Rankin was joking! I got suckered in and passed it on, but let's blame Associated Press, which picked up and spread the story. Here's part of the CBC story someone posted the link to on DorothyL, based on an interview with Rankin in The Guardian.

Rankin quells Rowling crime-writing rumour
Tuesday August 21, 2007
CBC Arts

Bestselling Scottish crime novelist Ian Rankin has quashed a report that speculated about Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's next foray into fiction.

The Sunday Times had quoted Rankin as saying his wife had glimpsed Rowling — who lives in the same Edinburgh neighbourhood — hard at work on a detective novel in a local café.

"This is a joke that got out of hand," Rankin said in an interview with the Guardian newspaper.

According to Rankin, he had made the remark — which he said was a joke — on stage during an event at the Edinburgh book festival.

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That Ian Rankin. What a kidder.

Hey, I have a good idea. She can put her name on my book and we'll split the royalties. ;)
Liz:

Don't cha hate when that happens?

To borrow a phrase that Ronald Reagan was fond of using: "Trust, but verify."
Are you certain? They got so much feedback. No one's about to haul out a polygraph... sorry my middle name is jaded. It wasn't always.
The story wasn't that believable anyway. He said his wife saw Rowling at a cafe writing a detective novel. If you see someone sitting down at a table and writing, how do you know what that person is writing? Unless Rankin's wife had actually talked to Rowling, in which case Rowling's response would have been quoted in the story.
haha!

well, that was fun. :)
Shoot. And here I was looking forward to Harry Potter and the Case of the Missing Wands or somesuch...

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