J.K. Rowling's latest novel — the mystery tale The Silkworm, penned under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith — hits stores today in very different circumstances than her earlier works.
The latest mystery thriller starring former soldier-turned-detective Cormoran Strike, The Silkworm revolves around the disappearance of a novelist who had just completed manuscript highly critical of those around him.
It's the first Galbraith novel to emerge since Harry Potter creator Rowling was revealed as the true author of the first, low-selling Cormoran Strike novel — entitled The Cuckoo's Calling — in spring 2013.
After a leak by an attorney at the blockbuster author's law firm, the modest but flatteringly reviewed mystery rocketed up the bestseller list. The Silkworm is Rowling's third novel for adults following the massive, international success of her Harry Potter teen wizard series.
The book, expected to be among this summer's literary bestsellers, emerges as one of the most high-profile titles embroiled in a current dispute between online retail giant Amazon and publisher Hachette. The battle is believed over contract terms and e-book discounting.
Rowling and other Hachette writers — including bestselling thriller author Scott Petterson and comedian Stephen Colbert — have criticized Amazon, which has blocked pre-orders for books by Hachette writers, delayed shipments of existing titles or removed books from its search.