The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo’s Calling is like that delicious bowl of ice cream that surprises you with every single bite; the sweet nostalgia of classic chocolate, a touch of sticky caramel with an occasional nutty crunch. An elegantly written, classic detective story set in London.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling

Genres: Mystery, Crime
Published: 18th April, 2013
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon UK
Series: Cormoran Strike #1
Rating: 5

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.
A war veteran, wounded both physically and psychologically, Strike’s life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . .

Cormoran Strike is no ordinary private eye. But the famous ones rarely are, you see. Back in the day when I was binge reading Philip Marlow and Lew Archer stories I was always drawn to these lone wolf type of dudes, draped in cigarette smoke, constantly sipping on whiskey with a cynical smile. Although Cormoran’s poison of choice is beer, he’s also often grumpy and morose but with his bearlike appearance also quite endearing, if you stick around long enough to look under the surface.

The Cuckoo’s Calling flows like a good, old fashioned murder mystery in the vein of those classics, with posh clientele, a nearly broke private investigator, a competent side kick and a death ruled as suicide by the police, who are of course incompetent.

The mystery itself is quite straight forward, and not particularly action packed, but with the slower pacing, the deliciously outdated dialogues and descriptions getting lost in this book is a truly great and unusual experience. There’s a lot of legwork involved in hunting down witnesses and suspects, so we get around London quite a bit. The atmosphere is so tangible, you could just wrap it around yourself like a blankie.

Even though Cormoran Strike and his secretary, Robin Ellacott definitely have some chemistry going on, they dance on a fine line between professional relationship and something resembling a careful, but strange manifestation of a friendship. Romantic involvement was gracefully left alone, thank fuck, and I can’t wait to join these two on their next case.

A highly entertaining detective story, The Cuckoo’s Calling is the perfect read for fans of old-school murder mysteries, and quirky, descriptive prose.


  1. It was a good book- but I am going between cliche and classic when I think about it πŸ˜‰ but I’ve read the other books so I guess I like them
    But I loved Cormoran Strike! Looking forward for the 4th book by the way, it left in such a cliffhanger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t seen it yet, only some pictures. It kinda influenced me half way in the book because i imagined Cormoran and Ella differently.
      I will watch the series once i read at least book 2.


  2. I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’m currently on the third book in the series and loving it. Have you watched the BBC miniseries based on these books? I didn’t want to cause I have one book left but once I finished that I think I’ll watch it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haven’t watched the series yet, but i want to when i read the later books too πŸ™‚
      I did see some pictures from the series though, and it kinda altered the way i imagined the characters about halfway through the book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can imagine. I just saw some photos and they do not look like how I imagine them to be. But that always the way with tv shows based on books. It’s a different type of media and has to appeal to the masses πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love me a good classic detective, especially when well written. So Cookoo’s Calling sounds like it has all the right ingredients. I stayed away, initially, because, well, Harrypotter to detectives? I wasn’t sure the transition would work. But, judging from what’s being said, Rowling has nailed it. Thanks for the review, I’m adding this to my to buy list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read Harry Potter, so had no idea what to expect. I read in another review that the overall style is similar in terms of being descriptive and quirky, but i wouldn’t know πŸ™‚

      Hope you’ll like this one! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OMG! You haven’t read HP? Like I’ve never read Game of Thrones. lol! Each the their own. Meanwhile yes, I think I’ll give this one a go, at some point.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Audacious to say they least given the series popularity but then again, maybe no different to me not wanting to read GoT! ☺️

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I could not read that ice cream analogy as still on the bloody elimination diet… to say it’s going swimmingly is a serious overstatement πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

    Love your review, sometimes we find these vivid characters we just want to know more of. I’m keeping this recommendation at the back of my mind as I could enjoy it as well for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s whole30 where you eliminate anything to do lactose, all grains, beans, alcohol and all processed products (and a few more things). I’ve been on it since 1st June and all I eat are veggies, fruit, meat and eggs (pretty much).

        I’m trying to figure out my allergies as this year has been really tough for me health-wise. It’s going alright but I do crave sugar, cheese and booze now and again. πŸ˜‰ And it’s totally self-imposed so I have noone to blame which kinda sucks… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ But I am feeling better.. it could be a placebo effect but I take it even if it is. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah, i know that one!
          Tried it last year. Lasted for 3 days. LOL.
          It wasn’t even about the “omg i can’t eat cake” cuz i rarely do. I know it sounds like i live on ice cream and cheesecake, but i haven’t had either of them since the end of May πŸ˜€

          For me it was a shitload of cooking i had to do, and had no time whatsoever. I know i could do batch cooking at the weekend, but i seriously did not feel like sacrificing reading time over veggies πŸ˜€

          Sounds like you are doing great tho! ❀

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh, thank you. It’s a struggle but it’s almost, almost done. ❀ I’m with you re planning / cooking. I really, really do struggle with that too. 😦 I think what’s really helping me the most are digestive enzymes. I think… πŸ™‚

            And yes, sacrificing reading over veggies is not acceptable, totally agree with that! πŸ˜€ ❀

            Liked by 1 person

      1. I loved it and I think – if we didn’t already know – that you might be able to work out that the author was JKR; there’s a lot of Latin and clever wordplay plus the detailed plot that reminded me of HP.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, there is a series! I haven’t seen it, but was halfway through with the book when i came across some pictures. It kinda ruined how i imagined the characters πŸ˜€
      This took me about a week to read… not short for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LoL. It stinks when that happens. I usually start reading a book that will be adapted after the cast has been announced for the series/movie. So I get use the idea of who’s playing who.

        Liked by 1 person

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