- The book is dedicated “To the real Deeby with many thanks.” As we read this book, some of us have wondered if Lula, Duffield, and/or Deeby were modeled after any British or American celebrities. What do you think?
- The first romantic relationship we’re exposed to is that of Robin & Matthew. Their flurry of romance seems to peter out markedly the longer that Robin is employed with the private detective. What did you think about their relationship; is his often cold demeanor and belittling attitude toward her job a “red flag” (i.e., an indicator of a potentially emotionally abusive relationship) or simply the “growing pains” related to the new stage of their relationship? What else did you think about Robin & Matthew?
- The second relationship we see is one that is imploding. As Charlotte flees Strike’s office, Galbraith describes her as “livid, yet strangely exhilarated,” (13) feeding into the stereotype of “unstable” women who take advantage of their significant others — and feed off of it. As the story of their relationship unfolds, we learn more about their tumultuous past — and not even Strike is sure what to think! What do you think about their relationship dynamic as we learn more about it? Do you think she is being intentionally manipulative and controlling? Why or why not?
- While reading this book, there is this focus, as Lady Gaga puts it, on The Fame Monster and what fame does to those seeking it and those ensconced in it. On top of that, Galbraith’s juxtaposition of war and celebrity was reminiscent of The Hunger Games’ use of those concepts. Our culture seems obsessed with celebrity, violence, and fame – why do you think that is? What do you think Galbraith was trying to say about these concepts?
- How would you assess Strike’s skills as an investigator? How is his talent evidenced in his interviews with suspects? How does his military experience influence his skills?
- There is a motley grouping of supermodels, fashion queens, sleazy movie execs, trophy wives, and upper- and lower-class Brits. Which characters did you find most entertaining/ amusing? Do any of them seem vulgar to you, and if so, does this add or detract from their entertainment value as you read?
- Answer ANY four questions
- Were you surprised by the ending? Or did you see it coming? Why…or why not?
- Good mystery writing leads readers astray with red-herrings. Who were you first suspicious of and why were you suspicious of them? Were you correct in your suspicions?
- Robin’s search for a career is what preoccupied much of her thoughts, and she was torn between what she saw as two options: job satisfaction and job stability. Which is more important to you, satisfaction or stability? Do you think she made the right choice by staying to work for Strike in the end?
- If you were a friend of Tansy’s, what would you say or do to support her? If you were a friend of Freddie’s what, if anything, might you say to him?
- If Lula had been Lucas (a man instead of a woman) do you think the story would have been different? Would the story be markedly different in the character’s treatment by the media (especially in terms of their mental illness, selection of relationship partners, and relationship with their first and second families). What do you think? Agree or disagree?
- What does the title Cuckoo’s Calling mean through the lens if you take in consideration that Cuckoo (the birds) are brood parasites who lay eggs in other bird’s nests and make these other birds raise their young? Often times, this is at the expense of the other bird’s own chicks.
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