From Ryan Murphy, Secret Halvening to Unpacking Tannhäuser: Check out the Strike and Ellacott files blog

I am a loyal fan of the Strike and Ellacott Files podcast, and look forward to new episodes every couple of weeks.  But, if you peruse their website, you’ll find they also have a blog:  a hidden gem that is easily overlooked if you, like me, usually jump straight to Spotify to hear the broadcast. I want to give a shout-out to a couple of recent posts there, because I think they present ideas our Serious Striker readers would enjoy discussing.

The first, by “Amber” hypothesizes that Robin’s new suitor, Ryan Murphy, is secretly a member of the Halvening. I scoffed at the notion at first, but Amber points out evidence that is impossible to unsee.  Like the pregnant Madeline hypothesis, I really *hope* this idea doesn’t come to pass—  poor Robin deserves a few dates with a decent guy after the series of disasters that were Matthew “Flobberworm” Cunliffe, Saul “Dickhead DeMorris Umbridge” and Hugh Jacks (no nickname needed, as his given name is embarrassing enough), and I’d like her experience a fun, casual relationship before her and Strike’s inevitable coupling.

The second, is a series of three posts (Parts I, II and III) on the Tannhäuser opera, the one the “portly Russian” is talking about at Annabels.   Opera is far from my area of expertise, but this Wagnerian work apparently starts with Leda and the Swan and “centres on the struggle between sacred and profane love, as well as redemption through love.”  The plot of the opera?  A young knight struggling to free himself of the sexual hold Venus has over him, and prove himself worthy of the love of a virtuous woman.”  “Marty Ellacott” takes us through all three acts, connecting the opera’s plot to Strike’s spiritual journey in The Ink Black Heart and the entire series. Anyone with an interest in mythic, Christian and spiritual themes in the Cormoran Strike series should read these posts. I left the first post convinced Tannhäuser is the Rattenbury of The Ink Black Heart; a minor mention that unlocks a lot about the story.

Please check out these remarkable posts!



  1. Thank you, Louise, for finding this first class work over at ‘Strike-Ellacott Files’!

    I tried to leave this comment after the Havening Theory but don’t know if it posted (or posted twice?):

    A wonderfully credible bit of speculation based almost entirely on careful reading of ‘Ink Black Heart’ — hat’s off to Amber on this cogent collection of clues and weighing of evidence!

    I am on board except for the near-requirement of this theory that Robin is being duped and that Strike will be put in the position, as Lucy points out, of having to convince her that Murphy is a snake in the grass. I’m struggling to see Rowling-Galbraith set up the relationship at this point in the series with Robin as the maiden in distress and in need of rescue by the Red Crosse Knight.

    This will definitely be the subject of much discussion over at HogwartsProfessor. Again, hat’s off to Amber, a reader who has earned adjunct-contractor status at the Strike-Ellacott Detective Agency with this effort!

    I look forward to reading the Tannhauser three part series, which, just from your summary, sounds very compelling.

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