Denmark Street

Denmark Street is ground zero for the Cormoran Strike novels — with his office located here above the 12 Bar Café (the building with the red and green mural in the photo below).

The short street — which runs between Charing Cross Road and St. Giles High Street/Flitcroft Street — has quite a history of its own. Known as “Tin Pan Alley” and dating originally to the late 17th century, in the 1950s it became associated with the British music industry: publishers, recording studios and music shops. David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, the Sex Pistols and Elton John all wrote, recorded, hung out and/or lived here. Music shops remain on the street to this day.

As described in The Cuckoo’s Calling, with Robin’s first encounter with the spot: “The nondescript black-painted doorway of the office she sought stood to the left of the 12 Bar Café.”

Throughout The Cuckoo’s Calling, it is mentioned that Strike could hear the bass from the 12 Bar Café below his office. This small live music venue was located in the space now fronted by the mural from 1994 until 2015. Some now-well-known musicians played at 12 Bar before they were so well-known, including Adele, Martha Wainwright, KT Tunstall, Damien Rice and Keane. The building was originally stables, built in 1635, before becoming a blacksmith shop until after World War I.

Strike’s office building is described as having a birdcage lift that’s perpetually out-of-order (unfortunate for the disabled Strike). His office is located on the second floor, above that of Mr. Crowdy, a graphic designer. In The Silkworm and Career of Evil, Strike lives in the tiny flat at the top of the building, which consists of a kitchen/sitting room, bedroom and bathroom. In The Cuckoo’s Calling, the manager of the 12 Bar resides there.

Standing at the door of the office building, you get this spectacular view of the Church of St. Giles-in-the-Fields (which, surprisingly, is never mentioned in the books).

Here’s the Google Maps link to find Denmark Street.