The Flobberworm’s Flat: Is Robin Entitled to a Share of the Proceeds?

As happy as many Serious Striker’s were to see Robin finally walk out on the Flobberworm, it was painful to see her searching, for the second time, for tiny rooms in shared houses. Personally, I’m quite glad Nick and Ilsa had a friend conveniently in need of a roommate. But what if she is not *quite* as financially bad-off as she thinks?  I will admit I don’t know the first thing about British marital property laws, but I was intrigued about this little aside from Lethal White:

“Matthew had objected when Robin first suggested renting again, but she had overridden him, saying that she could not stand another year in Hastings Road while further purchases of overpriced houses fell through. Between the legacy and Matthew’s new job, they were just able to make rent on the smart little three-bedroomed house, leaving the money they had received from the sale of their Hastings Road flat untouched in the bank.”

So—  they sold an apartment, roughly a year after they married, and deposited the full amount in the bank.  I have to assume there is no such thing as a cheap apartment in London, certainly not one that Matthew Cunliffe would deign to inhabit. Ergo, this is a tidy little sum—  certainly way more than the 5000 pounds Robin told Raff would make a huge difference to her.

The question is, is half of that sum Robin’s? Did Matthew purchase their flat before Robin joined him in London circa early 2010, right before their engagement? Or did they buy it together? Is Robin’s name on the deed? Was “their Hastings flat” really “theirs” in the legal sense–  and can Robin demand her half now? Certainly Ilsa, the hotshot attorney, can give her some advice on this. Of course, Robin being Robin, she may be reluctant to claim a share of the bank account that she hasn’t personally earned. But, as I said, there are no cheap flats in London– even if she only took a quarter, or a third, it would make her transition easier. As despicably as the Flobberworm treated her in that final scene, I wouldn’t mind seeing Robin take him to the cleaners. And Vanessa “keep her bleeding earring and turn it into a pendant” Ekwensi will probably chime in with some good girlfriend advice. Between Vanessa, Ilsa and Cormoran, Robin’s got some good people in her corner.

The question is, if she does come into this money, what will she do with it? Could it be a deposit on a place of her own? Or—  if, as hinted in the last book, the agency may be in danger of losing its Denmark Street digs,  thanks to the building being sold to a developer, maybe Robin will wind up helping to finance housing for the business, rather than herself. I hope they somehow manage to keep the old office— I’d miss that rickety old metal staircase and broken birdcage lift—  probably more than Robin would.

Piecing Together Cormoran Strike’s Childhood: Could Rokeby be the Snape of the Series?

We know Cormoran Strike had a nomadic childhood, being dragged to squats and other less-than-desireable homes by his free-spirit mother, alternating with more stable periods with his Cornish aunt and uncle when his mother fell too far off the wagon. He can remember attending seventeen different schools; and thinks that may be an underestimate of the total. So far, most of the details we have been provided are from around the ages of 8 to 9.  As I have re-read and re-listened to the series, a couple of questions have popped up:

  1. What happened at the Norfolk commune that made it the worst place Leda had ever taken him?

2. How did the itinerant and poverty-stricken Strike wind up at the same school as Charlie Bristow, son of a “Sir” and a “Lady?”

Reconstructing Strike’s childhood involves piecing together items from multiple books, and, just for fun, I’ll throw in some hints from the TV series as well. I’ll also assume the author is being careful with her dates, which is by no means a given. Adding a generous dose of my own speculations leads me to rethink what role Jonny Rokeby might eventually play in the series.  [Read more…]

BBC’s ‘The Silkworm’ Adaptation Posted

The Silkworm was the first Cormoran Strike novel according to Rowling but appears second because the hero needed a big case that would propel him into the public eye in spectacular fashion; solving the death of a novelist whom few knew was still alive wouldn’t cut it. Having said that, as the point of origin and the Strike novel about novel writing and the reading of novels, The Silkworm is what Rowling is all about in her Galbraith series.

But why watch the adaptations for the BBC? Shouldn’t we confine our reading to the book about reading rather than than waste time watching the small screen fare meant to entice non-readers to pick up the books?

Believe me, I’m all for another reading of The Silkworm or to listening again to Robert Glenister’s brilliant recorded version. The BBC adaptations, though, are done by Bronte Studios, Rowling’s production company. As we saw yesterday in Louise Freeman’s discussion of the Career of Evil adaptation for the BBC, there were the usual absurd cuts to the story for the sake of abridgment but there were also novel add-ons, Brittany Brockbank in a commune most notably, that are important pointers to important events to come in the written stories.

So have another look at the BBC version a la Bronte Studios of The Silkworm. Is there a scene in there, say, about the IED explosion that all but killed Cormoran Strike, a scene which tells us something we have not been told in the written version? Check it out while the adaptations are still up for free on YouTube — and let me know what you think!

The BBC’s Career of Evil: Hits, Misses and Clues to the Future of the Series?

This post began as a comment on the Career of Evil TV series post, but ballooned to something longer than I had anticipated. So, at the request of our Headmaster, I’m re-posting it as a post of its own, with a few expansions. 

This TV adaptation was probably the most butchered book of the lot so far, in terms of leaving things out. The BBC needs to devote at least 3 episodes to do one of these novels justice, which is why I am very glad to hear the Lethal White will be four episodes.

The neuroscientist in me was most disappointed in the dropping of the Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) plot line in favor of  the much simpler “Kelsey has a crush on Cormoran” angle. I assume this move was made both to save time and to avoid accusations of insensitivity that would arise from having our hero call people suffering with this genuine neurological disorder “nutters” on screen. Although, if you pause at the scene of Strike reviewing his fan site, you can see the screen name “NowhereToTurn” and “I heard he did it himself” message. The “schoolgirl crush” approach also put more emphasis on the killer’s efforts to set Strike up as a suspect, and made the Met much more inclined to accept that as a possibility.

But that was just the beginning of the cuts that were made to Strike3 — not to mention the changes and flat-out additions that point to possibilities in coming novels.

[Read more…]

BBC ‘Career of Evil’ Episodes Posted

Enjoy them while they’re up! Hat-tip to Rebecca for the find.