detect new vocabulary with 'the cuckoo's calling'

Detect new vocabulary with ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’

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With this new blog post, you will detect new vocabulary that will improve your English. I’m going to present to you ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ by Robert Galbraith. Here’s what is going to be in the blog post:

  1. Who is Robert Galbraith?
  2. What is ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ about?
  3. Detect new language
  4. Other interesting aspects of the book

Who is robert galbraith?

It took a while for people to realise who this person was. According to Galbraith’s publicist, Robert Galbraith is the same person as J.K. Rowling. The British newspaper, the Sunday Times was the paper that discovered this secret. Before her identity was discovered, people believed that Robert Galbraith is actually an ex-British army soldier.

Rowling later said she wanted “…to take my writing persona as far away as possible from me“. In other words, she wanted to stay as far away as possible from the person, who wrote the very successful Harry Potter books.

The mystery started as many book critics saw that this book was “…too accomplished” for a first-time writer. Usually, first-time writers don’t have such a good writing style. It usually takes more than one book. to get things perfect. Either way, Robert Galbraith caused a sensation with this book as over 1500 copies were sold immediately after publishing.

what is ‘the cuckoo’s calling’ about?

The book is about Lula Landry, a famous model who falls to her death from her balcony. Many of her friends and the public believe her death to be suicide. Nevertheless, there is one person who does not believe this – her brother. He calls a wounded ex-soldier, come private investigator to look into her death.

Comoran Strike, the private investigator, dives into work. For him, this is a financial lifeline. However, the further he goes down the deep ‘rabbit hole’ of this mystery, the more danger he gets himself and his associate Robin Ellacott into. I can hear the question from many of you, what is the ending? To which I will give the answer: read it! Here is the link to buy it:

would you like to sound Like Comoran Strike?

Detect new vocabulary

This book is for more advanced learners and we can see this some of the vocabulary which Galbraith uses throughout. Here are just a few words that will give your English an extra boost:

  • fusty – stale and unclean smelling. This is used to describe Strike’s office where he works. The writer wants us to think of a room which is old and disgusting.
  • desultory – unplanned. This is at the beginning of the book to describe how the journalists are taking pictures of the crime scene.
  • piquant – engagingly stimulating. This describes the idea of Robin coming back the following week to work for Strike. At least with her coming back, Strike was now looking forward to the weekend ending.
  • riotous – unrestrained. One of the characters uses this word to describe how they think Landry behaves. She behaves in an unrestrained way.

As we can see from these words, they give a deep description of certain situations and characters. This makes the book stand out from other contemporary crime books. As mentioned above, it also makes it harder for this book (the first in a series), to really be the debut book. This is because the vocabulary and grammar is more complex and established than we could expect from someone, who has only just started writing.

If you’re looking for further books that you can read to improve your English, then look at this post about the best books for English. Furthermore, read up on how a Kindle can help you improve your English language skills.

Cockoo's calling pin

other interesting aspects of the book

The book gives you more than just vocabulary and grammar to learn. It also goes into a more complex world, which Strike and Ellacott have to dig up. Here are other issues brought up in the book:


This book has a lot of betrayal in it. Different characters turn on each other when Strike and Ellacott get too close to the truth. People who seemed loyal to one another, turn out to be nothing but selfish and arrogant.


Lula Landry, the victim, is a famous person. All of the people in her life seem to want to be famous as well. Due to this, they climb on top of each other in order to get the fame they think they deserve. Strike and Ellacott, on the other hand, are exactly the opposite. They are average people trying to make lives for themselves. The characters they interview during the book make them feel uneasy and even disgusted.


As with any crime book, there needs to be a lot of suspense. Galbraith dishes this out by the bucket load. Those people who you thought were meant to be on the side of Landry might not be who they really make themselves out to be. This leaves the reader wanting to dig further to see what comes next.


This word describes the people Strike and Ellacott interview. ‘Brat’ means someone who is arrogant and only thinks of themselves. This is mainly due to the fact all the characters, who are interviewed, are only interested in their own lives, rather than helping the investigators find out what happened.


This book talks a lot about the identity of people. In particular, it talks about the identity of Landry, a rich woman, who is seen as a star on the rise. On the other hand, Galbraith also pinpoints the identity of Strike. It turns out that he is an illegitimate child of a rockstar. The author wants us to see the polar opposites. The writer would also like us to look ourselves and discover who we truly are.

As you can see this book is something that will keep you hooked until the end. It will not only help you to detect new vocabulary, but also to discover a darker world that comes with fame and fortune.

Would you like To sound like a Brit, too?

Comment below and tell us what vocabulary you can detect in this book.

1 thought on “Detect new vocabulary with ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’”

  1. To be honest your article is informative and very helpful. After i saw your site and i read it and it help me a lot. Thanks for share your kind information.

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