Ink Black Heart Arrives in Three Months

Today is Memorial Day in the United States. See Memorial Day: Cormoran’s Memories for my 2021 reflections on Strike’s experiences and take-aways from his time in the Army. Thank you to the veterans in our reading audience. Semper Fi!

On to the subject of today’s post —

Ink Black Heart, the sixth installment in Rowling-Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series, will be published on 30 August 2022, exactly three months from today, just over 91 days at this writing.

In the run-up to publication of new Strike titles, our habit since Lethal White has been to make predictions about the book we are about to receive. There are various methods to this, from “what we’d like to see happen” in the Strike-Ellacott relationship and guesses about the epigraph focus of the novel based on its title to informed guesswork using literary alchemy, septology-series ring composition, and the Parallel Series Idea. It’s a lot of fun, frankly, and our crew has had some notable direct hits (and a lot of failures we don’t celebrate, though we scorecard our predictions openly).

The thing is, it doesn’t happen until the frenetic days, maybe weeks just before the publication date (Louise Freeman’s first predictions post being an outlier in being posted even before we had the Ink Black Heart title). I’m thinking we could try something systematic and regular over the next three months.

Here’s one idea as an example: we could divide the five books into the ~90 days we have left by assigning June to a review of Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm, July to Career of Evil and Lethal White, and all of August to the massive Troubled Blood, with a week just before publication devoted to predictions, sure and certain or off-the-wall. Maybe a vote on events or revelations that seem more likely than not to happen in Strike6, as in the StrikeFans ‘Ink Black Heart Checklist’ posted last December.

Let me know your ideas and your thoughts about focusing posts in the next three months on a review of the five books already in hand. I’m getting more excited about the new book now that we’re within a trimester of its birthing!


  1. Let the predictions commence!
    I made the prediction – – that we’ll see an important/powerful book in this novel: based both on the chiastic parallel with Silkworm (and its book-as-staged-suicide/vital-clue) and because the 2/6 pairing in HP likewise revolved around a powerful book (Riddle’s Diary/HBP textbook). Given that the title of HBP was related to the book I’m also hoping that the Ink Black Heart (with the inky pun) will be related to this book. But there’s another related possibility – as I’ve written in my ‘Dreams’ posts on HogPro Rowling is drawing from her time as a temp in Strike. But we haven’t seen that much else from her working life in the series – except in Silkworm, which uses her knowledge of the publishing world. So maybe we’ll see that again in this novel & she’ll use her main other job: teaching. She’s been a French teacher in Britain, & an English teacher in Portugal – maybe she’ll draw on this teaching of adolescents/ young adults this time? this would certainly make it easy to bring in a plot-crucial book. And in support of this guess is the fact that we know this plot will be about young people.

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