Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Review: "The Cuckoo's Calling"

Just finished this best-selling private detective novel by Robert Galbreath.  

As detective stories go, this one was standard fare.  A British super-model, Lula Landry, falls to her death from her third floor London flat.  It is investigated and quickly ruled a suicide.  But was it? 

Three months after the fact, Lula's adoptive brother, convinced that her death was murder, hires down on his luck private eye Cormorant Strike to investigate the matter.  Strike encounters all sorts of London "beautiful people" - fashion designers, rock stars, actors, other models - and in the true spirit of the private eye genre, he butts heads with the police.

Helping him out is his "temporary" secretary'sidekick, Robin.

The big news concerning this book is the author.  Turns out that "Robert Galbreath" is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, the best selling fiction author of the last half-century, thanks to the Harry Potter novels. Interestingly enough, "The Cuckoo's Calling" received good reviews when first published, and was enjoying middling sales.  However, when the author's true identity was revealed, sales took off like a rocket and the book has enjoyed best-seller status ever since.

I did enjoy the book. It is well written, and I will no doubt check in on future Strike novels (as there surely will be), although it is pretty much standard fare for the Private Eye niche market, but to me, that's a good thing.  I also have to say that I am glad I read this on my Kindle, because I never remember using the dictionary feature on a book more than I did this one. Not sure what that says about Galbreath/Rowling or me, but I did increase my vocabulary a bit after reading this one.

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