J.K. Rowling, the famed author of the Harry Potter series, has been outted as the author behind the crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, which was published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith in April. The Cuckoo’s Calling, a murder mystery about a vet who works as a private detective, was far from a best seller when it was released in the spring, despite receiving rave reviews. Publisher’s Weekly called the book a “stellar debut.”

The Cuckoo’s Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place,” fellow author Val McDermid said, according to The New York Times.

The publisher, Little, Brown and Company, was in on the ruse, going so far as to create a short biography of Galbraith on their website.

“He left the military in 2003 and has been working since then in the civilian industry. The idea for (protagonist) Comoran Strike grew directly out of his own experiences and those of his military friends who returned to the civilian world. ‘Robert Galbraith’ is a pseudonym,” read the biography.

The Sunday Times exposed the truth of the crime novel’s authorship, after they received an anonymous tip telling them that Rowling had authored The Cuckoo’s Calling. Though the reporters had questioned whether the book was really written by a novice, they were reportedly reluctant to follow the story. After realizing that The Cuckoo’s Calling author Galbraith and Rowling shared the same agent, publisher (Little, Brown and Company), and editor in Britain, journalist Brooks questioned the publishers, and Rowling quickly admitted that she had, indeed, written the crime novel.

“I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer, because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience. It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name,” Rowling said in a statement.

Since J.K. Rowling has claimed authorship, sales of The Cuckoo’s Calling reportedly skyrocketed up 500,000%, and Rowling has hinted at a sequel.

“Robert fully intends to keep writing the series, although he will probably continue to turn down personal appearances,” Rowling teased in her statement.

The Cuckoo’s Calling marks Rowling’s second foray into adult literature post-Harry Potter, the first being last year’s best-selling The Casual Vacancy.

– Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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