Lucy is one of the many half-siblings of Cormoran Strike.1 She is the sibling he has the most contact with, as they grew up together.2 Lucy’s father is called Rick Fantoni3, a musician (surprise!).4

She is described as being “short, blonde and round-faced”.5

Lucy lives in Bromley with her husband, Greg, and their three children.6 In The Cuckoo’s Calling, she sends an invitation to Strike for her middle son Jack’s seventh birthday party in April.7 Reluctantly, Strike attends the party.8

Later in The Cuckoo’s Calling, Lucy goes to Strike’s office unexpectedly. He arrives to find her and Robin talking together and he worries how much Lucy told her about his private life.9

Lucy is younger than Strike by two years but seems to think of herself as older. “Lucy seemed to crave responsibility, as though she could never have enough anchors.”10

“Strike had always suspected that she wanted to prove herself and the world that she was nothing like their fly-by-night mother, who had dragged the two of them all over the country, from school to school, house to squat to camp, in pursuit of the next enthusiasm or man.”11 

Lucy was nineteen when their mother, Leda, died. “It was Lucy that never forgot, who lived in a swarm of memories like coffin flies.”12 (Lucy’s age is now up for some debate. Lucy was always said to be two years younger than Strike, but in chapter 1 of Troubled Blood, it says that Lucy is four years younger than Strike.)

Lucy fails to hide the fact that she’s disappointed and worried by the way Strike is living his life. It is for this reason that Strike is reluctant to tell Lucy the truth most of the time, such as when he broke up with Charlotte and had to live in his office. When he finally admitted to her that he had broken up with her, she reacted exactly how Strike had expected.13

Lucy always disapproved of Charlotte Campbell and had constantly tried to get Cormoran to marry Tracey instead, his girlfriend from the SIB.14 Lucy sees Charlotte as mistreating and merely using Cormoran for drama and attention, returning to him after his injury and his medal. Once when Cormoran and Charlotte are visiting her, Lucy overhears Charlotte referring to her children as “shits.” 15

In The Silkworm, Lucy hosts Cormoran’s birthday dinner at her house. Lucy invites Nick and Ilsa, Strike’s friends, who gift Strike with Arran Single Malt whiskey, and Marguerite, a woman she tries to get Strike to hook up with. Strike brings Nina Lascelles with him to the party. Lucy gifts Strike with a new watch, as his old one had broken, and which he notices is identical to the one Greg is wearing.16

In Career of Evil, more is explained about Lucy’s choice to live permanently with their Uncle Ted and Aunt Joan. It had been Leda’s boyfriend, Jeff Whittaker, “with his bullying, his sexual taunts and sneers” that had caused her to call Cornwall for help and never return to her mother’s care.17 

In Lethal White, Lucy and her husband, Greg, are on holiday in Rome when their middle son Jack’s appendix bursts. Lucy frantically calls Strike, and he stays with Jack in the hospital until they can get a flight home.18 

Strike spends more time with Lucy in Troubled Blood due to Joan’s illness, and the relationship between the two half-siblings is tense when Lucy wants to fight over who loves Joan the most and Strike insults her other two children. Lucy is struggling with the thought of losing Joan saying, “…you lost your mother years ago. Now I’m — I might be — losing mine.” 19

Strike is later reminded of another side of Lucy when the two of them brave the storm to get to Joan. “He’d forgotten how efficient and practical Lucy could be, how patient, how resolute.”20

In The Ink Black Heart, Lucy tries to persuade Strike to spend the weekend at her house in Bromley when Uncle Ted is visiting, but Strike ends up having to work, to Lucy’s displeasure (Ch 32).  She also calls Strike to berate him for not phoning her after the office is bombed (Ch 74). At the end of the book, we hear that Lucy and Uncle Ted have ‘dominated visiting hours’ whilst Strike is in hospital (Ch 107).

Childhood and Growing Up

When Lucy was seven, she and Cormoran lived in a squat on Atlantic Road in Brixton with their mother and Shumba, a Rastafarian musician. On his way to meet Derrick Wilson at the Phoenix Café, Strike remembers himself and Lucy walking through the streets of Brixton twenty-six years previous while Leda and Shumba lay dozily on dirty cushions back at the squat, “vaguely discussing the important spiritual concepts in which the children ought to be instructed.” They were probably high on cannabis most of the time, as Strike had learnt that the drug could “render the taker both dull and paranoid.” 21

Strike and Lucy let themselves into the squat one afternoon to find Uncle Ted standing in the middle of the room threatening Shumba with a bloody nose. And so the Brixton life ended, and they were once more back in St Mawes within two days.22

“Lucy had yearned for hair like West Indian girls. On the long drive back to St Mawes that had terminated their Brixton life, she had expressed a fervent desire for beaded braids from the back seat of Uncle Ted and Aunt Joan’s Morris Minor. Strike remembered Aunt Joan’s calm agreement that the style was very pretty, a frown line between her eyebrows reflected in the rear-view mirror.” 23

1: The Cuckoo’s Calling, Part 2 Chapter 6
2: The Cuckoo’s Calling, Part 2 Chapter 8
3: Career of Evil, Chapter 10
4: The Silkworm, Chapter 15
5, 6: The Cuckoo’s Calling, Part 3, Chapter 2
7: The Cuckoo’s Calling, Part 2 Chapter 8
8: The Cuckoo’s Calling, Part 3 Chapter 2
9: The Cuckoo’s Calling, Part 3 Chapter 9
10, 11: The Cuckoo’s Calling, Part 2 Chapter 8
12: The Cuckoo’s Calling, Part 4 Chapter 11
13: The Cuckoo’s Calling, Part 3 Chapter 9
14: The Cuckoo’s Calling, Part 3 Chapter 2
15: The Silkworm, Chapter 24
16: The Silkworm, Chapter 15
17: Career of Evil, Chapter 10
18: Lethal White, Chapter 26
19: Troubled Blood, Chapter 4
20: Troubled Blood, Chapter 44
21, 22: The Cuckoo’s Calling, Part 2 Chapter 6

23: The Cuckoo’s Calling, Part 4 Chapter 6