Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Cuckoo's Calling

(Cormoran Strike #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  540,503 ratings  ·  35,683 reviews
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, 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 t ...more
Hardcover, 449 pages
Published April 18th 2013 by Sphere
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Cuckoo's Calling, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jennifer Maloney I think it was because she wanted to see if she could be a mystery writer because she's good at it, rather than because she's the writer of the best-s…moreI think it was because she wanted to see if she could be a mystery writer because she's good at it, rather than because she's the writer of the best-selling series of all time. Same reason Stephen King has an alias. Something about the fame makes people wonder if audiences actually like their work or are just buying it because of who they are.(less)
Anna Mmm that's not quite right; Strike meets Charlotte when he is 19 and at college. The reference to Tracey is from a photo at Lucy's 30th birthday when …moreMmm that's not quite right; Strike meets Charlotte when he is 19 and at college. The reference to Tracey is from a photo at Lucy's 30th birthday when Tracey was 'a fellow SIB officer', and 'he had been in possession of two legs'. Lucy had hoped her brother would marry Tracey, but Tracey had married a mutual friend and had a daughter. Ch9 p291 It sounds like they were dating in one of the many off moments with Charlotte. ' she had lured him away from Tracey...only to dump him'. Ch2 p210 kindle edition(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  540,503 ratings  ·  35,683 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)
Emily May
Jul 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
Feb 3rd 2014 - Extra things you should know:
1) This is a negative review. If you are looking for reviews that confirm what you are already certain of (that JKR can do no wrong) here are some examples of positive reviews for you - 1, 2, 3.
2) I used some Mary Poppins gifs to make my point in this review. It seemed funny at the time. If you find MP gifs stupid/annoying/beneath you, then please feel free to go to the reviews I linked before.
3) I will no longer reply to comments saying I am stupid
(B+) 79% | Good
Notes: A prototype yet to find its footing; its complex, interview-heavy plot poker-faces all clues until a bursting end reveal.
Jane Stewart
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Dull & tedious. I was frustrated with the style of writing. There’s no action. It’s all conversation. I wanted it to be over.

Private eye Strike is investigating a death. Throughout the book Strike has long conversations with many different characters. It felt like a courtroom, asking witnesses 30 or more questions one right after the other. Many of these were discussions about what “might have happened. For example “I don’t think he would have
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
UPDATE 2: This is my final review of the book. Most of what I included in my preemptive thoughts is here, so you don't have to read this whole... thing.

Potential television series title #21: LONDON STRIKE

Alright, let’s address the hippogriff in the room: finding out that J.K. Rowling published a book under a pseudonym is something that I had I expected might happen post-Potter (and, embarrassingly, searched for), but when the question was brought up as to whether or not she'd write under one,
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderfully entertaining new crime debut, which although it contains nothing amazingly original, works really well. Firstly, there is the main character, Cormoran Strike - a wounded war veteran, with a troubled past, damaged love life and financial woes, which see him sleeping in his office when we first meet him. Strike has left the army, which provided him with the structure and home life his mother never could, and set up as a Private Detective. The only problem is, a lack of paying ...more
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
A first-time author who goes by the unassuming name of Robert Galbraith comes out with a mystery novel called The Cuckoo’s Calling . The book receives favourable reviews and is wholeheartedly accepted by the fraction of the populace that reads it.

And then (and this I borrow from reliable old Wikipedia), the Sunday Times scratches it’s stubbly chin and wonders how a first-time author with a background in the army and the civilian security industry, could write such an assured debut novel.

Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
“He had never been able to understand the assumption of intimacy fans felt with those they had never met.”
I'll venture a guess that J.K.Rowling is not a stranger to this feeling. Propelled to household-name fame for her lovely gift of imagination, she gets to experience the uglier side of fans' adoration - the side that comes with suffocating hard-to-meet expectations and stifling atmosphere of demanding hype. Is it any wonder she'd look for a respite in releasing a book under a pseudonym?

Mohammed Arabey
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Meet Cormoran's First Strike..

His first 'Mystery' which haunt me from the early beginning,
even the epigraph.
Why were you born when the snow was falling?
You should have come to the cuckoo’s calling,

It starts When snow was falling..and a 'Cuckoo' fell...
A famous model star fall off the balcony to her tragic death..the paparazzi gather around her body just as they did when she was alive..

Her neighbor assert that she heard her arguing and shouting with a man "The Killer" right before seei
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike #1), J.K. Rowling, Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. It is the first novel in the Cormoran Strike series of detective novels and was followed by The Silkworm in 2014 and Career of Evil in 2015.

Disabled Afghan War veteran and struggling private investigator Cormoran Strike is approached by John Bristow, the adoptive brother of Strike's childhood schoolmate Charl
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, detective
I like detective novels and I am a fan of J.K. Rowling, so when I found out that this "Robert Galbraith" was a pseudonym of Rowling, I thought that it was the perfect combination of elements that I have to read the book as soon as possible.

I have to admit that in good amount of the book I wasn't enjoying it so much. I was feeling it too slow, and nothing exciting was happening, since Cormoran Strike, the detective, wasn't doing much just asking questions to each witness and the events was gettin
Jane Walker
Jun 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I'm a bit puzzled by the rave reviews. It's okay, but a fairly run-of-the-mill detective story. A private eye with a silly name solves a murder mystery, and there is a long exposition at the end of the how and why. The characters are quite well drawn, and the writing is competent, but I wouldn't seek out any further books with the same star.

I didn't know, when I reviewed this, that it was written by J K Rowling! But it doesn't change my view.
Diane Wallace
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable read! good detective work,action pact,little mysterious and some interesting storyline..the only negative about this book-the plot was slow to get into but picked up eventually..nice ending which only leads to this story continuing..can't wait to see what happen in book#2 (paperback!) ...more
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit that I am not a great fan of contemporary detective fiction. I find most books are too grim, even perverted with gratuitous violence, or unnecessarily long-winded with too much forced, fake-philosophical contemplation from detectives instead of actual action.

So I am happy to say that I enjoyed JKR's debut detective novel a lot. The minus 1 star is for the writing, which had a superfluity of totally awkward metaphors & "artistic" descriptions & over-complicated sentences. This grated a bi
Margaret M - semi hiatus  (With lots of catching up to do)
“How easy it is to capitalise on a person’s own bent for self-destruction; how simple to nudge them into non-being, then to stand back and shrug and agree that it had been the inevitable result of a chaotic, catastrophic life”

And the result is the apparent suicide of a young and talented model, Lulu Landry. Lulu lived quite a complicated life and worked in the challenging and unforgiving business, of modelling, where beauty and flawlessness is a demand, not a bonus. She also mixed in some dubi
Oh, wow.

I’m speechless. I am speechless at how bad this was.

The only thing that kept me from quitting altogether was the characters. The only two, to be precise.

I was more interested in Strike and Robin’s personal lives than that sorry excuse for a mystery plot.
The entire mystery/thriller (?) element of the book and the investigation process were so painfully and mind numbingly boring that not only did I forget every single character the moment they were no longer in the scene, I also seriou
3.5ish stars.

Far from perfect, but far from awful. Despite its many faults it's never less than highly readable and fluid. It's never particularly pulse-pounding but it somehow always held my attention.

It honestly isn't twisty or suspenseful enough for me. It's super streamlined and reads more or less like a series of neat, orderly interviews with each of the various players in the mystery. Even at the 11 o'clock reveal, there's never a sense of danger or serious tension, it's just the natural p
May 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hard-boiled mystery about the suspicious suicide of a supermodel and a curmudgeon as the detective, who delves into the underground world of the rich and famous, daring to ask questions no one else will.

This was the first book I've ever...wait for it... read by J.K. Rowling writing under a pseudonym as Robert Galbraith. Is this your reaction?

Or perhaps, you look a little like this?

I know, I know.. where have I been? How could I have never read the Harry Potter series? To be honest, the hell if
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book, I'm sorry I ever doubted you.

Wow! This exceeded my expectations. I absolutely loved it! Why I was hesitant about it in the first place, I don't know, but I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I have. Such a fantastic start to a crime series I know I'll love. Should've known, really. As if you could expect anything less than remarkable from J.K. Rowling herself. Her majesty, the queen.
Tomoe Hotaru
16 Jul' 2013

Full confession:
Pfft yeah, I totally did grab this after I heard it was written by JK Rowling?

Mostly because I hadn't even heard of this book prior to the news. But the blurb itself makes it sound like my type of novel on a cold, rainy day, regardless of the author.

Look, I'd like to pretend as if I were one of those people who wouldn't give a limp banana that Rowling wrote this book. I'd love to have the same level of self-restraint to cringe my nose in disgust and walk aw
Alex is The Romance Fox
I’m about to reveal my secret!!!!!!!! I have purchased lots and lots of Harry Potter’s books – you know the time that every small and big kid wanted one….well, I gave them out as birthday and Christmas presents….but me…. I haven’t read any of them….though my son devoured each book and I have the entire series in my bookcase…I just haven’t had that “read me, read me” pull….Yes, truly!!!.
I started book #1 and gave up after a couple of chapters. I know….I should have persevered but I did not…….may
Robin (Bridge Four)
Sale Alert: Kindle Deal Nov 1, 2020 $2.99

After reading The Casual Vacancy I had decided that I probably wouldn’t read any of her adult fiction books. I didn’t expect it to be like Harry Potter but I really wasn’t expecting it to be more of a character study and it was really bleak. I was depressed after reading it. I mention this because I didn’t have very high hopes going into The Cuckoo’s Calling and therefore I am pleasantly surprised.

This is a pretty straight up who-dun-it. There isn’t a lot
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Check out Scott Reads It! for reviews, giveaways, & more!

When it was revealed that J.K. Rowling had written a novel under the pseudonym, Robert Galbraith; I knew I had to read it. Rowling filled my childhood with magic, intrigue, and beauty with her Harry Potter series so I was eager to read her sophomore adult novel. It angers me how Rowling was betrayed by a friend who had revealed that she was the genius behind The Cuckoo's Calling. Every cloud does have it's silver lining and now, millio
Em Lost In Books

Likable but could have been better with some some editing. I felt like it was too long and hence a drag at times.
April (Aprilius Maximus)
1.) The Cuckoo's Calling ★★★★
2.) The Silkworm ★★★


SO GOOD. I literally had NO IDEA who the killer was until the very end. Jo is such a clever woman!
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cormoran, Cormoran, Cormoran.

I'm not sure if it is Cormoran the character, or Cormoran the narrator for the audiobooks, that I love so much, but either way, I'm in love.

Robert Glenister's voice IS Cormoran, it's just absolute perfection.

This story was right up my alley. I love characters like Strike. Gritty and flawed, yet super intelligent, humble and genuine.

Additionally, I truly enjoyed the chemistry between him and his accidental assistant, Robin. I can't wait to watch their relationship g
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two words for this: simply stunning.

Cormoran Strike is my new hero. What an absolutely fantastic character Robert Galbraith has created. I just love everything about him, his size, his lovely caring attitude and his fearless quest to uncover the truth of the apparent suicide of Lula Landry, supermodel.

Coromoran is hired by Lula's adoptive brother, John Bristow, to investigate her death as he doesn't believe she committed suicide, albeit the Police do and have ruled it so. There is also the very

Ah, come on. Why couldn't I just enjoy a different series written by J.K. Rowling? I was really expecting to love this, which may be why I pretty much came to hate it. Or, at least I think so. What I'm trying to say is that my expectations were really high. I mean, really high. Still. I was so bored reading this that I opted to just sit and listen to music rather than read. And that literally never happens with me. I always read if I have time to.

All right, getting straight to the point: I di
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
This novel begins slowly. I actually almost put it down but then I thought it's JK Rowling-give it a chance.
Cormoran Strike is a down on his luck private detective. He has a famous father who he has no contact with, his live in girlfriend and he split up, he is living in his office, no money, one leg..the list goes on. He doesn't play the pity party though. It's just statements of life. He actually doesn't like people finding out those facts.
He takes on a client who believes that his supermode
Reading Corner
For me, this book didn't stand out especially in this genre. The plot wasn't very interesting and I only really found it exciting towards the last hundred pages. The best bit for me was the characters as I loved how well they were developed and how they interacted with others, especially Cormoran Strike.

The story follows Cormoran Strike, a private investigator and ex military man who has been left with a severe injury as a reminder and has to cope mentally and physically with his injury. John B
I root for this author to make a successful genre break from fantasy to mystery. The plot is clever and the characters wonderfully drawn, but the slow build-up and a bit of overreaching in the prose kept my overall pleasure level at about average. I am eager to see this novel grow as a series and have confidence it will do so.

It seems fitting that just as a favored literary mystery writer, Kate Atkinson, moves into fantasy, this favored fantasy writer makes an excursion toward literary mystery.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
MPLS Book Club LHH: Suggestion 2 20 Feb 06, 2022 10:18AM  
Play Book Tag: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith - 4 stars 1 13 Dec 27, 2021 03:53PM  
Play Book Tag: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith-4 Stars 1 14 Jul 01, 2021 10:14PM  
Play Book Tag: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Gailbraith 4 stars 3 9 Dec 31, 2020 02:27PM  
Imagined casting of lead characters 52 1582 Dec 28, 2020 09:36AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Career of Evil: by Robert Galbraith | Summary & Analysis
  • The Casual Vacancy
  • The Girl on the Train
  • In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
  • Gone Girl
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1)
  • 밀레니엄 1 상: 여자를 증오한 남자들 (Millennium 1: Phase Millennium: The men hate women)
  • Sharp Objects
  • And Then There Were None
  • Dark Places
  • The Thursday Murder Club (Thursday Murder Club, #1)
  • Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)
  • A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance, #1)
  • In Cold Blood
  • A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1)
  • The Black Echo (Harry Bosch, #1, Harry Bosch Universe, #1)
  • The Woman in Cabin 10
See similar books…
See top shelves…
This is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series and The Casual Vacancy, a novel for adults.

NOTE: There is more than one author with this name on Goodreads.
Robert Galbraith - Marine Biologist

Rowling was born to Anne Rowling (née Volant) and Peter James Rowling, a Rolls-Royce aircraft engineer, on 31 July 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire, England, 10 miles (16 km) north

Other books in the series

Cormoran Strike (6 books)
  • The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2)
  • Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3)
  • Lethal White (Cormoran Strike, #4)
  • Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike, #5)
  • The Ink Black Heart (Cormoran Strike, #6)

Articles featuring this book

When it comes to mysteries and thrillers, we're all guilty of loving a good trope from time to time. From "The butler did it!" to "They all did...
247 likes · 60 comments
“How could the death of someone you had never met affect you so?” 324 likes
“The dead could only speak through the mouths of those left behind, and through the signs they left scattered behind them.” 248 likes
More quotes…