Real-life mystery of JK Rowling's 'secret' novel uncovered

Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:31pm EDT
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By Belinda Goldsmith

LONDON (Reuters) - A real-life mystery over who blew the cover on JK Rowling writing a detective novel under a pseudonym was uncovered on Thursday when the culprit was revealed to be - her law firm, which apologized unreservedly for the leak.

Rowling, whose Harry Potter series made her Britain's best-selling author, posed as a retired military policeman called Robert Galbraith to write "The Cuckoo's Calling" that was released in April to strong reviews but minimal sales.

But the real identity of Galbraith was revealed at the weekend after the Sunday Times newspaper received a set of anonymous tweets alleging Rowling was the author and its staff turned detective to match up the use of language and realize that the same literary agent was involved.

Caught fair and square, Rowling admitted she was Galbraith, sending sales of the detective novel soaring, but one question remained - who sent those tweets in the first place?

Further digging found that the tweets had come from a Twitter user named Jude Callegari but the account was deleted.

Investigations continued and the anonymous tweeter was linked back to Rowling's London-based law firm, Russells, and revealed on Thursday to be the best friend of the wife of one of the firm's partners.

Rowling, in a statement issued by her publicist on Thursday, said she had now discovered how the leak about Galbraith's true identity occurred.

"A tiny number of people knew my pseudonym and it has not been pleasant to wonder for days how a woman whom I had never heard of prior to Sunday night could have found out something that many of my oldest friends did not know," she said.   Continued...

Author J.K. Rowling poses for a portrait while publicizing her adult fiction book "The Casual Vacancy" at Lincoln Center in New York October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri