Arresting Your Mom: Tom Burke’s Mother as Janice in the BBC Troubled Blood?

Cormoran Strike actor Tom Burke gave a recent interview to The Guardian where he dropped a super-strong hint about his real-life mother’s role in the Troubled Blood TV adaptation. Actress Anna Calder-Marshall was announced as part of the cast last February, but her exact role has yet to be mentioned. Given the familial relationship to title star Burke, many speculated that Ms. Calder-Marshall would be Aunt Joan Nancarrow.  However, Burke’s recent statement suggests otherwise:

Doesn’t your mother, Anna Calder-Marshall, appear in the new series?
She does and she’s fantastic in it. The first scene we had was also with Carol MacReady, who’s a wonderful actor. Her and my mum go way back and it was a joy to be in a scene with both of them. I haven’t acted with my parents in a long while, since doing Victoria Wood sketches and silly stuff in local theatre in Kent.

Carol MacReady plays Irene, making it almost inevitable that Ms. Calder-Marshall is Janice. Is there any other character you would expect to be in a scene with both Strike and Irene?

If true, this will be a nice bit of Strike-trivia going forward. Can anyone think of another detective-killer duo played by a real-life parent-offspring pair?

I suggest reading the full interview; it has some interesting tidbits not only about Troubled Blood, but about Burke’s late godfather, Alan Rickman.

Hat-tip to!

A Ravenclaw’s Round-Up: Louise’s Nearly-Annual Report from the Chestnut Hill Harry Potter Academic Conference

As I do almost every year (save my college reunion years that end in 8 and 3:  it’s usually the same weekend! ), I attended and presented at the Annual (in this case, 11th) Harry Potter Academic Conference. Though I attended online the last two years (my talks can be seen here and here), this was my first time back on the beautiful campus since 2019, given that the College was responsible enough to move the conference online for the worst of the COVID pandemic.

I’m happy to report that the conference is still going strong, despite the triple threats of COVID, the demise of the fan festival the helped launch the conference, and the concerns of many scholars, including myself, whose concerns about J.K. Rowling’s public anti-transgender rhetoric have caused them to rethink the wisdom of promoting her writing. But, conference founders and organizers Drs. Patrick McCauley and Karen Wendling report that the Colllege’s new president is enthusiastic about the conference and wants it not only to continue, but to expand, so I am optimistic that the HPAC is here to stay.

Onto this year’s highlights after the jump.

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Error corrections in The Ink Black Heart Kindle: Can anyone verify if any of our “gaffes” are fixed?

I just saw a Facebook posting where someone shared a recent communication from Amazon:

Dear Customer,
We recently learned that due to circumstances out of our control, the version of The Ink Black Heart: The Number One international bestseller (Strike 6) that you purchased had some quality issues. The content has been reviewed by our quality team and the errors have been corrected.
You can download the new version of the ebook file by going to the “Manage your content and devices” page:…/contentlist/booksAll/dateDsc/. Find the file in your Kindle Library and click on “Update available” next to the title. To finalize the download, make sure your device is charged and that your wi-fi connection is active.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and thank you for your patience.
Customer Service Department
I know some people have noticed typos, and that there have been complaints from some e-readers that the online chat print was too small to read comfortably. However, I am mainly curious to see if any of the gaffes Hogpro readers and writers have noted have been fixed already. As the case of the mysterious Mia Thompson shows, sometimes a correction can mean major new material.
Have any of our Kindle readers (specifically from the UK) gotten this communication?  If so, please share what is fixed.


Is Ryan Murphy Part of the Strike Pantheon…. As Poseidon?

I haven’t dived into the mythic elements of Cormoran Strike as much as my fellow faculty here, mainly because it is out of my area of expertise.  However,  a couple of my comments on one of John’s lengthy posts on the topic, I speculated that:

  1. If Strike and Robin are stand-ins for Cupid and Psyche, their eventual child should be a girl with a name meaning “Pleasure.” and
  2. Charlotte could be an anti-Psyche in the same way Morris was an anti-Eros.  That thought let to the idea that her daughter with Ross might have a name meaning “Pain” or “Sorrow”– a moniker fitting for Jago’s fourth unwanted not-the-heir-child. I suggested Lolita, both short for Dolores and a nod to Nabokov’s most famous female protagonist.

As usual, I wasn’t exactly right, but the child’s name is “Mary,” for which one meaning is “bitter.”  More importantly, this makes Charlotte’s daughter a namesake to the original “Our Lady of Sorrows.”  (Aside:  her brother’s name, James, derives from Jacob and means “supplanter”–  fitting for one who is destined to receive the full inheritance at the expense of his siblings).

With the small amount of confidence that half-guess gave me, I’m going to plunge into a raging ocean of speculation:  that Robin’s new beau, DCI Ryan Murphy, will also play a mythic role in the series. Furthermore, he will play the role of that ill-tempered deity of oceans and horses, and father of Percy Jackson, Poseidon (Neptune to Romans).

Find out why after the jump. [Read more…]

Updated Sporcle Quiz for Strike: Now with ‘The Ink Black Heart’ Characters

OK, Trivia Buff(ypaws), the Sporcle quiz on the top 100 most-mentioned Strike characters has been expanded and updated, and now has 130 names, including characters from The Ink Black Heart. I must admit, I don’t fully understand how they counted, given that Gus Upcott, Anomie and Paperwhite all have separate entries. I also don’t know if things like Twitter handles are included.  Does every mention of anomie@anomiegamemaster count as two?  Does @RealPaperwhite also go into Paperwhite’s tally?

In any case, it’s fun.  My first run through I got 85%, and would have gotten a few others, except that I’ve been listening to the audiobook and was therefore off on a few spellings. My record is 127/130, with apologies to Evan Duffield, Seb Montgomery and Madeline’s son Henry for forgetting them.

Check it out!