April Book Club : “The Cuckoo’s Calling”

Not only do I enjoy cardigans, tea, cats, and knitting, I am also a member of a book club, which probably does little for my “coolness” factor, but seems to fit the profile of a librarian quite nicely. I have been participating in a local book club for several months, and I highly enjoy this monthly social meeting of fellow book enthusiasts.

This month we read “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith, aka, J.K. Rowling, aka the lady who wrote the Harry Potter series.

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.

The reviews for this book are mixed at best, alternatively hailing it as terrific (Chicago Tribune), flawed (NY Times), or middling (NPR).


I actually enjoyed this book considerably more than I thought I would. Full disclosure time – I was never a Harry Potter fan. I know, I know –  a children’s librarian who isn’t a Harry Potter fan?! I read a lot of fantasy, so it wasn’t the subject matter I struggled with, I just never connected with Rowling’s writing style. For this reason I didn’t expect to enjoy Rowling’s foray into adult crime fiction, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. “The Cuckoo’s Calling” isn’t groundbreaking fiction, but it is an entertaining read, which is sometimes all you’re looking for in a novel.

Would I recommend this book to others? Sure, particularly to fans of traditional gumshoe detective fiction. The characters are likeable, the plot isn’t too complicated, the ending has a bit of a twist, and the story moves along at a good pace. If you’re looking for something entertaining to help pass the time on the train to work, you could certainly do worse.