With Rowling’s second Cormoron Strike novel on sale this week, it’s clear the author has the magic touch when it comes to recurring characters
J.K. Rowling has tried several times to break free from total Potterdom as a writer. The first time post-Harry was with The Casual Vacancy, an adult novel about a small-town government election, which she published in 2013. The book was not well received overall (but did earn high marks from TIME’s Lev Grossman), which is perhaps why she made the de-pressurizing decision to publish her next novel, 2013′s crime story The Cuckoo’s Calling, under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. It dominated bestseller lists once the true author became known. And maybe the Galbraith name is Rowling’s felix felicis; even though we know exactly who she is this time around, she—as Galbraith—has come back with The Silkworm. Rowling, it seems, is a serialist at heart.