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Are you a fan of J.K. Rowling’s mystery novels? Then you won’t want to miss “The Silkworm,” a gripping audiobook written by Rowling under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith. In this comprehensive audiobook review, we’ll dive into the plot, characters, and storytelling prowess of one of the greatest mystery authors of our time.

Whether you’re a die-hard Galbraith reader or a newcomer to her work, this audiobook will keep you on the edge of your seat. From suspenseful twists and turns to captivating characters, “The Silkworm” has it all.

Read on to discover why this audiobook should be on the top of your list, and why it’s a must-listen for fans of mystery and detective novels.

About the Author – Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym for J.K. Rowling)

Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym used by the renowned author, J.K. Rowling, for her mystery novels. Born in England in 1965, Rowling shot to international fame with her “Harry Potter” series, which has garnered millions of fans worldwide. However, she adopted the pseudonym Robert Galbraith for her mystery novels, which she wrote to explore a different genre outside of her usual writing style.

Before achieving literary success, Rowling was a single mother and worked as a researcher and bilingual secretary. In 1995, she completed her first novel, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” which was followed by six more books in the series, all of which were bestsellers. In addition to her literary accolades, Rowling is also a philanthropist and founder of Lumos, an organization dedicated to ending the institutionalization of children.

Birth Name: Joanne Rowling
Date of Birth: 31 July 1965
Nationality: British
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery
Notable Works: Harry Potter series, The Silkworm, Career of Evil

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” J.K. Rowling

Book Summary – “The Silkworm”

Written by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, “The Silkworm” is the second entry in the Cormoran Strike series, following the events of “The Cuckoo’s Calling.” The novel opens with the disappearance of Owen Quine, a peculiar and unpopular author who has recently completed a controversial manuscript filled with thinly-veiled insults and caricatures of those in the publishing industry. Detective Cormoran Strike and his trustworthy assistant Robin Ellacott are hired by Quine’s wife to find him, but their investigation takes a sinister turn when Quine’s mutilated body is discovered. Strike uncovers various secrets and hidden motives, making several shocking discoveries, as he navigates through a web of lies and deceit to solve the case.

The plot is intricately woven, filled with twists and unexpected turns that keep the readers on edge until the very end. Rowling’s writing style is engaging, mastering the art of suspense and keeping listeners hooked throughout the audiobook. The audiobook edition of “The Silkworm” stretches over 17 hours and 26 minutes, narrated by Robert Glenister in a rich, evocative voice that captures the nuances of each character perfectly.

Plot Characters
The plot is centered around the disappearance and subsequent murder of the author Owen Quine, following the discovery of a controversial manuscript he had written. Cormoran Strike’s investigation leads him into the heart of the publishing world, discovering various secrets and hidden motives as he delves deeper into the case. Cormoran Strike is a complex and compelling protagonist, with an unconventional approach to detective work. Robin Ellacott is his trusted assistant who plays a crucial role in solving the case. Other notable characters include Owen Quine, his wife Leonora, and a group of eccentric authors who become suspects.


“The Silkworm” is a captivating mystery novel that follows Cormoran Strike as he investigates the disappearance and subsequent murder of the author Owen Quine. Rowling’s engaging writing style and Glenister’s narration draw readers into the intriguing plot, filled with twists and suspenseful moments. The characters are complex and well-developed, adding depth to the story.

Narration and Production Quality

One of the standout features of the audiobook version of “The Silkworm” is the top-notch audiobook narration and voice acting that brings the characters and story to life. The narrator, Robert Glenister, delivers a dynamic performance that captures the essence of each character and their individual quirks. His expert delivery of Rowling’s prose gives listeners a nuanced audio experience that deepens their immersion in the story.

In addition to Glenister’s exceptional voice acting, the overall production quality of the audiobook is superb. The sound engineers and producers did an excellent job of creating a seamless listening experience that sets the tone and enhances the mood of each scene. The music and sound effects incorporated into the audiobook are never overbearing or distracting but instead serve to amplify the impact of the story.

“The audiobook’s top-notch narration and expertly produced audio quality make for a thoroughly immersive listening experience.”

Plot Analysis and Storytelling Prowess

Robert Galbraith’s “The Silkworm” offers a compelling mystery, but what truly sets it apart is Rowling’s exceptional storytelling ability. Her masterful storytelling can be seen in the intricate plot, the creative use of narrative techniques, and the development of captivating characters.

The plot is a multi-layered mystery that keeps you guessing until the very end. Rowling’s plot analysis explores the depths of human nature and the darker sides of society, creating a thought-provoking and suspenseful story. Through intricate twists and turns, Rowling adeptly weaves a unique and engaging tale that is sure to captivate readers.

Rowling’s use of narrative techniques is also exceptional. One such technique is her ability to seamlessly switch between perspectives, providing deeper insights into the characters and their motivations. She also employs vivid descriptions and symbolic language to create a vivid and immersive world for readers to explore.

The characters themselves are also brilliantly developed, with each one possessing unique strengths and flaws that make them feel multi-dimensional. From the protagonist, Cormoran Strike, to the many supporting characters, each personality is distinct and significant to the plot. Rowling masterfully balances the character development with the complex plot, making the story thoroughly enjoyable and engaging.

“The Silkworm” showcases Rowling’s genius storytelling prowess, creating a thought-provoking, suspenseful, and deeply engaging mystery.

plot analysis

Themes Explored Through the Plot

Aside from its masterful storytelling, “The Silkworm” also explores several important themes, dynamics, and social commentary. Through the storyline, characters, and dialogue, Rowling highlights the socio-economic hierarchies and privilege in contemporary society.

One of the central themes of the story is the power dynamics between authors and their publishers and the feeling of possession creators can have over their work. The author draws on her own experiences and explores this theme in-depth, providing readers with a unique perspective. In addition, the book challenges societal stereotypes surrounding women and their roles in society.

Themes and Social Commentary in “The Silkworm” Featured Quotes
British Society and Class “No one can know everything. But not to know certain things is unacceptable, disgraceful.”
Power dynamics between authors and publishers “Publishers don’t do anyone any good, authors least of all. They don’t help writers, they interfere with creativity.”
Stereotypes of Women in Society “Women are objects of obsession, for no other reason than the fact of being women.”

Rowling’s inclusion of these themes elevates the book to a deeper level of criticism and analysis, providing readers with more to ponder upon long after they’ve finished the book.

Engaging Mystery Elements

“The Silkworm” is a gripping detective story that will keep listeners on their toes from start to finish. With carefully crafted mystery elements woven throughout the narrative, the story builds steadily, intensifying the suspense as the characters attempt to unravel the clues surrounding the murder of Owen Quine.

Rowling’s masterful storytelling comes alive as listeners follow private detective Cormoran Strike and his trusty assistant Robin Ellacott as they navigate the shady underbelly of the literary world in search of answers. With each new discovery, the tension and intrigue mount, and the listener is left wondering just how far the killer will go to cover their tracks.

From cryptic messages left behind by the victim to potentially damning secrets buried deep in the past, “The Silkworm” is filled with plenty of clues to keep mystery enthusiasts engaged throughout. With believable characters and airtight plotting, this audiobook delivers a truly immersive and thrilling listening experience that is not to be missed.

Themes and Social Commentary

Although “The Silkworm” is primarily a mystery novel, it also offers insightful social commentary on various aspects of society. One such theme that stands out is the power dynamics within the publishing industry. As private detective Cormoran Strike delves deeper into the investigation surrounding the murder of Owen Quine, a prominent writer with a history of controversial work, he discovers just how cutthroat the world of publishing can be. The novel critiques the industry’s obsession with profits at the expense of artistic expression and raises questions about creative integrity in a society that prioritizes commercial success.

Another prominent theme is the exploration of identity, both personal and cultural. The characters in “The Silkworm” grapple with their sense of self, from Strike’s struggles with his amputated leg to the challenges faced by female characters in a male-dominated world. The novel also explores broader societal issues, such as class and the division between the haves and have-nots. By weaving these themes into the narrative, Rowling writing as Galbraith provides readers with a thought-provoking critique of contemporary society.

The use of social commentary and themes elevates “The Silkworm” beyond your typical mystery novel and adds an extra layer of complexity and depth to the story. By exploring power dynamics, identity, and societal issues, Rowling highlights important topics that are often ignored in popular media. This makes for an engaging and thought-provoking read that will leave listeners contemplating their own roles in society.

Character Analysis

The characters in “The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith are complex, compelling, and central to the story’s success. From the protagonist to the supporting cast, each character contributes to the plot’s twists and turns, and their individual motivations and flaws create a layered and engaging narrative.


Private detective Cormoran Strike is the novel’s central figure and serves as the protagonist. Strike is a well-drawn character with a rich backstory, including a complicated personal life that he struggles to manage. Throughout the novel, Strike’s keen intelligence and perseverance drive the investigation forward, while his personal demons threaten to derail the case and his relationships with those around him.


The novel’s antagonist is not a single character but a group of connected individuals who contribute to the crime at the heart of the novel. The identity of the mastermind behind it all is revealed slowly, and this gradual reveal contributes to the novel’s suspense and mystery.

Supporting Characters

The supporting cast in “The Silkworm” is varied and includes Strike’s assistant Robin, several suspects, and various people connected to the deceased. Each supporting character is unique, with their own motivations and personalities that help to drive the story forward.

Character Development

Throughout the novel, the characters undergo significant development as they contend with the investigation’s twists and turns. Strike moves through a range of emotions as he navigates the case, while Robin confronts personal challenges and overcomes them to develop a greater sense of confidence and independence. The novel’s characters are not static, but rather are dynamic and evolve as the narrative progresses.

Comparisons to Other Galbraith and Rowling Works

Comparing “The Silkworm” to other works by both Robert Galbraith and J.K. Rowling provides insights into the unique style and methods used in each book. In terms of themes, “The Silkworm” bears resemblance to Galbraith’s previous novel, “The Cuckoo’s Calling.” Both novels explore the gritty aspects of human nature and the seedy underbelly of society. However, “The Silkworm” also incorporates elements of the publishing industry, making it a unique addition to the series.

As for J.K. Rowling’s other works, “The Silkworm” differs greatly from the “Harry Potter” series in terms of tone and subject matter. However, both Rowling and Galbraith excel at creating multi-dimensional characters. Fans of Rowling’s “Cormoran Strike” series will appreciate the complex character development in “The Silkworm,” highlighting Galbraith’s strengths as a mystery writer.

When it comes to writing style and storytelling techniques, “The Silkworm” shares similarities with both Galbraith and Rowling’s other works. Each author has a distinct voice and approach to storytelling, with Galbraith’s style being more overtly gritty and realistic, whereas Rowling’s is more fantastical and imaginative.

Similarities Differences
J.K. Rowling Multi-dimensional characters Tone and subject matter
Robert Galbraith Exploration of gritty human nature incorporation of publishing industry

Critical Reception and Public Opinion

Since its release, “The Silkworm” audiobook has received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the audiobook for its thrilling storyline, immersive narration, and engaging mystery elements. The audiobook has been particularly well-received among mystery enthusiasts and fans of J.K. Rowling’s previous works.

Publishers Weekly gave the audiobook a starred review, stating, “Robert Galbraith scores another hit with ‘The Silkworm,’ a mystery that’s both complex and compelling. Narrator Robert Glenister delivers a pitch-perfect performance, immersing listeners in the action from start to finish.”

“The Silkworm audiobook is a must-listen for fans of J.K. Rowling’s writing and anyone who loves a good mystery. With expert narration and a gripping storyline, listeners will be on the edge of their seats until the very end.”

– BookPage

Public opinion has also been largely positive, with reviewers on giving the audiobook an average rating of 4.5 stars. Many listeners praised the audiobook for its immersive listening experience and captivating storyline.

The New York Times Bestseller List

Weeks on the List Ranking
1 #1
2 #3
3 #7
4 #10

Impact and Legacy

Since its publication in 2014, The Silkworm has made a significant impact on the mystery genre, thanks to J.K. Rowling’s literary influence. The novel’s masterful storytelling, engaging mystery elements, and underlying social commentary have cemented its position as one of the standout works of contemporary crime fiction.

Moreover, through her alias Robert Galbraith, Rowling has created a new and compelling series that showcases her storytelling prowess beyond the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Indeed, many critics have praised Rowling’s ability to craft intricate plots, develop complex characters, and maintain suspense throughout the story, elevating The Silkworm beyond standard detective novels.

Looking ahead, it is clear that the legacy of The Silkworm will remain for years to come. Besides its impact on the mystery genre, the novel has also inspired future works of crime fiction and influenced readers and writers to appreciate the elements of storytelling beyond the novels’ plot and mystery.

“The Silkworm is a tour-de-force mystery drama, introducing readers to a complex and intriguing world and solidifying Rowling’s position as a masterful storyteller.”

Audiobook Recommendation

After thorough analysis, The Silkworm audiobook is highly recommended for mystery enthusiasts and J.K. Rowling fans alike. With intricate plotlines and engaging mystery elements, listeners will find themselves fully immersed in the captivating world crafted by Robert Galbraith.

The audiobook is especially enjoyable for those who appreciate the audio format, as the voice acting and production quality enhance the overall listening experience.

For a truly engaging and entertaining audiobook experience, add The Silkworm to your collection today.

Audiobook Listening Experience

Listening to “The Silkworm” audiobook is a unique and immersive experience that enhances the enjoyment factor of this gripping mystery. The audio format provides listeners with the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the world of the story and its characters.

The voice acting and production quality of the audiobook are top-notch, bringing the story to life in a way that print or e-book formats cannot achieve. The narrator’s skillful use of intonation and tone creates distinct character voices and adds to the overall engagement and immersion of the listening experience.

The audiobook format also allows for multitasking while enjoying the story, such as listening during commutes, workouts, or daily activities. This offers added convenience and flexibility for those who prefer to consume media on-the-go.

Overall, listening to “The Silkworm” audiobook offers a unique and enjoyable way to experience this captivating mystery.

audiobook listening experience

Availability and Where to Buy

The Silkworm audiobook is widely available for purchase or access from major audiobook retailers. Whether you prefer to buy a physical copy or download a digital format, there are various options to suit your needs.

Purchase Options

One popular option for purchasing The Silkworm audiobook is through Amazon. The audiobook is available in multiple formats, including CD, MP3 CD, and digital download. Other online retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Target, and Walmart also carry the audiobook in various formats.

If you prefer to support local brick-and-mortar bookstores, many independent shops carry audiobooks as well. You can also check your local library for availability, as they may offer digital downloads or physical copies for borrowing.

Audiobook Retailers

There are numerous audiobook retailers where you can purchase or access The Silkworm audiobook. Some popular retailers include:

  • Audible
  • Google Play
  • iTunes
  • Kobo
  • Nook Audiobooks

With so many options available, it’s easy to find a way to access The Silkworm audiobook. Whether you purchase a physical copy or listen to a digital download, immerse yourself in the world of Cormoran Strike and dive into this gripping mystery.


After a comprehensive analysis of “The Silkworm” audiobook by Robert Galbraith, it is clear that J.K. Rowling’s storytelling prowess extends beyond the wizarding world. With its engaging mystery elements, complex characters, and subtle social commentary, “The Silkworm” is an excellent addition to the mystery genre.

The audiobook narration and production quality also contribute significantly to the overall listening experience, enhancing immersion in the story. For fans of J.K. Rowling’s previous works and mystery enthusiasts, this audiobook is a must-listen.

Overall, “The Silkworm” audiobook is a captivating and well-crafted mystery that keeps listeners on the edge of their seats. It is widely available across major audiobook retailers, making it accessible to anyone interested in diving into its intriguing narrative and complex characters.

We highly recommend “The Silkworm” audiobook for those seeking an engaging mystery experience.

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