The Life and Times of Strike and Ellacott Timeline available for Readers

At long last, the timeline I created for Robin and Strike’s lifetimes is available to anyone who requests it by email.  See link at the top left of the homepage.

This timeline grew out of my interest in the errors and inconsistencies in the series as a whole, and particularly my efforts to make sense of Donald Laing’s timeline. Troubled Blood solved a few time mysteries, but also opened up others.

I am grateful to all the readers who have already contributed to the effort through their comments on this site, particularly Nick, who explained British school calendars to me. Lots of details, such as Switch LeVey Bloom Whittaker being a probably preemie, were the result of comments on my earlier posts.

The day-by-day book timelines available at were also very useful.

I fully expect this to be a “living document” updated not only with publication of new books, but when others spot dates that I missed, or correct my errors.




  1. Nick Jeffery says

    This is wonderful Louise! I’m trying to make a sensible timeline for Strike’s career in the army and this will be invaluable.

  2. Annachiara says

    I loved reading this timeline! So well organized! I also enjoyed how the speculation about the inconsistencies.
    I hope that it’s ok that I point out an error.
    In the timeline it’s stated that Strike meets and starts dating Lorelei in April 2012. But they have been dating 10 months at the start of LW (excluding the prologue of course) and they have been together 11.5 months when they break up. So they probably met in September 2011.

    Once again, stellar effort, well done!

  3. Beatrice Groves says

    Thank you Louise! A brilliant resource.

  4. Strike Fan says

    Great Work !!

    I think the year of Strike’s conception in the very first row has a typo? Strike’s conception should in 74′ Feb not 73.

  5. I am so excited about this! I’d been working on my own timeline, but this is so much more comprehensive (and, frankly, the Laing/Brockbank stuff did my head in and I gave up on that). I have a few extra dates (pre-Strike birth, like Leda’s birth, Ted/Joan’s marriage, etc.) that I put in. I can share them here if you like. I also threw in things like Dave Polworth’s birthday, Rokeby’s marriages, etc.

    A few other Strike-specific things I had in mine that I don’t see (but maybe I missed them):

    1986 – Cormoran Strike in Cornwall (CC, part 2, ch. 5 – And yet he was close to feeling about her as he had felt towards a grass snake that he had succeeded in trapping in Trevaylor Woods when he was eleven, and about which he had had a long, pleading argument with his Auntie Joan…)

    1991: Cormoran Strike begins boxing (CoE, ch. 10 – Strike was already over six feet and boxing at a local club.)

    But I’m so glad/relieved to see that basically, we reached the same conclusions! Thank you for doing this and sharing it. Very helpful!

  6. Louise Freeman says

    Thank you all. I’ll give it a week or so for corrections to come in, then hopefully update with a Version 2.0.

  7. Louise Freeman says

    Please share anything you like!

  8. Karol Jay says

    Thank you for sharing. I don’t have a correction, just a comment. The Wikipedia entry for Whittaker in CofE Chap 6 explicitly states Leda died of a heroin overdose in 1994. It’s not a date inserted for the TV series. There is quite a narrow window for Strike being aged 20 and also 1994, assuming the year is correct in the entry, which is not a given.

  9. Karol Jay says

    I want to add to my comment concerning Leda’s death. In CC Chap 11, Strike remembers:

    “Why she had done it, nobody could quite explain, not even Uncle Ted (silent and shattered, leaning against the kitchen sink) or Aunt Joan (red-eyed but angry at her little kitchen table, with her arms around nineteen-year-old Lucy, who was sobbing into Joan’s shoulder).”

    When I read this my impression is that they have all recently heard the news and that Strike is there. The only reason he would be there is for a weekend or he was between terms. If he had been at Oxford when he heard the news he probably would have gone to London rather than traveling to St Mawes. Anyway, that’s my take and might mean it was Christmas break.

  10. Strike Fan says

    Al Rokeby’s graduation is an anachronism in this timeline. Would there be British army presence in Afghanistan before 9/11? I think the picture reference could be year 2002, and for some reason Al graduated at 19.

  11. Louise Freeman says

    Karol, Great catch, and something I had not thought about. I think you are right on the money here. Though it does complicate the question of how Lucy could be 19 already, when Strike has just turned 20, given that most of the time they are listed as 2 years apart in age.

    This also leads be back to the question, where was Baby Switch when his mother died? If he was living in the squat at the time, and Whittaker was already a suspect in her death, it seems the family would have gone to get him immediately. Unless the Whittaker great-grandparents already had him.

  12. Nick Jeffery says

    Great spot Strike Fan! British special forces were first deployed in November 2001, with a larger regular deployment in the first quarter of 2002.

  13. Karol Jay says

    Maybe you’ve made adjustments already, but Al could have been born in 1984 rather than 1983, Strike would have been aged 9 for most of the year. If Al’s birthday was in the first months of the year he would be 18 in the spring of 2002 in time for graduation and the picture with Jonny.

    As for Lucy’s birth date, I can’t make any sense of the assertion she was 19 when her mother died. When I see it I always change it to “19th year” in my head and feel much better.

  14. One of the most beautiful things that one can get from being part of a fandom, it’s the collaborative aspect of it. One person creating something to help others may be a surprise, but in the end is one of those things that keep us together as a group of people who share a passion for a series of books or an author.

    J.K. Rowling’s Strike books are complex by nature, a product of her intricate narrative that we all appreciate. Of course, her characters’ lives are as complex and vivid as we can expect, and remembering every tiny detail of their lives is harder with every new book. That’s why we should celebrate, as fans, Louise’s effort on creating this timeline of Cormoran and Robin’s lives. This resource would be great not only for the Pundits who are going to use them for their research and theories, but also for the occasional reader who may want to remember an old fact from the characters or who forgot some events from the earliest books. I am sure every Strike fan will be delighted to use this new “tool”, and have everything condensed and organized at one place – and I am sure J.K. Rowling and her editor would be happy to take advantage of it as well. Congratulations to Louise again and everyone who helped her in creating this

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