‘Lethal White’ Teaser Extract Published

We’re getting close! Just as was done before the release of Career of Evil, Galbraith’s publishers have released a teaser excerpt from Lethal White, to be published in only three days. You can read in this Guardian excerpt the context of the first meeting with Billy that was included in the book blurb last month. “He was murdered up by the horse.”

Every Galbraith novel thus far has begun one or several chapters in with the first meeting of Strike and his new client in his office: John Bristow, Leonora Quine, the leg of a murdered girl, and now Billy.

More important, we also have our first parallel with Cuckoo’s Calling, namely, the Cormoran B. Strike office having a new secretary. Denise, of course, is not as promising as Robin once was.

Is her presence a sign that Robin is on the Radford case mentioned in Career and for which we have a chain of command diagram? Or that Robin, having been fired, is no longer working for Strike? Or she is on her honeymoon and this is a ‘temporary solution’? Or that things are just looking up for celebrity detective Strike after solving the Ripper case in Career and the office can afford the help?

I guess it’s time for me to write up my predictions — and to regret not having done it earlier! (I think I can add that Denise won’t be with Strike long….) Let me know what you think of the excerpt, our first taste of Lethal White, in the comment boxes below.


Times of London Reviews ‘Lethal White’

So you have a decision or two to make with just over a week to go before the publication date of Lethal White, the fourth Cormoran Strike mystery.

Do you read the reviews being published in advance of the day on which you can buy the book? The Times of London published their thoughts on the fourth adventure (verdict? “Outstanding”).

Or do you avoid possible ‘spoilers’ and story pointers by turning a blind eye and pretending the reviews aren’t out there?

Is this akin to ignoring Crimes of Grindelwald trailers? Or to not joining in speculation about the series back story?

What do you want to happen here at HogwartsProfessor this week? I had planned to do one prediction list of things I felt had to happen according to formula and another list of predictions of what I kinda sorta think might happen.

Is that silly when reviews are already out?

Lemmeno what you think!

Lethal White vs Crimes of Grindelwald

Three quick notes on the Grand Canyon-esque chasm separating Potter fandom interest in Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike novels and J. K. Rowling’s collaborative contributions to Warner Brothers’ Fantastic Beasts film franchise:

(1) Rowling re-tweeted a new contest for an autographed copy of Lethal White on her twitter feed to 14.4 million followers. One thousand of those followers ‘liked’ the idea. She re-tweeted a fan art contest for Fantastic Beasts and five times as many liked that idea, a contest with no prize other than being exhibited. Contact with The Presence and an heirloom book, essentially zero interest and five times the interest for Show-and-tell online? Bizarre. The Robert Galbraith twitter feed has 62.3K followers and CormoranStrike, a StrikeFans twitterer, has less than 7k. FantasticBeasts? 452K.

(2) Serious readers get that Cormoran Strike is not only unadulterated Rowling at her best but in many ways a continuation and commentary on Harry Potter. Constance Grady at Vox goes so far as to call the series a “Grown Ups Harry Potter.” The pathetic online sales for Lethal White, even allowing for Amazon’s tiff with Hatchette Group, the publisher of the Strike series, reflect that this is not at all the opinion of Rowling’s gazillion Wizarding World fans, most of whom seem to be unaware that Robert Galbraith is a Rowling pseudonym.

(3) Check out the YouTube video below about the second Crimes of Grindelwald trailer. After watching it, ask yourself: “What if this kind of frenetic interpretative energy and attention to every detail were focused on Cormoran Strike and the possibilities of what will happen in Lethal White and subsequent novels in that series?” I think that my individual efforts at unlocking Galbraith’s larger story are significant; I know that if Potter fandom were to actually read and join in the speculative adventures of Cormoran Strike, however, that ‘Heroin Dark Lord’ would only be one among several challenging theories.

My tentative conclusion?

Strike remains the biggest secret in the Rowling universe. It is the neglected step-child of global Cursed Child productions, anything Crimes of Grindelwald, and even of Wizarding World theme parks news.
And I doubt the release of Lethal White will change much, frankly.

The engorgement charm size of Strike 4, how much its plot depends on the first three books, and reader’s continued distraction with other Rowling projects means that it will sell less well than Career or Silkworm even after the BBC1 promo shot in the arm.

How many reviewers, for example, after the three year lag between Strikes 3 and 4, do you think will be able to get what is going on in Lethal White in terms of the back story? If Rokeby and Charlotte appear, what will that mean to readers who haven’t been looking forward to that since Cuckoo?

Not much, I’m guessing. I look forward to reading your more optimistic view – and any ideas you have about the Mystery of the Invisible Famous Author!

Two Weeks ’til Lethal White Publication: How Is Rowling’s Latest Novel Selling?

Two weeks? A little more than Ten Days! Lethal White, the fourth Cormoran Strike mystery from J. K. Rowling writing as ‘Robert Galbraith’ is almost here.

What have you heard about it among your Potter-phile friends? Have you scheduled the day off on 18 September so you can devote yourself without distraction to a close reading? Are you planning to go to a Midnight Madness Release Party at your local bookstore?

Of course you’re not. There is next to no buzz or excitement about Lethal White, which is a mystery worthy of some reflection and detection, no? How about the clues, then; what do we know?

The Cormoran Strike mysteries are receiving next to no marketing push in the United States and, for a Rowling title, advance orders on Amazon are pathetic. The book is at #129 overall on the world’s largest bookstore’s listing and isn’t even in the top 50 for the categories of ‘Crime’ or ‘Mystery.’ Kindle? It is sitting at #289 there.

Things are a little better in the UK. At Amazon.co.uk. The book is at #21 there — but is being outsold by two math texts for school at #10 and #16 and by new releases from Robert Louis Stevenson (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, #12), Shakespeare (Macbeth, #18), and Dickens (Tale of Two Cities, #21). Something tells me this is not a big book-selling season in Brittania or they use a different calculus for their best seller’s lists. On the book’s page there, Amazon lists the hardcover as #75 in “Books > Fiction.” Kindle has it at #42 at this writing.

I called the airport bookstore to see if I might once again get my Willa Wonka golden ticket and an early copy of Lethal White. Get this — they not only didn’t have a copy to sell me (as they did three days before Career of Evil was supposed to be for sale), I was told it wasn’t on their list of books to be sold this month. They only sell the books anticipated to be best sellers, twenty each month. Robert Galbraith’s Lethal White was not on the list.

What’s going on? Three thoughts after the jump. [Read more…]

BBC1 Career of Evil: Synopses and Clips Will ‘Strike’ Viewers Become Readers?

I thought that the point of the BBC1 teevee adaptations of the Cormoran Strike mysteries was to create sufficient interest in the story and the characters that ‘viewers’ would become ‘readers.’ I was able to see the first two adaptations via a pirated posting of the episodes by an Iraqi on YouTube; I have not seen the ‘Career of Evil’ adaptations.

I have watched the two film clips of Strike 3’s adaptation and read the synopses of each episode that the BBC has posted online. Here they all are: [Read more…]