The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
When a beloved author switches genre, most people are too surprised by the seeming inconsistency to see any continuity between the works. But it makes total sense to me that the author of the Harry Potter series would move on to writing mysteries for adults. The Harry Potter books were always anchored firmly in a mystery plot, and very methodically plotted to reveal information to readers only gradually. (Have you ever seen the charts JKR drew up diagramming her plots? Genius.) Also, no one who has read Harry Potter closely will be surprised to learn that JK Rowling has a sick and twisted imagination. But maybe it took a murder mystery to give her the chance to really parade display her freakiness, to let it all hang out. This novel includes the most disgusting murder scene I’ve ever encountered in any media, so over-the-top revolting that it makes me hope this book never gets adapted.
The title of The Silkworm comes from a metaphor in the book-within-a-book, Bombyx Mori, which is another showcase for Rowling-as-Galbraith to play with weird and nasty images. The mystery Strike solves is the disappearance and murder of the book’s author. I enjoyed this book more than the previous Cormoran Strike book because it was based in the world of publishing, rather than the world of fashion.
This book also seemed to hint at mysteries that may be solved in future books. I imagine that before Galbraith/Rowling is finished with Cormoran Strike, he will have investigated his own mother’s unexplained death. Strike’s volatile ex Charlotte is also someone who could easily be murdered or accused of murder; through solving a mystery involving her, Strike could confront his feelings about her and finally get over her. Leaving the way for him to get together with Robin, of course. Those books would be great fun to read. I hope Galbraith/Rowling keeps turning these mysteries out at a nice brisk pace!