The Running Grave: Pre-Release Timeline

August 2020: In a Q&A on the Robert Galbraith website, J.K. Rowling said, “Denmark Street fits Strike like a glove because, obviously, his parentage he comes from, in some way, he’s from Rock N Roll royalty, but he’s never lived that life and yet he’s gravitated to Denmark Street and Robin might be calling him on that at some point in the future.” We’ll just have to wait to see whether Robin will call him on this in book 7, a later book, or at all.

18 December 2021: Rowling was writing about Robin on a job in 2016, when the seventh book is likely to be set.

1st March 2022: Rowling updated her Twitter header, and fans with a keen eye were quick to spot the Cromer Pier in Norfolk. If this header is Strike-related, could this mean that book 7 will feature the Norfolk town?

Norfolk might ring a bell for Strike fans, as we’ve been told throughout the series that Strike’s mother, Leda, took him and his younger sister, Lucy, to live in a “quasi-mystical” Norfolk commune. Something Strike calls “the worst experience of his young life.” Will we finally learn more about this disturbing commune in the next book?

12 April 2022: J.K. Rowling revealed on Twitter that she was already working on the seventh Strike book, four months before the release of book 6, The Ink Black Heart.

18 May 2022: J.K. Rowling was spotted in Cromer Museum. She bought a book on Norfolk dialect and a book on Cromer.

31st August 2022: Rowling said she was still working on the book.

11 September 2022: Rowling mentioned on Twitter that she was “deep in the next book” and that Strike was making progress with his diet.

15 October 2022: In a Twitter Q&A with JKR’s Barmy Books, J.K. Rowling answered some fan questions that revealed some things about the seventh book. Here are some of the highlights:

• Strike will stop smoking.

Someone will suggest therapy to Strike.

We’ll meet Prudence Donleavy (Strike’s half-sister)

14 December 2022: JK Rowling was “about 2/3” the way through the seventh book.

15 December 2022: Rowling finished writing Part 6 of the book.

2 January 2023: After being prompted, Rowling changed her Twitter header to another photo of Cromer, Norfolk, which showed the promenade and waves crashing over the sea wall.

3 January 2023: Rowling said that her brain was “on fire” and she’d spent 7 hours “bashing out thousands of words” of what we think must have been Strike 7.

Later that day, she changed her Twitter header photo again, to that of an I Ching hexagon.

6 January 2023: A tweet from Rowling about yarrow stalks being used in I Ching oracles.

In another tweet she said “you’re right to dread it”, referring the Norfolk commune –- more evidence that we’ll hear more about this part of Strike’s life in book 7.

12th January 2023: J.K. Rowing gave us a clue to the title of book 7 on Twitter, writing “Disentangle the hanging venturer” with the letter spaces “_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _”.

Shortly after, she revealed The Running Grave to be the answer to the anagram “the hanging venturer” and the title of book 7.

21st January 2023: Rowling changed her header photo again to that of St John the Baptist Church in Aylmerton, Norfolk, which is less than 3 miles from Cromer.

17 February 2022: Rowling posted a photo of The Running Grave manuscript on Twitter, telling us that she’d finished writing the book.

30 March 2023: Rowling changed her Twitter header again, to a photo of Lion’s Mouth, a lane that runs between Cromer and Aylmerton in Norfolk.

19 April 2023: Rowling changed her header to a photo of Rupert Court, London.

23 May 2023: J.K. Rowling was deciding between two proposed book covers.

24 May 2023: Rowling revealed on Twitter that the Italian restaurant Il Portico, London, would be in the book.

24 April 2023: Amazon UK was showing the release date to be 26th September 2023, and a page count of 832 (later updated to 960 pages).

19 July 2023: The cover and synopsis was uploaded a day early on a bookstore’s website.

20 July 2023: The official book cover and synopsis reveal.

6 August 2023: The first six chapters of the book appeared as a sample on Amazon US.

26 September 2023: Publication day.