupid!

And that is why the book only get's 3 stars! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Jul 23, 2022 |
I had planned to read this when it first came out before I knew it was JKR. I like books with ex military guys as the main character. Especially if they are crippled up and grumpy somehow. Anyway I decided to read it even if my expectations of a male ex military writer (and thus someone who would get those details right) were dashed.

I enjoyed the whole thing and read it yesterday in one sitting. I enjoy the minutia of solving a case. I like to see the leg work the detective does to get clues etc.

I did enjoy the grumpy down on his luck hero. I liked the temporary secretary who secretly wanted to be a private eye. I particularly enjoyed that Strike had a full and interesting back story and that the two of them had a working relationship but in no way a romance. That just wouldn't have fit with his history.

The mystery was pretty good with plenty of characters to choose from as the killer. There were a few times that Strike seemed to understand a clue a little too easily or make too much of an intuitive leap but on the whole I thought the solving of the crime held together pretty well.

The writing of course was polished and flowed well.

I recommend it to mystery readers. Especially to those who like the gumshoe character. ( )
  Luziadovalongo | Jul 14, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 529 (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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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
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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