Running Grave: The Gaffes

It is a feature of to post seven open threads on the day a Rowling-Galbraith novel is published, thereby creating spaces for readers to comment as they make their way through the new book about a variety of topics close to our hearts.

The seven I am posting for Running Grave are:

Of these, I place ‘The Gaffes’ in the lead position because it has generated by far the most responses in the past. (Check out the Gaffes posts for Lethal White, Troubled Blood , and Ink Black Heart if you doubt me on that score.) In the two previews we were given — Rowling, Inc’s greatest gaffe jamboree to date, both having to be pulled promptly after publication — the chapters given included several mistakes that readers have noted.

So, have it in the comment boxes below! This shouldn’t need to be said, but of course those concerned about spoilers should not read this thread.


  1. @MC, I think we’re supposed to take away that Becca knows Cherie has daughters because the UHC has been keeping close tabs on her… or maybe all ex-members, but it would be especially challenging with “Cherie” because of all the name changes—which shows they’ve put some real effort into keeping track of her.

  2. @Elisa, here’s the only significance I can glean from the bit about Rosie Fernsby, Papa J, and Birmingham: The trip didn’t happen because Rosie and her family escaped the farm the night before. From what I can tell… this just seems like a bit of over-involved narrative misdirection. It’s supposed to get you thinking about Papa J’s mysterious movements: Why the cancelled trip? Could he have been present when Daiyu disappeared, even though he shouldn’t have been?? But the explanation turns out to be more prosaic: He didn’t take Rosie to Birmingham because… Rosie had left.

    When we find out Rosie and her family were skulking around in the early hours of The Night Before, I guess we’re also led to believe they might’ve witnessed something with Daiyu… but that’s a bit of a dead-end too, I think. I could’ve done without this plotline. There’s just a little too much of it, without much payoff. Seems like there are less convoluted ways to cast doubt on Papa J’s whereabouts at the time of the disappearance.

  3. Thank you SK! Yes, I suspect that’s all it is, rather disappointingly. Same with the mysterious jogger on the beach. Was that meant to be Abigail in disguise, or a genuinely random jogger who doesn’t have anything to do with anything? Either way it’s not conclusively explained.

  4. @Elisa, I got stuck/confused on the jogger too! I don’t really see how it could be Abigail, who’d just strategically positioned herself on early duty at Chapman Farm to “witness” Cherie driving off with “Daiyu” …and convince the other poor “witnesses” of what they’d seen. It also makes no sense for it to be Papa J, who wasn’t in on any of this. My conclusion is… random jogger! Is it, I guess, a touch of realism? A reminder that some stuff will always turn out to be extraneous and not every piece will fit into the puzzle (as we’re told outright at one point)? True enough! But it was pretty overplayed for a “clue” of no significance at all….

  5. Ed Shardlow says

    After the numerous grammatical errors in IBH, I decided to keep a log of those in TRG as I came across them:

    p152 “ready to reborn” should be “ready to be reborn”

    p241 “Lynn/Lynne Advertiser”

    p644 “yet trace her yet”

    p768 “sat down back down”

    p830 “I’m try not to”

    p846 “they’ll must have him”

    There was one other that I noticed but forgot to note down and then couldn’t remember where it was.

  6. Ed Shardlow says

    Regarding the supposed Daiyu inheritance error, I think it does make sense.

    The quarter of a million was left to Daiyu in Alexander Graves’ will. This was money in his own name rather than any kind of family trust, so would have been in her name, although as she was under 18 the executors of the will would act on her behalf to hold the money for Daiyu. If she then dies intestate, that money would pass to her next of kin, which would be Mazu.

    The family home however is subject to a trust, that’s the only way it could be stipulated that it has to pass to the eldest child. The question of Daiyu’s DNA evidence would presumably pertinent when Colonel Graves dies and they need to decide whether his eldest child had an eldest child. If not, then it would presumably go to James as the next eldest surviving descendants.

  7. Ed Shardlow says

    Made a gaffe of my own in my last comment. The Graves house would revert to Philippa, not James…

  8. Ed Shardlow says

    A minor gaffe; on p65 when looking into census records for Chapman Farm, Robin says “You can only access census records up to 1921”. The 1921 records were released in 2022. There’s a 100 year embargo. You can currently access records up to 1921, but when our story is set, in 2016, you could only go up to 1911.

  9. Ed Shardlow says

    @Brenna, along the same lines as the reference to Nicholas Delauney “herself”, on p813 Strike refers to Phillipa as “Daiyu’s aunt – brother of the Stolen Prophet”.

    These two together seem quite revealing. It looks like it might originally have been Phillip and Nicola and they got gender-swapped before the final draft.

  10. Thank you – I spent hours trying to work out where I had missed the reveal regarding the jogger.

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