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Publisher's Summary

The Cuckoo's Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.

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.

©2013 Robert Galbraith (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    11,001
  • 4 Stars
    6,592
  • 3 Stars
    2,021
  • 2 Stars
    449
  • 1 Stars
    293

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    12,720
  • 4 Stars
    4,393
  • 3 Stars
    1,045
  • 2 Stars
    211
  • 1 Stars
    149

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
    475
  • 1 Stars
    287
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tony
  • Miami, Fl, United States
  • 02-26-14

Outstanding character development , excellent plot

What did you like best about this story?

This is a good old fashioned mystery with even the minor characters well developed . The mystery unfolds slowly with each revealed detail folding neatly into the eventual solution. I adored the main character and hope we see him in further books. The writing was excellent with little twists of phrase that would surprise you with an unexpected chuckle or a smile. This was was of those books where you constantly are saying to yourself "He did it, no wait they did it, no wait he did it"

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I could not put this down. I listened while getting dressed, while folding laundry, while eating breakfast. The bad part was I didn't want it to be over.

Any additional comments?

The narrator is excellent. I felt like I was right there in the midst of every scene. The narrator added another dimension to the excellent character development.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not sure at first, but I was pleasantly surprised

With his slightly gravely and strong voice I wasn't sure I would be able to listen to the narrator for a whole audio-book. How would female characters sound speaking in that voice? But then I decided to give it a shot and as the story went along I felt that he did a great job reading the story and performing the characters. My one small gripe about the narrator is that he seemed to swing between a standard British and slightly Aussie accent, oftentimes making me forget momentarily that the main character is a Brit and not an Aussie.

As for the story itself, it's a good balance between the detective Cormoran Strike's back-story, the mystery he's trying to solve (did she fall or was she pushed?) and Strike's ambivalent relationship with his temporary secretary. The range of suspects is wide, and this being a British novel, the British class divide is almost a character in its own right. The middle section of the book is the best and builds some good momentum, but toward the end, the pace slows as the author conveys too much detail as Strike follows his leads to the end of the puzzle. The big reveal is bogged down with a recounting by Strike of how he solved the mystery in a confrontation with the killer.

Note to Author: I'd like to search the text for a count of exactly how many times you mention Strike's "camp bed"--it could be a drinking game.

Overall a satisfying story and characters, though it could have reached 4+ stars if the story were tightened up.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Well Done.

Any additional comments?

This was my first audio book and I didn't realize that Galbraith was a pen name for Rowling. A really outstanding performance by Robert Glenister...he really individualized the characters. Very interesting characters by the author and good sleuth work. I really liked the main character Cormorant Stryke and his administrative sidekick. I bought the written version for my wife.

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  • scammar
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 02-24-14

great entertaining book

really enjoyed the book. I like JK Rowlings novels, but the fact that she is Robert Galbraith doesn't change how much i enjoyed this book! Narration is great, and i can't wait for the next Cormoran Strike novel!

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  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent Whodunnit

This is the classic whodunnit. I don't know if a book can be "noir", but if it can, that's what this is. Classic "gumshoe" gets presented with a hopeless case to solve, and does it despite his shortcomings. I love it. I would not have guess that it was J.K. Rowling, because it has nothing in common with Harry Potter, but it's great stuff. I can't wait for her next one, which comes out soon.

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Stick with Harry Potter!

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Not sure whom would enjoy this book. There are so many choices & so little time I will stick w/ personal recommendations in the future. I am listening to a biography about LBJ, the 4th in the series by Caro...dry, but interesting.

Would you ever listen to anything by Robert Galbraith again?

No I will skip this writer.

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  • Sarah
  • United States
  • 02-19-14

The Cuckoo's Calling

Captivating and consuming! I Couldn't stop listening in anticipation! The Readers voices held me hostage!

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  • Arlene
  • SAN DIEGO, CA, United States
  • 02-17-14

Rowling's got me again!

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and will listen again. Great characters. Interesting plot. Setting works for me. I hope she will consider a series. She's got an interesting PI, dedicated assistant, lots of factors built in from this first book that will work to enlarge the scope for future stories.

Cormoran Strike, you're wanted on the job! This job had me interested in learning about you, going along on this case, and wanting you to realize you need this temp.

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  • JD
  • 02-17-14

BOOOORING and long

What disappointed you about The Cuckoo's Calling?

I kept waiting for the story to unfold and made it through half the book and was still completely bored. She spends 15 minutes talking about banal details

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  • Spencer
  • IMLAY CITY, MI, United States
  • 02-15-14

Good start, horrendous finish

What would have made The Cuckoo's Calling better?

An ending that doesn't insult the intelligence of the writer. Also, no random sex scene just for the sake of having a sex scene.

Has The Cuckoo's Calling turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, because I enjoy murder mysteries.

What about Robert Glenister’s performance did you like?

Booming voice, clear and pungent in his style.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger as well as disappointment. This book was ok until the end. And by then I had become semi-invested in the plot. Then suddenly the book suddenly springs a sex scene on you for no reason other than, "Hi, I'm a pale supermodel, and I like bulky guys." That and the ending which makes the entire book POINTLESS.

Any additional comments?

If you are going to write a murder mystery, this is a good start Rowling, just next time do better.