Newt Scamander confronts THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD…

A new trailer for the next movie in the Fantastic Beasts series was released during San Diego Comic Con. It is a tantalizing look at what the next movie has to offer. Check it out:

The movie stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, Johnny Depp as Grindelwald, Jude Law as Dumbledore, and many others. Some returning faces from Fantastic Beasts appear in the trailer, which is also nice. The Crimes of Grindelwald is due to arrive in theatres in November.

Upcoming: LETHAL WHITE by Robert Galbraith (Mulholland/Sphere)

GalbraithR-CS4-LethalWhiteI was one of the readers who was drawn to Robert Galbraith‘s Cormoran Strike series after it was revealed that “Robert Galbraith” is actually J.K. Rowling. Before that, I don’t think I’d seen anything about The Cuckoo’s Calling anywhere. As a fan of Rowling’s Harry Potter series, I decided to give Galbraith’s novels a try. Luckily, I really liked the first one, and very quickly read the follow-up The Silkworm and then the third, Career of Evil. The novels are slow-burn mysteries, and the main characters are great. I have been eagerly anticipating the release of the fourth book, Lethal White, ever since it was announced that it was on the way. Here’s the synopsis:

“I seen a kid killed… He strangled it, up by the horse.”

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.

Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott — once his assistant, now a partner in the agency — set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.

And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been — Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.

The most epic Robert Galbraith novel yet, Lethal Whiteis both a gripping mystery and a page-turning next instalment in the ongoing story of Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott.

Lethal White is due to be published on September 18th, 2018, by Mulholland Books in North America and Sphere in the UK. The series has also been adapted into a BBC TV series, but I haven’t had the chance to watch it yet (it’s unclear where/how it’s available in Canada…).

Also on CR: Review of The Cuckoo’s CallingThe Silkworm and Career of Evil

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Upcoming: CAREER OF EVIL by Robert Galbraith (Mulholland)

GalbraithR-CS3-CareerOfEvil

I really enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm, and have been rather looking forward to the third novel starring Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott: Career of Evil. Today, the cover and plot were unveiled, for both the UK and US editions! Here’s the synopsis (from the author’s website)…

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

The novel will be published on October 20th (US) and 22nd (UK), 2015, by Mulholland/Little, Brown. Robert Galbraith is, of course, better known as a pseudonym of J.K. Rowling’s…

Also on CR: Review of The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm

Quick Reviews: THE CUCKOO’S CALLING and THE SILKWORM by Robert Galbraith (Sphere/Mulholland)

GalbraithR-CS1-CuckoosCallingUKJ.K. Rowling’s new series of London-based PI novels are fantastic.

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.

Strike is a war veteran – wounded both physically and psychologically – and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger…

I am not entirely sure how to review these novels. To discuss their plots at any length would ruin the plots – something that’s normal, but for some reason feels even more so the case here. The characters, however, are superb – and it is Cormoran Strike, Robin and their supporting cast that make these novels so good. If you haven’t read this series, yet, I strongly urge you to do so. Continue reading

“Cuckoo’s Calling” Art an Homage to Hellblazer? Also, some BAD Journalism.

Not sure why, but the cover art for Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling’s The Cuckoo’s Calling makes me think of Vertigo Comics’ John Constantine/Hellblazer covers.

Galbraith-CuckoosCalling

The shadowy figure scuttling away, the antique lamppost, the fire-like smog/smoke, the iron wrought fence, London… Ok, so the colour palette is a shade more chirpy than John Constantine’s covers, but if you were to darken it and swap out the birds for bats… Think it would work brilliantly. Below is the closest Hellblazer cover I could find after an admittedly very brief Googling session (by Simon Bisley)…

Hellblazer-SimonBisleyCover

Incidentally, we were finally able to get a copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling (since the big reveal, all of my local booksellers have an abundance of copies), and Alyssa blitzed through it in a single day. She said it was really good. I’ll try to get to it in the next couple of weeks, but I can’t promise anything. (Too. Many. Awesome. Books. To. Read.)

Also, in related news, the article in last week’s Sunday Times about the revelation that “Robert Galbraith” was really JK Rowling was the worst bit of journalism I’ve read in a long while. The article is behind the pay-wall, but here are two choice bits that irked me. First of all, the author of the piece was really scraping the barrel, claiming Rowling-as-Galbraith was an elementary deduction, making the article little more than a piece of I-Am-More-Awesomely-Deductive-Than-Thou puffery. The “killer clue” that tipped them off? Yeah, someone told her outright! But after that, the journalist insists,

“Of course it was JK Rowling. There are only two female authors who could write convincingly about the excesses of super-rich, super-glamorous London… There are only two female authors who could write totally persuasively about being chased by paparazzi and write compassionately about being famous. One is Zadie Smith; the other is JK Rowling. I know Zadie and I knew it wasn’t her…”

So, a nice spot of celebrity name-dropping, and a single-handed writing off of 99.99% of female authors who may wish to ever write about high society in the UK. The Sunday Times has spoken: you will never do it convincingly. If you are male? Well, forget it, too. According to the author of the ST piece, men can’t write women well enough or convincingly. The idea that a debut author couldn’t have done this? Unbelievable. The article got worse, however:

“It all became so obvious: the themes of the books are Rowling’s and are subjects she addressed in last year’s The Casual Vacancy – and in the Harry Potter books: noble small people; ghastly, spoilt wealthy ones; social injustice; race; poverty; being in the wrong family…”

So, going by this ‘logic’, Rowling also wrote Gossip Girl… These are universal, as-old-as-time literary themes, and are not the sole (or even rare) province of Hogwarts…