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Harry Potter and The Casual Vacancy author J.K. Rowling has revealed that she wrote a crime novel titled The Cuckoo’s Calling under a pseudonym.

Rowling operated under the name Robert Galbraith to publish The Cuckoo’s Calling in April of this year.

The Telegraph received confirmation from the author as well as a statement. “I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience,” said Rowling. “It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.”

UPDATE 2: The Sunday Times spoke to The New York Times and revealed how they came to uncover the connection between Rowling and The Cuckoo’s Calling.

UPDATE: Alternate versions of the statement indicate Rowling confirmed that there will be additional books in this series. “And to those who have asked for a sequel, Robert fully intends to keep writing the series, although he will probably continue to turn down personal appearances,” she said.

The author’s biography is as hilarious as this news that’s been kept secret from us for several months. It reads, “After several years with the Royal Military Police, Robert Galbraith was attached to the SIB (Special Investigative Branch), the plain-clothes branch of the RMP. He left the military in 2003 and has been working since then in the civilian security industry. The idea for Cormoran Strike grew directly out of his own experiences and those of his military friends who returned to the civilian world. ‘Robert Galbraith’ is a pseudonym.”

The book is available right now on Amazon and currently has a nearly 5-star rating.

Says the book’s official synopsis found on Amazon:

A brilliant debut 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, thelegendary 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.

The cover:

J.K. Rowling's 'The Cuckoo's Calling'

We’ll be covering this new (?) book this weekend, and you can bet we’ll be reading it very soon.

  • Caitlin Bauer

    What the what? Sneaky sneaky JK Rowling. That’s awesome that she was able to keep it a secret for as long as she did though, and not have the pressure of writing as the author of the Harry Potter books.

    I guess this also explains why pen & paper were her priority so much

  • http://daydreamsandwhispers.tumblr.com/ Hermione Granger

    Whaaaat. That’s actually awesome! I have theorized (and it was mentioned Mugglecast too I believe) that she might have done this. Crazy! Will have to check it out.

    • Michael Košut

      aaaawwww, Hermione is the best :-D :-P
      I love you guuuurl :-)

  • mgm5215

    Yeah, but people bashed CV, which no wonder that she did this.

    • sarahd15

      I think a lot of people that bashed CV were just not willing to accept the fact that she said the book would be nothing like Potter at all. Plus it is one book, so it is hard to develop/get use to so many characters at once without getting a little confused. That was the problem I had with it at first.

      • Kaley Eryn

        And a lot of people who didn’t like TCV gave it a genuine chance and didn’t like it.

        • sarahd15

          The “average” HP or J.K. Rowling fan did not give this book a fair chance. And I don’t blame most of them, it is hard to separate the new story from the old or the old expectations of the author. If you were being 100% honest with yourself, you would know this to be true. I’m not saying CV was an amazing first book for her post-potter, but it wasn’t as awful or displeasing as the “average” fan made it out to be. Most are just bitter about there being no new HP books, or encyclopedia.

          • Liliana Baptista

            I read The Casual Vacancy and I actually liked it… I can’t say I loved it, because the story really shocked me with its real ‘reality’… All I was thinking while I read the book was ‘My God, there are people in this world that actually live like this…’ It made the book so much more sobering…

          • Frederick Darwin Quixote

            Realism does not mean sordidness. That the characters in The Casual Vacancy are concerned with whatever ulcerous social conflict does not mean that they are more real; rather, it makes them manipulative cliches. There is nothing profound about two dimensional characters who represent vague social issues. It is true that there are mothers inhibited by drug addictions, homosexuals whose parents alienate them, and countless other social problems but that does mean that they necessarily make for good realistic literature. If they did, you might as well spend your time watching MSNBC and reading Huffington (or FN and Drudge, if your only the opposite end of the spectrum as Rowling). Literature needs to make those problems feel not just true but urgent. TCV does nothing to make its subject matter feel urgent. Instead, it skips from scene to scene, minutely developing each character by assigning them types, and using references to popular culture that undermine the novel’s small town setting and Rowling’s talent for evocative description. I have the same problem with those references to popular culture as I do with the bits about sex: they feel like their main purpose is to make the novel seem modern and adult. It would be a fault for any novel to be so ineffectively self-conscious of its need to seem that way, regardless of whether or not the author’s career to date has focused on children’s literature.

          • Liliana Baptista

            I disagree with you on your point that “Literature needs to make those problems feel not just true but urgent.” Since when does literature ‘need’ to do anything at all? Isn’t literature on its fictional side an expansion of our imagination? And since when does imagination ‘need’ to be something it’s not? Does anyone here even know what Rowling wanted to transmit with this book? Do any of us know if she actually accomplished her objective? Maybe you didn’t like the book, maybe it has many faults… But keep this in mind, realistic literature is a relative concept. What’s real to you, may not be what’s real to me…

          • Frederick Darwin Quixote

            Literature needs to make its audience care about it. Yes, it is imaginative but that does not mean that all that is imagined is worthwhile literature. Be wary of the intentional fallacy; what the author meant for the novel to be does not matter. What matters is that the novel’s main concern is with seeming adult and sordid, and that the only meaning attached to its being adult and sordid is that it

          • Liliana Baptista

            I stand by what I said. Everything is relative to one’s reality. What makes a book good or bad is its capability to be relatable to a higher or lower group of people…

          • Frederick Darwin Quixote

            According the logic that “everything is relative to one’s one reality,” there is no such thing as a good book. Also according to that logic, it would be reasonable to like or dislike a book because of what Ramses I tended to eat for supper on holy days. Relativism is bad.

          • Samantha

            Not true, I was more than willing to give The Casual Vacancy a good chance, admittedly it didn’t sound like my type of book and I wasn’t drawn to the plot in general, but I wanted to give it a go. It was such a struggle to read, I hated the characters, found the plot boring and wanted to throw the book across the room when I finished it because there was absolutely no plot resolution. It could have been a 250 page novel but she had to write over 600 bloody pages, I wasn’t expecting it to be like Harry Potter but I DID expect to enjoy it as a novel. And I didn’t. I cannot pretend that I liked it and I was more than willing to – even if you like CV, I’m sure you can see why some people wouldn’t like it or why it wouldn’t be their type of novel?

          • sarahd15

            Exactly, you said it yourself. It wasn’t your type of book, and you didn’t seem to enjoy the plot. Not everything has a magical lesson or a happy ending. She wrote a story that is what we call political fiction. She wrote about average people, nothing spectacular or whatever. So yes, the AVERAGE harry potter fan would not typically give this genre of story telling a chance because it is so opposite from fantasy.Again, the story was about average people. It may be hard to admit, but those characters, she made them realistic. That is how so many people really are. It isn’t pretty, and not that appealing either. You have no one to root for or side with cause they all have bad qualities or many flaws. I stand by what I said, I do not believe the average Harry Potter fan was able to or even could wrap their minds around The Casual Vacancy and give it a fair shot. No it isn’t my favorite genre, but at least I understand that, and I acknowledge that it is very different from what I am use to. I enjoyed the honest, blunt realism; it was a story about life. Plot resolution? Life doesn’t always have a beginning, middle, and an end the way it should. Sometimes things don’t get resolved!

          • Samantha

            Yes but I’m not just a reader who reads Harry Potter, I have a broad range of writing and genres that I like, from Harry Potter to Memoirs of a Geisha, to The Quiet American, Bridget Jone’s Diary, To Kill a Mockingbird, Shakespeare, Dickens, Jodie Picoult and have enjoyed the grim and tragic tales as well from the classics to contemporary fiction, as I reader I enjoy a wide range of work from the fanastical to the ordinary fiction.

            What I’m sick of is that people who liked the Casual Vacancy use the cop out excuse of ‘oh you just didn’t like it because it wasn’t like Harry Potter’, and that is simply a cop out – I can respect if you did like the casual vacancy I really can, but you need to respect when other people don’t like the Casual Vacancy it’s not because they wanted it to be like Harry Potter, but because they felt it simply was not an enjoyable read.

            I didn’t like that there was no plot resolution, any novel that you have to wade through 600+ pages that had no real ending would get a bad grade from me. It wouldn’t matter who wrote it, for me that doesn’t make a novel enjoyable. I had to finish it and think ‘did I enjoy this as a novel?’ and the answer is no, I didn’t.

      • http://hypable.com John Thrasher

        I disgaree, CV was hard to get through and I like the genre.

        • sarahd15

          Sorry to hear that. But what I said was to a person who did not like the genre to begin with. There are some people that like Fantasy and don’t like Harry Potter. Just personal preference at that point.

  • Jill

    What? All I can say is, Mugglecast episode soon. It may not be JK Rowling on Meth but this is something crazy and wonderful.

    • Zeyu

      Yeah, can’t wait for a mugglecast episode discussing this!!

  • http://daydreamsandwhispers.tumblr.com/ Hermione Granger

    The most recent Amazon review:

    “This book is so well written that I suspect that some years down the road we will hear the author’s name is a pseudonym of some famous writer.”


    • Sam

      WOW! Can’t wait to read it!!

    • Liam Floyd

      I bet Jo wrote it.

  • Sam


  • Lucy Hopko

    Just downloaded! This news made me so happy and it looks to be a good read

  • Darklord


  • Gavin Walsh

    well played , i wonder does she have other books out there lol :P

  • xiku

    I’ve actually heard about it, and wondered if it was worth reading… Well, now I’m gonna read it – not only is it Rowling, but it has rave reviews!!!

  • Tannie137

    STATUS: Amazed and sooooo looking fot this book right now!!! OMR!

  • Jenny9764

    The ghost name she used is Robert Galbraith. Robert Galbraith means Famous Stranger.

    J.K. Rowling you little conniving sneak.

    • Maj Elisabeth


    • Winkyxx

      That is just amazing. I love when she does that. OH MY ROWLING!

    • http://how-i-met-your-mother.wikia.com/ Babar Suhail

      Actually, it means Famous British Stranger.

      • http://hypable.com John Thrasher

        It means this in what way? I’m so confused.

        • http://how-i-met-your-mother.wikia.com/ Babar Suhail

          The name Robert Galbraith means Famous British Stranger.

          Robert means “fame-bright”., Gail means “stranger” and Braith means “British”, so “famous British stranger”.

    • 17jeda

      Robert, how does it feel to no longer be the writer of this book?

  • fantastyfreak

    Part of me wonders if this whole endeavor was part of a plan to experiment with publishing something surreptitiously without all the Potter fan fare. Would she have gotten less scathing reviews for “Casual Vacancy,” if she published it under a pseudonym? I really don’t blame her entirely for this.

    • http://daydreamsandwhispers.tumblr.com/ Hermione Granger

      I agree completely. I’m sure writing the book came from honest artistic desires, but I’m thinking, like you, that maybe they picked this time to publish it because they were wondering whether some of the negative view on TCV were because of name recognition…maybe there’s a point there!

    • Jake

      Exactly what I thought. 90% of the bad reviews for TCV was because it was bitter HP fans who thought it would be more exciting and would make them fall in love, which wasn’t even the point of the book anyway. This proves she really is an excellent writer.

  • ForFrodo

    You sneaky lady! This will definitely boost sales :)

  • Me

    This is awesome of her, though I am annoyed. I’ve been waiting for another book since TCV. This is insane.

    • Kaley Eryn

      It’s been less than a year since TCV came out. That isn’t exactly a long time to wait.

      • Me

        I guess it’s just sort of the feeling that there’s been a book out there and I didn’t know it.

  • Me


    • Abosuba

      I actually can’t stop smiling reading each review!

  • Laura Jurgensmeyer

    Oh my goodness! Heading to Barnes & Noble right now to pick it up!

  • sarahd15

    WHAAAAAAAAT??!!! OMG. Must buy this. Must read this. Oh my Rowling.

  • Van


  • Winkyxx


  • Dre

    OMG I randomly bought this at BN the other day but I haven’t finished the book I’m reading now so I haven’t started it yet It’s just sitting on my desk. Crazy! HA!

  • Kira Bonnice

    Aaaaaaand ordered and in the mail, thank you Amazon. Also, because I’m curious where it will go, as of 4:27 Pacific time on 7/13, it was #98,424 on the best seller’s rank. Where will it be tomorrow? :)

    • fantastyfreak

      It’s already #40,000. I basically purchased it for my Kindle without even thinking. I’ve been re-reading all the Harry Potter books this past week, in order to deal with post-undergrad depression. It will be nice to have another JK Rowling book to read.

      • Kira Bonnice

        July is always my month for re-reading HP!

  • Winkyxx


  • Winkyxx

    It all makes sense now, as to why shes been silent for so long!

  • Guest

    What is the description of the author in the novel? I really want to read what that says!

    • Laura Jurgensmeyer

      They put the description in the article!

  • Winkyxx

    Is it weird to say that the girl in the cover could be Emma Watson? Her hair and everything.. Although its just the back of her head..

  • Liam Floyd


  • A.P.W.B.Dumbledore

    At least no one can say she got preferential treatment when critics were reviewing her new work. She is simply an incredible author, and will continue to publish new books in a variety of genres.

  • Maritere Domínguez

    OMR! Obligatory Genius Moment!

  • Ceci

    I always believed JK Rowling would be a master at trolling. Well played, Queen Jo! It’s pretty amazing that this stayed a secret for several months.

  • http://xyue-mayx.deviantart.com/ Dreamer

    that’s cool. It looks interesting and I might check it out.

  • Natasha Pereira


  • http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/17665563-victoria Leithian


  • Debi

    This article incorrectly states that she “ghost wrote”. Ghostwriters write under the pseudonym of another living person…for example, celebrity’s and politicians who can not write often hire ghostwriters to write their “autobiographies”. Rowling’s pen name is hers alone.

  • Jeremy Baril

    To be fair, it says he’s a pseudonym in his bio.

  • Tyler

    hOLY….AWE;UHWEAKNSDKL;FAF I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO SAY! Only JKR can distract me from a health project due tomorrow that I haven’t even started…and tumblr. BUT WOW! I need this book! That author’s description is really interesting as well.

  • Pipwig

    Spread the word my friends as The Cuckoo’s Calling is only ranked

    #23,912 on Amazon.com. Let the world know it is JK Rowling who wrote this amazing book.

  • Ryan

    I need to get up in 5 hours but this is way too exciting AHHHHHHHHHH

  • VBFan


  • jax25

    This makes me smile too. I have always loved her writing style…and loved it as well in Casual Vacancy, though I wasn’t so fond of the plot of that book (or lack thereof). I’m glad I know about this book now so that I can read it. :)

  • Sasha

    When I looked at B&N when I first saw this story, The Cuckoo’s Calling had five stars. Now it’s at four. Aah.

  • Michael Košut

    MUST HAVE! I love J.Rowling

  • Tom

    I get it: Jo’s done an extremely intelligent thing, after all, it’s Jo, and, I’m proud that her writing has been acknowledged as much as it did with HP , but now under a pseudonym.But what’s all the fuzz about? It’s not like it’s even related to HP. That’s why CV was so criticized and left aside by many fans. I’m guessing this will be the same case once the hype settles down.

  • http://ravenclaw1991.tumblr.com/ ravenclaw1991

    Hmm, I’ve never had any interest in this sort of book but I might have to give it a read now. I never read The Casual Vacancy because I wasn’t interested.. This sounds a bit interesting. I never would’ve thought about reading it if it weren’t because of Jo.

  • S.K.Hansen

    Woot! Just downloaded it from audible. =)

  • Slytherinhero01

    Okay, to my reaction to this: I don’t really care. Don’t get my wrong, J.K is my IDOL. I adore her and look up to her as a fellow writer, and as someone who aspires to become an accomplished storyteller. HOWEVER, my problem with the situation comes that I haven’t been a fan of anything J.K has put out since HP. The Casual Vacancy was well written and had well written characters, but it was extremely boring. This story, sadly, looks the same. I would love if she would try her hand at YA. She has a phenomenal ability to tell a story perfectly, that type of skill is best in fantasy, supernatural or something along those lines.

    • Zack

      Um, no. CV was perfect and I didn’t find it boring in the slightest!

    • badger

      I thought Casual Vacancy was fantastic, but I guess it really depends on if you like that genre (in this case: political fiction?) or not. Same goes with this one though this one is a different genre (crime fiction) than CV and typically crime novels tend to be on the more exciting end of things (think “Castle”). I think it’s great that J.K. Rowling is trying her hand at different genres and different age categories! Now I’m not saying your wrong or anything you are entitled to your own opinion, but again with J.K. Rowling writing in different genres and for a different age category I think the reader’s opinion really depends on if the reader likes those different genres.

  • Johanna

    Is this for real?!

  • Kiana

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this book on Amazon before (I’ve been looking for something new to read) but wow. My mind is blown. That clever, sneaky woman.

  • Zack


  • Gina

    Oh my goodness. And Hank Green only sang about this yesterday…

  • kit

    Wait is it an adult book? YA?

  • Liderc

    I’m curious why she felt the need to reveal that it was her who wrote the book now. I would think it would be better to let it ride for a year, then reveal that it was her. Now the book will just be seen as a JKR book. I know it’s ridiculous to say, but I almost feel like her publisher was like, ‘hey, book sales are down, maybe it’s time to mention this was you.’ As I can’t imagine another reason to reveal that it was her just 3 months later.

    She obviously felt the need to hide behind the pseudonym, which I think is a great idea and it allows her to release novels that can be read for what they are and not only because of her immense fame, so I would think she would be adamant as to not reveal the secret.

    It would have been much more interesting had she wrote a couple books under the same pseudonym and reveal that it was her later in life. That would have been an interesting personal experiment for Rowling and would have allowed the public to see if they could enjoy her novels without the experience being tainted or bias based upon our previous love of her work on HP.

    • gcw07

      I don’t think it was her decision to reveal it now, at least not from her statement. I would guess she was asked a direct question and didn’t want to flat out lie and say no it wasn’t her. So if it wasn’t her decision, then the question is, who leaked it. I would guess like you, it was the publisher.

    • Divya

      She DIDN’T go out and about, screaming from the rooftops,”I’M ROBERT GALBRAITH!!”. It was the ‘Sunday Times’ a UK newspaper, which conducted an “investigation” because they found it extremely hard to believe that a debut writer could actually come out with such a good book. And when they joined the dots (Galbraith’s style of writing being similar to JKR’s, same agent and editor as JKR, and the same publishing house as ‘The Casual Vacancy’), they came to the conclusion that it is JKR herself who is “Robert Galbraith”. JKR simply confirmed their suspicions. She herself has said that she would’ve wanted the suspense to go on for a bit longer.

      • Liderc

        I read the article before it had been updated multiple times that it wasn’t her who revealed the info. Calm down, the article obviously shows it was updated multiple times, and originally it sounded like she was the one who revealed it was her.

  • Kathleen

    So I guess pen and paper really were her priority all those months, we just didn’t get realize the results until now! Can’t wait to read it!

  • Taylor Yancik

    It’s already up to #15 on Amazon!

  • Christine

    This may have been earlier than they wanted it to get out, but people were clearly prepared. I immediately went to a Barnes and Noble and they had loads of copies–too many for a book that has merely sold 1500 copies, according to the Telegraph. Obviously, Jo knew what was going on and she would tell her editor and publisher, but I think Little Brown must have told some of the booksellers–maybe not every manager, but a quiet word to a couple of the bigger booksellers (like Amazon, B&N) to stock up–this book is going to be a bestseller next week, so they had to have the copies ready to go.

    So yeah. People were prepared, too prepared for nobody out of the editors to know.

  • Ron Swanson

    How cool would it be if she had written like 15 books since DH came out, but all under pseudonyms!

  • Ron Swanson

    How cool would it be if she had written like 15 books since DH came out, but all under pseudonyms!

  • Maria Wang

    this book is gonna hit all the shelves now! It’ll start hitting the best sellers list soon

  • S J

    The Cuckoo’s Calling is #1 on Amazon right now!

  • jenny

    Ok, so how many of you just bought the book on amazon?

  • Niall Adams

    I can’t believe Jo managed to keep this secret for so long. Can’t wait to read it!

  • Inseriousity

    Crime fiction is my favourite genre so this is the best news ever.

  • Laura Cain


  • Evelyn

    I don’t go on the Internet for one day and I miss out on this news?!?! As soon as I found out I ordered it from Amazon, can’t wait to read it!!!

  • Emilee

    What other books has she written under pseudonym, I wonder? And who was about to break this story? Someone found her out, that’s why she announced this herself.

  • upper_westsider

    WOW, I LOVE you JK Rowling!!!

  • potterjay

    According to BBC news, Amazon are reporting a sales increase of 507,000% ! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23304181

  • Emily Bryan

    This is so excited! That woman, I swear <3 I'll be searching for it! :D And I was just telling myself for two weeks that I need a new book to read. Looks like I found the next one ;D

  • Celia

    OMG!!!!! I’m so excited!!!!!!

  • Guest

    Do you think this makes Andrew’s prediction that “Queen of the Tearling” is actually authored by JK Rowling more or less likely?

  • Michael Vartanian

    This is hilarious as Andrew hypothesized on Mugglecast that she was doing this with that new “female Game of Thrones” series! Which I thought she would never do lol!!!

  • Grace Chen

    This is so cool, can’t wait to read it!

  • JK

    She really hasn’t though…before people found out that she wrote it, it was only receiving moderate ratings and wasn’t selling nearly as well as it is now. The only thing this proves is that sometimes names sell better than books.

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