|06 July 2016|
I will start with a disclaimer. I am a Potterholic. I was a very active member of Harry Potter forums in the early years of this millennium, had spent myriad hours discussing the stories and the possibilities with friends, and give the books a re-read every couple of years, even now. So do not expect me to be less than effusive about anything that Ms. Rowling churns out. Heck, I even liked The Casual Vacancy.
JK Rowling is also one of the best storytellers of our times. She has considerable prowess in handling complex, multi-threaded plots, and the intelligence to keep even the smartest readers guessing – we knew that right from the Harry Potter days. All are recipes for a successful detective fiction writer. In the post-Potter, pre-everything-else days, Ian Rankin once guessed that Rowling’s next would be a foray into detective fiction. Natural progression, I thought.
The Cuckoo’s Calling was released with little fanfare, but with decent word-of-mouth reviews, in early 2013. It was written by Robert Galbraith, an army veteran. I am a regular at a couple of online mystery fiction forums, and I remember fleeting mentions of this novel. But nothing stood out, really. On July 14, 2013, it was revealed that Robert Galbraith was a pseudonym of JK Rowling, and immediately, the book shot up the charts and became a bestseller. Here’s the thing though – it’s an excellent mystery novel, and would have remained so had the name of the writer not been JK Rowling.