The Cuckoo’s Calling


Written by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a – J.K. Rowling)

Published by Mulholland Books/Little Brown and Co, April 30, 2013

My star rating: 3 stars


          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.
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. Find it on Goodreads

spoiler free graphic


I’ve never hidden the fact that mysteries aren’t my favourite. Especially crimes where a cop/detective/private eye are concerned. I don’t know why I don’t like them. I guess that, for the most part, they seem to all have the same format and main character. The ideas are usually original, but there’s something familiar about them. But, knowing that this one was written by J.K. Rowling (the name Robert Galbraith is fooling no one) made me take a chance on it.

First of all, I want to say that I LOVE Cormoran Strike!! He was such an amazing and relatable character! Yes, he’s a private detective, but there was something so different and genuine about him. He had a past, he has a famous father (which works into the story well as he’s dealing with a famous death and famous people), but he was so mouthy, down to earth, and normal lol. He wasn’t your typical cop with a hard on and a drive to get all the bad guys. He has his own personal struggles, a big heart, and difficult times. I wish that we would have gotten to see more of a character arc from him though. .We got some insights in his personal life, but him as a character took the sidelines to the priority of the plot. I’m thinking we will see more of this as the series continues and I can’t wait!

The suspense really lacked for me though. It’s not your typical crime solving mystery. I’m used to reading mysteries where literally everyone is a suspect and there’s a laundry list of reasons why they could be the killer. This book was different. We were dealing with a suicide that was suspected “could” be a homicide. There were some small things that pointed in the murder direction, but, as a whole, they could have also been coincidence and an actual suicide. I kept reading thinking “was there even a murder?” or “could this have actually been a suicide?” I sometimes don’t like it when you’re overwhelmed with suspicion, but in this case I actually needed more! There wasn’t really a time where I thought that a character could have done it. No pieces of the puzzle were laid out with a neon sign saying IT COULD BE THIS GUY! and I missed that aspect. I would have enjoyed this a little more if I was more convinced that there was an actual murder, and I could have suspected one or more people. It seemed a little too laid back in the suspect department.

Because of my lack of suspicion, it seemed to have watered down the big reveal at the end. I was surprised in a way, but it was also something that I was just “meh” about. I kind of suspected that the book would turn out in this way, but there was just something about it that didn’t blow my mind.

From what i’m told by others who have read this series, this is a series that only gets better as the books go on. If I hadn’t been told this by so many people, I might have given up on it completely. But I also think I would have read on for Strike alone. He’s a really great character!

12 Comments Add yours

  1. jillianthebookbutterfly says:

    I think the fact we learn only a little of Strike’s backstory throughout the books is because he’s a very private person. In The Silkworm, we learn more about his military career and he has a PTSD moment but it’s mostly about his relationship with his ex, Charlotte. Then, in Career of Evil, we get way more about Strike, mostly about his mom Leda as well as the bad guys he encountered when he worked for SIB.

    I don’t think these count as spoilers….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No I don’t think they’re spoilers. It actually makes me want to read them even more knowing that we learn more about him as it goes along 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. jillianthebookbutterfly says:

        Yay! What did you think of Robin?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Omg I LOVE Robin! She’s a spitfire and really smart with lots of initiative. I hope that in future books she dumps that fiancée though!!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Love when a good character saves a story or interest in the story!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Book Admirer says:

    I have had this book on my shelf since the summer and have not gotten to it yet. Now I want to it. Also, I totally didn’t know that the author was really J.K. Rowling. Huh. The things you learn.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE mysteries, so take this opinion with a grain of salt, but yes – the series absolutely does get better. (The Cuckoo’s Calling is my least favorite of the four.) As far as a mystery goes, the next book, The Silkworm is GREAT. I loved it. There are clues, and you can solve it yourself if you think about it, but the solution feels organic not just a “Ha! Gotcha!” kind of moment that comes out of nowhere.

    If you like Strike as a character and you haven’t yet, I really recommend checking out the tv series! I enjoyed it a lot. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks this helps a lot! I haven’t gotten to the sequels yet but I’ve heard so many things about them that made me so excited to continue. Maybe this will be the series that convinces me to like mysteries 😂


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