'The Cuckoo's Calling' by Robert Galbraith

Book Club Discussion Questions

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith. Little, Brown

J.K. Rowling is best known as the rags to riches author of one of the most popular series of the twentieth century -- the Harry Potter books. After wrapping up the Harry Potter series, Rowling tried her hand at adult fiction in The Casual Vacancy, which received mixed reviews. Craving the freedom and honest reviews that a pseudonym would bring, she wrote her next book, , under the pen name Robert Galbraith.

The book was critically praised but did not become a bestseller until the author's identity was leaked, 3 months after the book was first published. The Cuckoo's Calling is the first in a series of crime novels. Book clubs can use these questions to foster discussion of the mystery and the author behind it.

Spoiler Warning: These questions reveal details about the mystery and conclusion of The Cuckoo's Calling. Finish the book before reading on.

  1. Why do you think the novel is titled “The Cuckoo’s Calling”? What does “calling” refer to?
     
  2. Who did you suspect as the story unfolded and why?
     
  3. When the killer was revealed, were you surprised? Why or why not?
     
  4. Strike said that he knew at least one of three people would visit his office the night of the climax. Why did he express relief when John Bristow was the one to show up?
     
  5. What was the killer’s motive as explained by Strike? Did you find this believable?
     
  1. Why did Bristow hire a PI? What was he hoping to accomplish?
     
  2. Did you find Strike and Robin to be likable characters?
     
  3. Which characters did you like least?
     
  4. What do you think of J.K. Rowling's decision to publish under a pseudonym? Would you have read the book if you didn't know Rowling wrote it? Did knowing the author change your assessment?
     
  1. Would you have believed The Cuckoo's Calling was written by a man if the true author were not revealed?
     
  2. For Harry Potter fans: Did you notice any references to the series? Can you draw any parallels between characters or events in The Cuckoo’s Calling and the Potter books?
     
  3. If you have read The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, did you prefer this novel or that one? Why? Are there marks consistent elements of her style in all her books?
     
  4. For crime novel fans: How do you think this book fits into the genre? Is Robert Galbraith an author crime enthusiasts can get behind?
     
  5. Rate The Cuckoo's Calling on a scale of 1 to 5.
     
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith was published in April 2013
  • Publisher: Little, Brown
  • Pages: 455