Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Cuckoo’s Calling - Mystery Review

Rating: Very Good
Source: Library (Audio)

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.

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.

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book:
  I had heard good things about this one and wanted to see how Rowling did with a very adult very unmagical topic.

My Thoughts:

What I Liked
Cormoran Strike -  While he has more issues than he can count he’s not so dysfunctional as to be beyond repair.  His life has spun a bit out of control at the beginning but when he is given something to focus on he pounces on it.  He can be coldly logical but is never cruel.  He’s confident (most of the time) but isn’t a walking ego and he’s able to listen to ideas and take advice.

Robin - I immediately felt a link with her because she was so excited when she realized she was being sent to work for a PI.  I suspect I would feel much the same.  She’s smart, quick on her feet (and delighted about that) and endlessly tactful.  I loved that she didn’t hesitate to say her thoughts or made sure that Strike understood she didn’t like being ignored or dismissed without being confrontational.

The Mystery- This was so full of twists and turns that I had no idea on the who and why of it all though once it was revealed I could see the hints that had been carefully and subtly worked into the plot.

What Didn’t Work For Me
The pacing.  I listened to the audio so this may be a bit skewed but it felt like it took forever - especially for the first half.  I’m not sure I would have made it through if I was reading.  Part of this may have been that Robert Glenister’s narration was on the slow side but part of it was the book itself.  It seemed like it took forever for the investigation to start making any progress.  Once it did I was hooked but it felt like it took ages.

Overall, an enjoyable mystery with unique characters.  I’m looking forward to seeing more of them though desperately hoping Cormoran and Robin don’t become a couple.  For those who have read the series do they? Please let me know - I’m almost scared to continue!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author
?  I Would.  I have the 2nd one coming up on my TBR and I'm really looking forward to it.

Would I Recommend this Book? If you like mysteries this is a good read - just be prepared for a slower read.


  1. I love this series. They are all long and full of details. I don't mind that, but I suspect some are turned off by it. I love the characters. As to Strike and Robin - well, do you really want to know? You might read my thoughts on Lethal White (the 4th book) and get a clue or two. We've watched the TV adaptation of the first 3 books (they are working on the 4th apparently) and it was good too.

  2. I tried this based on loving Harry Potter but I just haven't enjoyed her adult books at all. While I was amused by the first meeting of the characters, I just found it too slow to engage me.

  3. As you know, I don't care for Murder Mysteries, but as a JKR fan (I loved A Casual Vacancy as well as the HP books) I feel in my heart I should read at least this first one. 👍✨

  4. I've been curious about this series. Cormoran Strike sounds like an intriguing character!

  5. I liked this series. Cormorant was real and like an underdog. I was rootin' for him. JK did a good one on book one. I need to read the second one.