The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith The book starts off with a suspicious death -- supermodel Lula Landry is found lifeless and broken in the snow, seemingly to have committed suicide by leaping off her balcony. Three months later, her brother John Bristow walks into the office of private investigator Cormoran Strike and tells him to look into the case, refusing to believe his sister took her own life.

The story that follows is what you would typically expect from a crime novel, with elements that are reminiscent of the classics. The reader will follow Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin as they chase down witnesses, take statements, and poke around for clues, and watch the pieces fall into place. This isn't my usual genre, and it was refreshing and fun to read something like this, knowing to keep alert for all the details because you never know which tidbits will eventually help solve the mystery.

J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith is again at her best when she's developing her characters, because in a book like this where the story is enjoyable yet does not contain anything terribly original, that's what really shines. Like many people, I was fond of the Harry Potter books growing up, but I was never really all that obsessed with them. In truth, after reading this and The Casual Vacancy, I actually think I prefer Rowling more when she's writing for adults. There's a raw quality and uninhibitedness there that makes the characters and their situations feel more substantial, and I find that a lot more satisfying.

Who can blame her for writing under a pen name, though; I always thought many reviewers were unfair to The Casual Vacancy, those hoping to find in it the same magic they'd experienced from her Harry Potter books, and instead became upset when hit with a dark, depressing and VERY mature-themed story. Personally, I went into that book pretending I'd never even heard of J.K. Rowling and ended up loving it. And so that's the same way I tackled The Cuckoo's Calling. As it is, it's quite a good crime/detective mystery novel, and does the job. She plays it quite "safe" with the plot, with no big twists or any unexpected developments in this typical whodunit story, but then that's also how I generally prefer my mystery novels. I was happy enough that it unfolded logically, and had a resolution that actually made sense.