Cover art + publication date of Robert Galbraith’s third novel announced

J.K. Rowling helped out her friend Robert Galbraith today in announcing the publication date and cover art of his upcoming third novel.

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Career of Evil will be published on October 20 in the United States and October 22 in the United Kingdom. It will be the third novel in the Cormoran Strike series written by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. Last year, The Silkworm was published to much praise, and The Cuckoo’s Calling received likewise response in 2013.

Both U.S. (left) and U.K. (right) cover images.

Both U.S. (left) and U.K. (right) cover images.

The book will be priced at £20 for Hardback and £10.99 for the ebook.

Here is the synopsis:

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

Career of Evil is the third in the highly acclaimed series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, it is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.

Will you be purchasing Career of Evil? Have you enjoyed the Cormoran Strike series so far? Tell us in the comments below. Click here for more news regarding Robert Galbraith.

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J.K. Rowling to publish new Cormoran Strike novel under Robert Galbraith this year

JKR promoting her Robert Galbraith novel, 'The Silkworm' last summer.

JKR promoting her Robert Galbraith novel, ‘The Silkworm’ last summer.

On Friday, J.K. Rowling announced on Twitter as her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, that she finished writing the third Cormoran Strike novel.

The book will be titled Career of Evil, to be published this autumn by Little, Brown.The publisher confirmed the news, commenting that more will be announced soon about the book.

The book’s title is a reference to the eponymous song by the band Blue Oyster Cult. This fact was properly submitted (or Googled) by a lucky fan on Twitter, who won a signed copy of the book by Robert Galbraith. Click here to listen to the song and play close attention to its lyrical content (you never know what clues are hiding in them for the book’s plot).

This will be J.K. Rowling’s third book as Robert Galbraith, the first two being The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm. For more information about the Cormoran Strike series, click here.

The Harry Potter author summed up her feelings about finishing writing the book with this tweet:

We’ll keep you updated on all details about the new book, so check back soon.

Are you excited for Career of Evil? Tell us in the comments below!

‘The Silkworm’ by J.K. Rowling as Robert Galbraith released

The Silkworm

The Silkworm

Today, The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith was published  by Mulholland Books of Little, Brown.

The book, written by J.K. Rowling under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith, is the sequel to last year’s acclaimed novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling. It is the author’s third novel since the completion of the Harry Potter series in 2007.

The Silkworm sees the return of private detective, Cormoran Strike, and his assistant, Robin Ellacott. The two of them take on the case of novelist Owen Quine, a case that began around a missing person and then turned into a brutal murder under “bizarre circumstances.” Investigating deeper into Quine’s mysterious death, Strike realizes there is more to the story than what it seems.

The synopsis on Galbraith’s reads, “The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives – so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him… It becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before…”

Find out all about Cormoran Strike here at our page dedicated to the Robert Galbraith novels.

Reviews for the book have been mostly positive so far, with many praising the book’s well thought-out plot and the development of the eccentric characters. Plot and character have always been a signature of Rowling’s writing, and continue to be a highlight of reviews. Then again, as many times as it is praised, it is critiqued, and The Silkworm is no exception. Less than favorable reviews noted the novel’s over-descriptive text, another Rowling signature, as a turn off. You can read more reviews of the book here.

On July 18, J.K. Rowling will be appearing as Robert Galbraith at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. She will be in conversation with crime novelist Val McDermid. Tickets for the event, unfortunately, have already been sold out, but we will be reporting on the event.

The Silkworm is out today — visit your local bookseller to buy the book or order the book online here.

Happy Reading! 🙂

Reviews for ‘The Silkworm’ are in…

The Silkworm

The Silkworm

The reviews are in for J.K. Rowling’s detective novel, The Silkworm, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, and they’re pretty promising.

Most of the reviews we’ve seen have been positive, but there are a few that were less than favorable. Many of the reviews noted that the book is better than its predecessor, The Cuckoo’s Calling, and certainly better than J.K. Rowling’s 2012 novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy. Of course, as always, there are some exceptions.

Here are some excerpts from a selection of (mostly favorable) reviews:

The Guardian – review written by Val McDemrid:

What Galbraith does so convincingly with the crime novel is, in a sense, what Rowling did so well with the children’s book. She is a magpie, with an unerring eye for elements of the genre, both traditional and contemporary, that work well. Where her originality lies is in pulling them together into a synthesis that is entirely her own. She takes the existing strengths of the genre and uses them as the building blocks for her own considerable storytelling gift, crafting books crammed with memorable characters that make irresistible reading.

Publisher’s Weekly:

J.K. Rowling, under her Galbraith pseudonym, again demonstrates her adroitness at crafting a classic fair-play whodunit in a contemporary setting, peopled with fully realized primary and secondary characters.

The evolving relationship between Strike and Robin, whose fiancé objects to her choice of work, is realistically portrayed, and Golden Age fans will be delighted by passages that could have been written by John Dickson Carr.

The New York Times – review by Michiko Kakutani:

Ms. Rowling’s Galbraith novels have little of the ambition or sweep of her Harry Potter novels, which not only created a wonderfully complex and fully imagined world but also grappled with the big themes of good and evil, free will and fate.

What keeps the suspense percolating along is Ms. Rowling’s instinctive sense of storytelling and her ability to make the reader sympathize with Strike and Robin, two middle-class strivers plugging along in a status and increasingly money-conscious London.

The result is an entertaining novel in which the most compelling characters are not the killer or the victim, but the detectives charged with solving the crime.

The Telegraph – review by Jake Kerridge:

Has Rowling digested all her experiences in the literary world into something precious? It’s certainly a damn good read. The plot is much more smoothly constructed than in The Cuckoo’s Calling, with Rowling giving her characters room to breathe while still taking a Christie-like delight in the cunning sowing of clues.

It’s a book to gulp down, and although Rowling may now be a bona fide Olympic-opening-ceremony-level celeb, the skill with which this book is written tells you as much as its subject-matter does that writing is the core of her life.

Not so favorable reviews mostly noted Galbraith’s/Rowling’s over-descriptive text.

From the Scotland Herald:

Filled with so many red herrings he/she must have breached an EU quota, The Silkworm is an uneven and rather cruel piece of work, an unsettling mix of the cosily old-fashioned and the morbid. Unable to allow the story to tell itself, Galbraith micromanages every step the characters take. No meal is omitted, no reminder of their appearance left unsaid

Meanwhile, the cityscape of London is offered up in A-Z manner, Galbraith indicating tube lines taken and taxi routes followed, and commenting on sites of interest as he/she goes.

Indeed, regarding that last sentence, at times the book seems like a “travelogue of London,” as Van McDermid noted in her review in The Guardian.

Besides this, there was a clear message in many of the reviews, both good and bad, that J.K. Rowling’s gift is in writing series, with a well thought out plot and beautiful character development. As TIME’s review said, The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults published in 2012, had both a developed plot and characters, but the book was simply overcrowded and became confusing. “If I had Hermione’s time turner, I’d urge Rowling to go back and split The Causal Vacancy into two or three books,” the reviewer wrote.

The Silkworm is published today, June 19. You can purchase the book here.

First two chapters of ‘The Silkworm’ by Robert Galbraith released

The Silkworm

The Silkworm

On Wednesday, the first two chapters of The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, were published on the author’s website ahead of publication on June 19.

The Silkworm is the sequel to last year’s Cuckoo’s Calling, which earned critical claim and was a commercial success, that is, following Rowling’s outing as the book’s real author.

The two chapters released today feature the main character, private detective Cormoran Strike taking on the case of Owen Quine, a novelist who has gone missing. According to the already-released synopsis, the author is later found murdered, and the book will follow Strike as he tries to find Quine’s killer.

Besides that, many news sources are noting Rowling’s reference to phone-hacking in the first chapter. As The Independent makes clear, the book starts with “Strike supplying details to a journalist of a scandalous affair between a member of the House of Lords and his secretary.” When the journalist asks how he persuaded the woman to talk to him, Strike responds, “I listened.” The reporter says to Strike, “All the other private dicks I use spend their time hacking phone messages,” to which Strike warns that phone-hacking is “illegal,” a statement implying Rowling’s own thoughts on the matter.

Rowling memorably contributed in the trial against the News of the World‘s phone-hacking practices of which she was a victim. At the very least, Strike’s comment is no-doubt a pass on the tabloid’s invasive tactics.

The Silkworm will be published in the UK on June 19 and in the US on June 24. You can read today’s excerpt here and click here to find out more about the novel.

Updated: ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ sequel announced: ‘The Silkworm’, to be released this June

The sequel to last year’s acclaimed bestseller The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym, has been announced.

The Silkworm will be released in hardcover on June 19, 2014 by Little, Brown. The book is 384 pages, making it smaller than The Cuckoo’s Calling which had 464. The publisher currently has the book priced at $28.00.

The cover:

thesilkworm

On Monday, February 17, Galbraith (Rowling) officially announced the book. Here is the synopsis that was released:

A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant Robin Ellacott.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days – as he has done before – and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives – so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before…

The Silkworm will be the second novel J.K. Rowling publishes under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Last summer, Rowling was uncovered as the author of the first book after a solicitor working with Rowling’s camp leaked the name to a friend. The novel was critically acclaimed before and after the revelation, and we expect the same for this book as well.

Are you excited for the new Cormoran Strike novel? Did you read/like The Cuckoo’s Calling? Tell us in the comments below!

Note: An earlier edition of this article stated that the book would be released on June 24, 2014, as listed on the publisher’s website. The release date that was sent out with the official announcement this morning was June 19, 2014.

The previous version also included the synopsis of the book that was on the publisher’s website — we have since changed this to match the one released today in the official announcement.

J.K. Rowling speaks at Oxford

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter author J.K. Rowling spoke at Oxford University last weekend, to commemorate Exeter College’s 700th anniversary.

The discussion, titled “Mortality and Morality,” had the author discussing the dynamics of those themes in her books.

According to a blog post by an attendee, “Rowling described how the idea of mortality fascinates her.” In all her books, someone dies because “the knowledge that we are all going to die is difficult,” and determines how we live our lives. She said that the characters of Dumbledore, Snape, and Voldemort all “illustrate the idea of good against evil.” Rowling acknowledged that “although Dumbledore is ‘good’, he does have his flaws, notably [in his] weakness for power.”

The Oxford Student reports that the author stated that “death and morality” will continue to play a major role in “all future works.”

The London Evening Standard as well reported on the event, specifically J.K. Rowling’s remarks on being outed as the author of The Cuckoo’s Calling last summer:

“There’s a line in As Good as it Gets,” she said about the 1997 Jack Nicholson film, “where a woman asks him how he writes such wonderful female characters and he says, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘I think of a man, and I take out the logic’, or the sense. That made me laugh, as misogynistic as it is, because when I write a man I take certain things out and give free rein to aspects of me that would not be acceptable. To be honest, I think I’m quite blokey — at least I’m told I am, and I like writing both.”

“You were never supposed to know that it was my eviscerating pen,” she told guests. In fact, she said, failure was part of the pleasure. “It was fun, from the first rejection letter. You have no idea.”

Interestingly, according to the Oxford Student, Rowling revealed for the first time that Harry Potter’s name was initially Harry Batt. We’re slightly taken aback by this revelation, and it has a wondering how much it would’ve changed things in the books and movies, etc. Battmore News, anyone?

On Pottermore, J.K. Rowling revealed the original 40 characters in the Harry Potter books, as well as their original names (Harry Batt is not included.) You can read the list, and her notes on the subject by visiting Pottermore.com.

Also, on the heels of her admission that she partly regrets her pairing of Ron and Hermione, Rowling made it clear at the event that “Harry did love Ginny,” a remark described by the London Evening Standard as being said “by way of excuse.” Somethings tell us that this will be the last we will be hearing on this issue…

What do you think about the name Harry Batt? What do you think Jo’s true feelings are about Romione? Tell us in the comments below!

Sources: Finding Fabulous (blog); the Oxford Student; London Evening Standard. Some excerpts have been edited and condensed for the sake of this story.

J.K. Rowling to donate ‘Cuckoo’s Calling’ royalties to charity, settles out of court with law firm

In true Rowling fashion, Jo will be donating all royalties from The Cuckoo’s Calling over the next three years to The Soldier’s Charity.

The Associated Press reports that J.K. Rowling will be donating all her royalties from the book from the next three years to The Soldier’s Charity, which helps former military personnel and their families. Rowling has also accepted a ‘substantial donation’ to the charity from Russells Solicitors, the law firm whose partner leaked the author’s true identity, and will reimburse Rowling’s legal costs.

Rowling was outed as the book’s true author by Judith Callegari, a Surrey mother of two who was told the confidential information by Chris Gossage, a partner at Russells Solicitors, a firm that worked with Rowling, and the husband of Callegari’s best friend. Callegari told a Sunday Times columnist over a Twitter conversation that Rowling was the true author, which led to the Times breaking the story on July 14. Confused? Refer to our Prezi that explains the events that led up to the leak.

According to the AP, Rowling sued the lawyer and Callegari. Her attorney, Jenny Afia, told Britain’s High Court on Wednesday that Rowling had been left “angry and distressed that her confidences had been betrayed.”

Via the AP: “As a reflection of their regret for breach of the claimant’s confidence, including frustrating the claimant’s ability to continue to write anonymously under the name Robert Galbraith, the defendants are here today to apologize publicly to the claimant,” Afia said.

Rowling chose to donate to The Soldiers’ Charity because she “drew on conversations with serving soldiers and veterans” to create the character of Cormoran Strike, the hero of the novel who is a veteran who lost a leg in Afghanistan.

“This donation is being made to The Soldiers’ Charity partly as a thank you to the army people who helped me with research, but also because writing a hero who is a veteran has given me an even greater appreciation and understanding of exactly how much this charity does for ex-servicemen and their families, and how much that support is needed,” Rowling said in a statement.

Rowling said she had “always intended” to give the charity a donation from Robert’s royalties but “had not anticipated him making the bestseller list a mere three months after publication.” She admitted that she actually never expected that he would ever be there.

Visit our page dedicated to The Cuckoo’s Calling for all the latest news and updates and our complete coverage of the novel. Last week, we learned that the book was being suggested for a film adaptation (article via The Guardian).

Mystery Twitter account that outed Robert Galbraith’s true identity revealed

J.K. Rowling, above, is "very angry" over the leak.

J.K. Rowling, above, is “very angry” over the leak.

The identity of the person behind the mystery Twitter account that ultimately led to the outing of J.K. Rowling as the author of The Cuckoo’s Calling has been revealed.

The BBC reports that the anonymous tweeter was Judith Callegari, a suburban mother of two. Callegari was told that J.K. Rowling was the true author of the book by her best friend’s husband, Chris Gossage. Gossage is a partner at Russells Solicitors, a law firm specializing in the entertainment industry.

Understandably, J.K. Rowling said in a statement that she is very angry to hear about this breach of confidentiality.

“I have today discovered how the leak about Robert’s true identity occurred. A tiny number of people knew my pseudonym and it has not been pleasant to wonder for days how a woman whom I had never heard of prior to Sunday night could have found out something that many of my oldest friends did not know.

“To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I had assumed that I could expect total confidentiality from Russells, a reputable professional firm, and I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced.”

Russells has also released a statement regarding the situation, saying that the reveal was made during a private conversation between Gossage and a trustworthy friend, Callegari. Russells immediately contacted Rowling’s agents when they learned of the leak.

“We, Russells Solicitors, apologise unreservedly for the disclosure caused by one of our partners, Chris Gossage, in revealing to his wife’s best friend, Judith Callegari, during a private conversation that the true identity of Robert Galbraith was in fact JK Rowling.

“Whilst accepting his own culpability, the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly. On becoming aware of the circumstances, we immediately notified JK Rowling’s agent. We can confirm that this leak was not part of any marketing plan and that neither JK Rowling, her agent nor publishers were in any way involved.”

Through an anonymous Twitter account, Callegari revealed to a Sunday Times journalist that J.K. Rowling was the true author of The Cuckoo’s Calling. An editor for the newspaper then did some investigating, sent other Rowling manuscripts, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Casual Vacancy, along with The Cuckoo’s Calling, to a pair of linguistic computers. The computers verified that they were written by the same author, and, after notifying Rowling’s reps, they ran with the story on Saturday.

Since then, demand for The Cuckoo’s Calling has skyrocketed, becoming an instant bestseller. Bookstores and online retailers are completely sold out, and a second printing of 300,000 is on its way. Learn more about the leak and read all the latest news here, at our page dedicated to The Cuckoo’s Calling.

Thanks MuggleNet for the tip.

Robert Galbraith official website and Twitter launched

UK Cover of The Cuckoo's Calling

UK Cover of The Cuckoo’s Calling

The official website and Twitter account for Robert Galbraith, the pseudonym of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, has launched.

The website (www.robert-galbraith.com) includes the synopsis and reviews of The Cuckoo’s Calling and an author biography that simply states that Galbraith is a pseudonym for Rowling, along with an F.A.Q section. In this section, Rowling answers some questions about the book, writing under a pseudonym, and the book’s sequel.

From the site:

Why did you choose to write a crime novel and why under a pseudonym?

I’ve always loved reading detective fiction. Most of the Harry Potter stories are whodunits at heart (‘Order of the Phoenix’ is more of a why-did-he), but I’ve wanted to try the real thing for a long time.

As for the pseudonym, I was yearning to go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback. It was a fantastic experience and I only wish it could have gone on a little longer.

Why did you choose to write it as a man? Did it influence your writing in anyway?

I certainly wanted to take my writing persona as far away as possible from me, so a male pseudonym seemed a good idea. I am proud to say, though, that when I ‘unmasked’ myself to my editor David Shelley who had read and enjoyed ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ without realizing I wrote it, one of the first things he said was ‘I never would have thought a woman wrote that.’ Apparently I had successfully channeled my inner bloke!

Was revealing the true identity of Robert Galbraith not simply an elaborate marketing campaign to help boost sales?

If anyone had seen the labyrinthine plans I laid to conceal my identity (or indeed my expression when I realised that the game was up!) they would realise how little I wanted to be discovered. I hoped to keep the secret as long as possible. I’m grateful for all the feedback from publishers and readers, and for some great reviews. Being Robert Galbraith has been all about the work, which is my favourite part of being a writer. This was not a leak or marketing ploy by me, my publisher or agent, both of whom have been completely supportive of my desire to fly under the radar. If sales were what mattered to me most, I would have written under my own name from the start, and with the greatest fanfare.

At the point I was ‘outed’, Robert had sold 8500 English language copies across all formats (hardback, eBook, library and audiobook) and received two offers from television production companies. The situation was becoming increasingly complicated, largely because Robert was doing rather better than we had expected him to, but we all still hoped to keep the secret a little longer. Yet Robert’s success during his first three months as a published writer (discounting sales made after I was found out) actually compares favourably with J.K. Rowling’s success over the equivalent period of her career!

Rowling also reveals that she has just finished the sequel to Cuckoo, and it is suspected to be published next year. You can click to read more of Rowling’s answers to the F.A.Q.’s here.

As stated above, a Twitter account was also launched, and you can check “him” out @_RGalbraith. Hopefully he’ll be tweeting a little more than his creator! 🙂

Over the past weekend, J.K. Rowling was outed as the real author of The Cuckoo’s Calling over the weekend by a Sunday Times editor. You can read her statement regarding the situation, a synopsis of the book and more here, at our page dedicated to the book.

Happy Thursday!