The Boy Who Lived stands over the charred corpse, the lightning scar on his forehead and the police badge on his hip glistening in the Miami sun. The medical examiner, a curly-haired Muggle, explains how an accelerant was used to burn the murder victim. "Well," Harry Potter says, pausing to don his sunglasses in the seconds before the CSI theme music starts. "You should always expecto petroleum."
Okay, so it's safe to say the J.K. Rowling crime novel The Cuckoo's Calling is not about wizard detectives (although that would be cool; publishers, give me a call), but with the week-old shock revelation that the Harry Potter author has had a new book on the shelves for months we got thinking about literary scandals and the use of pseudonyms. And while it might be easy for someone who has sold 450 million books to quietly slip a manuscript to publishers under another name and see what happens, not many others have that luxury.
J.K. Rowling pulled off a stunt by publishing The Cuckoo’s Calling as Robert Galbraith, but she’s hardly the first author to use a pen name.
This article is older than 60 days, which we reserve for our premium members only.You can subscribe to our premium member subscription, here.