This real-life mystery is playing out like a well-written manuscript.
Over the weekend, Harry Potter mastermind J.K. Rowling was revealed as the true author behind The Cuckoo's Calling, a critically-acclaimed novel written by a Robert Galbraith.
The source behind the leak remained unknown until Thursday when Rowling's law firm, Russells, admitted that one of its partners had divulged that information. The firm released a statement over the inadvertent flap: “On becoming aware of the circumstances, we immediately notified J. K. Rowling’s agent. We can confirm that this leak was not part of any marketing plan and that neither J. K. Rowling, her agent nor publishers were in any way involved.”
The Sunday Times of London first revealed the true authorship of Cuckoo's Calling, saying it had received the tip-off via Twitter. The New York Times followed up and reported on how attorney Chris Gossage told his wife's bestie that Rowling was actually the figure behind Cuckoo's Calling. That friend then shared this information with The Sunday Times of London. The firm in its statement added, “Whilst accepting his own culpability, the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly."
Upon discovering the gaffe, an angry Rowling released a statement Thursday through her publicist addressing the name leak.
The author said, "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 added, "I had assumed that I could expect total confidentiality from Russells, a reputable professional firm and I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced."
The one redeeming factor is that book sales have skyrocketed. Though one reader points out that this particular statistic has little to no bearing on Rowling's original intention to keep her pseudonym a secret.