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Who Killed Leda Strike, Suicide Victim? Leda, Rokeby, Whittaker, Ted, or Dave?

In yesterday’s post, with the help of Nick Jeffery, I tried to calculate the amount of money as of 2014 that Jonny Rokeby, rock star, owed his illegitimate son, Cormoran Strike, in child-support payments that have been accumulating compound interest in a bank or maturing as blue-chip stocks since 1985. We came to a dollar figure well over $500,000.

Remember, Strike is living in a two room flat over the Agency office with a one ring hot-plate and college dorm room refrigerator. Half a million dollars is a life-style changing amount of money to our working boy.

We reviewed, however, the history of what Rokeby once called his son’s “nice little nest egg” and why Strike’s only relationship with it was to take out a loan on it, paid back with interest, to start the C. B. Strike Detective Agency. In brief, it is the tangible, exteriorized representative of Strike’s Oedipal outage, the desire to kill his biological father in devotion to his late mother. For reasons Rokeby certainly doesn’t grasp, Strike thinks of it as blood money and taboo.

See ‘Rokeby Owes Strike How Much? for the calculations and the explanation of all that.

Which brings us to the natural question: So What? Believe it or not, I think the “nest egg” money is a nice segue to discussion of that haunting topic, ‘Who Killed Leda Strike and Why?‘ I think there are five principal suspects: Leda herself, Jonny Rokeby, Jeff Whittaker, Ted Nancarrow, and Dave Polworth. Let’s walk through the reasons each could have had to kill Leda Strike and whether knowing the “nest egg” money existed may have influenced his or her decision to do her in. [Read more…]

‘Your Nine Guides to Ink Black Heart’ and ‘The First Week at HogwartsProfessor’

At last we have reached the publication date of Ink Black Heart! Whether you have been enjoying the excerpt-teases provided by the publisher or puritanically abstaining (and, no, to me at least, ‘puritan’ is not necessarily pejorative), today we all enjoy Strike6 at last. Rejoice!

If you are still waiting for your copy to arrive in the mail — Amazon had by far the lowest price for the book — I offer today a list of nine things to keep in mind as you read Ink Black Heart and a description of how will discuss Rowling-Galbraith’s longest novel to date in the coming week. I’ll also throw in the three best list of predictions for you to reflect on in the few hours — minutes! — before you can dive into a reading at long last. All after the jump! [Read more…]

Troubled Blood: Unanswered Questions

Earlier this month, inspired by a comment Elisa made about Cormoran and Joan’s deathbed conversation and how Strike may have misunderstood what was said, I wrote a post that asserted that, as long and as satisfying a novel as Troubled Blood is and as much attention as we have given here to exploring the artistry and meaning involved, there are as many Strike5 mysteries still left to be solved. See Have We Covered ‘Troubled Blood’? No. for that discussion.

Yesterday I listed 7+ unanswered questions about the Strike series that we neglect because we’ve been suckered into trusting our two narrators, Sherlock Strike the Amazing Memory Man and the Jungian Jungfrau Ellacott, who are no more dependable as story-tellers than Harry Potter, Rowling’s other misdirection delivery system. Read Cormoran Strike: Unanswered Questions for those subjects that our Dynamic Detecting Duo just refuse to think about despite Rowling-Galbraith dropping clues around them for stop-and-look-down discovery.

Today I want to list and discuss seven plus more unanswered questions that are specific to Troubled Blood. Dave Polworth, Lucy Fantoni, Charlotte Campbell, Jonny Rokeby, Shanker, Ted Nancarrow, and Cormoran Strike with a ‘plus’ question about Ellacott the Incredible Cartomantist are all featured. See you after the jump! [Read more…]

Opening Scene of ‘Ink Black Heart:’ Three Ritz Hotel Things I’d Love to Read

At the close of Troubled Blood, our love birds were off to the Ritz Hotel in London to celebrate Robin’s birthday and the successful resolution of the Margot Bamborough case (the place is a head nod to Robin’s suggestion on the night Strike knocked her lights out, blackening both her eyes, that they go to the Ritz, hold the sarcasm). If Ink Black Heart opens where Strike 5 closed — and why not? — I’m hopeful we’ll hear them discuss three things: the painting of Leda and the Swan on the wall, Strike’s health, and the Third Man factor, Jonny Rokeby the living ghost-presence in Cormoran’s life.

For what I think they might say over the champagne tea and buffet — and their conversations are always most interesting if they are drunk or in the Range Rover ancient-of-days — join me after the jump! [Read more…]

First Flip of the Tarot Cards: Louise’s Predictions for Strike 6.

I went into my first predictions for Troubled Blood a bit overconfident, after my bulls-eyes in Lethal White, where I successfully predicted a connection to the London Olympics, a Yule Ball analog where Robin would get to wear her fabulous Green Dress, and that the title referred to the horse disease, not heroin, and that a killer would be an equestrian. For Troubled Blood, I can really only give myself one of six points, as I nailed the rather easy targets of Matthew and Robin fighting over the proceeds from their flat sale, and Charlotte attempting to get Bluey to rescue her (albeit from the misery of her marriage and a suicide attempt, not, as far as we know, from Jago’s physical violence). Maybe I will give myself a bit of partial credit for the “cooling” of the Strike-Robin potential for romance and Robin dating someone new. Granted, the detective partners are clearly more attracted to each other than ever, with thoughts of beds and clean sheets in the aftermath of whiskey and black eyes, but their relationship, for now, has landed squarely in the realm of “best mates.”

The closest thing to a “new short-term relationship for Robin” was her very brief pairing with Saul Morris, which existed largely in Morris’s dreams, Pat’s hopes, and Linda’s speculations. Robin spent Boxing Day texting DeMorris Dickhead* for the express purpose of making her family think she was dating someone new. It was interesting to see a little of that fakery unintentionally seep over to Strike, and and arouse his jealousy as he pondered making new rules against partners and contractors dating. But my other speculations: an education-themed mystery, Whittaker v. Strike, the return of Switch LeVay Bloom Whittaker or Brittany Brockbank, came to naught. As much as I’ll miss Aunt Joan, I am most grateful that neither Shanker or Vanessa filled in for Sirius Black and crossed the veil.

Still, I want to take a stab at putting some ideas down as we start to ponder, and the process of scanning Rowling’s Twitter Headers for clues begins anew. More after the jump. [Read more…]