…and it’s really good! I love mystery stories of any kind. I think it’s because I grew up on Encyclopedia Brown then went onto Nancy Drew then the Agatha Christie books, Sherlock Holmes and so on. I have always loved me a good mystery and I am thrilled that
J.K. Rowling Robert Galbraith (whose name loosely translates to “Famous Stranger,” by the way) is writing mystery novels.
I don’t want to get too spoilery on the main page and I know if you’re getting this via the e-mail subscription option (which you can get by entering your e-mail address on the right hand side →), you’ll also only see what is on the main site, so I’m going to put my actual review after the jump. It only has very minor spoilers, specifically a description of the plot, which can be found on the inside cover of the book or in the description on Amazon. However, I wanted to give everyone the option of deciding how much they do or don’t want to know about the book.
I will say that I give this book an A- grade and a 4/5 rating. The reason I don’t give it a perfect score is because it’s not the best book I’ve ever read, but it’s a pretty darn good book. If you’re into mysteries and good characters, then I definitely recommend you pick up The Cuckoo’s Calling. Okay, keep reading below if you don’t mind reading about the plot. Stop reading, bookmark the link, and come back to it after you’ve read the book if you want to be 100% surprised. Go!
The story takes placed in present day London and centers around retired army investigator-turned-private-detective Cormoran Strike. His upbringing makes him somewhat of a D-list celebrity and he has recently lost his leg while on tour in Afghanistan. We meet Cormoran on the morning he and his longtime girlfriend have finally, “for good this time” split up. Homeless and broke, the man needs a lucky break and he gets just that when a man walks into his private detective agency. The man, a wealthy lawyer, asks him to investigate the suicide of his famous supermodel sister to prove that it was in fact muuuuuurder.
Meanwhile, we also meet Robin Ellacott, a twenty-five-year-old girl who has just moved to London and gotten engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Matthew. Robin is trying to find herself and get a steady job. Until she finds a full time gig, she’s working for a temp agency. A bit of fate leads her to be (temporarily) employed by Cormoran. Oh yeah, and it just so happens that Robin’s secret dream is to be a private investigator. And thus, fun ensues.
In typical J.K. Rowling fashion, The Cuckoo’s Calling is filled with a lot of details that all come in handy at the novel’s climax and is very heavy on the character descriptions. The puzzle pieces fit so well and some of them are so subtle that you’re left guessing up until the last minute. Granted, the final act does seem to come a little bit out of nowhere until you really sit back and think about how it fits together (it does). I read the Entertainment Weekly review yesterday and an issue they had with The Cuckoo’s Calling was that Cormoran’s character wasn’t as well fleshed out as Robin’s character. My thoughts are actually to the contrary. When I was finished reading The Cuckoo’s Calling, I was left satisfied with what we learned about Carmoran and thought to myself, “We must go deeper into Robin’s character in the next book.”
Overall, I really loved The Cuckoo’s Calling. I enjoyed every minute of reading it and had a difficult time putting it down. I’m a slow reader with a short attention span because I’m always stopping to do something like check my Instagram feed, but it only took me 3 non-full days to read all 455 pages of it. I totally recommend the book to anyone who is looking for a good mystery with fun characters and a satisfying conclusion. I’m so excited there will be two more Cormoran Strike books. As for whether or not it’s appropriate for children, the F word, the C word, and cocaine use all make an appearance as well as a mild sex scene. I would say it’s probably fine for kids 15 & up, but it’s your call, parents.
Have you read The Cuckoo’s Calling yet? If so, let me know in the comments what you thought of it!
If you want to buy Cuckoo’s Calling, this link will take you directly to it on Amazon: