Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling posed as a man for secret new book

CARL COURT / AFP - Getty Images
A 2011 file photo of Harry Potter author J K Rowling.

LONDON - Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has admitted posing as a retired policeman to write a crime novel that was praised by critics.

Rowling used the pseudonym Robert Galbraith to write "The Cuckoo's Calling," which was published in April, her publisher confirmed Sunday.

Galbraith was supposedly the work of a married father-of-two and former undercover police investigator.

However, Rowling’s cover was blown by Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper in a story published Sunday.

"I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience," the 47-year-old writer said in a statement confirmed by her publisher, Little Brown.

"It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name."

Rowling enjoyed enormous success with her Harry Potter novels, which became a huge movie franchise, but her first non-Hogwarts novel, "The Casual Vacancy", got mixed reviews when it was published last year.

However, critics were delighted by her crime novel, which follows the work of an investigator called Cormoran Strike.

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“We were very pleased and proud to have published The Cuckoo's Calling, and we're delighted with the great response it has been met with from readers, reviewers and fellow writers,” a spokeswoman for Little Brown said, adding that another novel featuring Strike would be published in summer 2014.

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