JK Rowling, secret crime novelist

Earlier this year, debut author Robert Galbraith earned "fawning praise" for his crime novel, The Cuckoo's Calling. Despite the rave reviews, it didn't do very well, shifting only 1,500 copies. But something can be done about that: the real author is none other than JK Rowling, the world's most successful writer.

The revelation of Rowling's authorship is fascinating—not least for how the author of Harry Potter learned that pleasing critics can mean being ignored by readers.

"Being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience," Rowling told The Sunday Times. "It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name."

Compare to her other post-Potter work, The Casual Vacancy, derided by the scribes as millions of copies leapt from the shelves. [Bloomberg]