Author J.K. Rowling made a startling revelation Sunday. Turns out she’s behind “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” a first novel supposedly written by Robert Galbraith.
In reality, “Robert Galbraith” is a pseudonym for the “Harry Potter” creator.
“I hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience,” she said in a statement released by her publicist on Sunday. “It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback from publishers and readers under a different name.”
“The Cuckoo’s Calling,” about a war veteran turned detective who is called in to investigate a model’s mysterious death, was published to rave reviews in April by Little, Brown & Co. unit Sphere.
London’s Sunday Times uncovered the deception and said it began checking when it wondered how “a first-time author with a background in the army and the civilian security industry could write such an assured debut novel.” The paper said it noted that Rowling and Galbraith shared the same agent and editor, and that Little, Brown published Rowling’s novel for adults, “The Casual Vacancy.”
The news that Rowling was in fact the author helped the novel climb to the top of Amazon's best-selling list Sunday.
In its bio of Galbraith on its web site, the publisher said that “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.
Perhaps the last line should have been a tipoff:
"'Robert Galbraith' is a pseudonym."
Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly referred to "John Galbraith."