(Warning: Spoilers for all three Cormoran Strike books!)
Throughout The Silkworm, Strike states that he wants eventually to take on another employee at the agency: “I’m starting to think, maybe next year, if we’re turning a proper profit and you’ve already had your pay rise, we could justify taking someone else on. I’m working flat out here, I can’t keep going like this forever.”
This worries Robin, who thinks she will be made secretary while a more experienced detective takes her place.
J.K. Rowling says she will be writing at least another ten books in the series, so it’s highly likely that there will be another detective joining the team, but hopefully not before Robin establishes an equal partnership and receives a well-deserved pay rise.
In an interview shortly before the release of Career of Evil, Rowling stated that there’s “a female detective that I have plans for, though she only makes a small appearance in [Career of Evil].”
If you remember, Detective Inspector Eric Wardle’s partner, Detective Sergeant Vanessa Ekwensi, is the only female detective in the book. Could these “plans” for her be that she leaves the Metropolitan Police force to join Cormoran and Robin?
Ekwensi is described as a “thin black female officer whose hair was smoothed back in a bun.” Her “posture was that of a model.” There are a few hints in the book that there could be a great relationship among the three of them. First, there’s the moment where Strike makes a joke using his “gallows humour,” and Ekwensi grins. Her sense of humour seems to be on a similar wavelength to Cormoran’s. She also makes Robin feel more comfortable by being a strong woman in this particular line of work. “Detective Sergeant Ekwensi, who greeted Robin with a smile that the latter again found disproportionately reassuring…”
J.K. Rowling stated that she will continue writing books in the series as long as she can keep the relationship between Cormoran and Robin interesting. Involving Ekwensi could certainly stir things up. Let’s put it this way: If Robin does marry Matthew and if Ekwensi is hired on, there is the possibility that Strike and Ekwensi could develop romantic feelings for one another. Once single (or even if she remains married), Robin will start to grow jealous of their relationship. Of course, we have already deduced from Career of Evil that Strike is in love with Robin (if you need persuading, read chapter 40 of Career of Evil again). It is something he fights to stave off and if Robin is a married woman, he will fight those feelings even harder.
What are your thoughts on this theory? Do the plans for Ekwensi and the suggestion of hiring someone else suggest she will be joining the team? What theories and predictions do you have for our detective duo and their agency? Let us know in the comments below!