Patricia Cornwell

American crime author and creator of Dr. Kay Scarpetta...

Patricia Cornwell

Biography

Date of birth: 09 June 1956

Patricia Cornwell is an American crime writer. After graduating in 1979 with a degree in English, she went on to work as a crime reporter and later spent more than six years as a computer analyst in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Virginia. There she witnessed hundreds of autopsies and even assisted as a 'scribe', recording the measurements of the wounds of murder victims. During that time, she also volunteered with the Richmond Police Department.

It was these experiences that inspired her to create Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a tenacious chief medical examiner who tracks serial killers with the help of a streetwise cop, Pete Marino, and an FBI profiler, Benton Wesley. The Scarpetta series has been internationally-bestselling ever since Cornwell's first novel, Postmortem. However, at her very first signing--on lunch break from the morgue--she sold no books and fielded one question from an elderly woman: she was looking for the cookbooks.

Cornwell is also the author of a series featuring Massachusetts State Investigator Win Garano that began with At Risk, as well as having written Portrait of a Killer, an in-depth look at the case of Jack the Ripper.

Cornwell lives in Boston, where she researches new techniques to include in her books. Aside from writing, she also co-founded the National Forensic Academy, created a Chair in Organic Science at Harvard, appears on CNN as a forensic consultant, and serves as a member of the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital's National Council, where she advocates for psychiatric research.

Book and writing awards

Edgar Award, John Creasey Memorial Award, Anthony Award and Macavity Award 1991 (Postmortem), Golder Dagger 1993 (Cruel and Unusual), British Book Awards' Crime Thriller of the Year 2008 (Book of the Dead), and the RBA International Thriller Prize 2011 (Red Mist).

Similar authors

Kathy Reichs, Karin Slaughter and Tess Gerritsen

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Dust

Dust

(Paperback)

After working on one of the worst mass killings in US history, Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta returns home to recover, but an unsettling call drives her straight back to work. The body of a young woman has been discovered inside the...
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More books by Patricia Cornwell

Dust - Scarpetta Novels 21 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 576 pages
Published: 24/04/2014
Publisher: Sphere

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After working on one of the worst mass killings in US history, Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta returns home to recover, but an unsettling call... Read more

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The Bone Bed - Scarpetta Novels 20

The Bone Bed - Scarpetta Novels 20 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 512 pages
Published: 23/05/2013
Publisher: Sphere

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A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox... Read more

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Red Mist - Scarpetta Novels 19

Red Mist - Scarpetta Novels 19 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 512 pages
Published: 26/04/2012
Publisher: Sphere

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Kay Scarpetta has arranged to meet an inmate at the high-security Georgia Prison for Women. The prisoner is a convicted sex offender and the mother... Read more

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Port Mortuary - Scarpetta Novels 18

Port Mortuary - Scarpetta Novels 18 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 496 pages
Published: 28/04/2011
Publisher: Sphere

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Kay Scarpetta has been training at the Dover Port Mortuary, mastering the art of 'virtual autopsy' - a groundbreaking procedure that could... Read more

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The Scarpetta Factor - Scarpetta Novels 17

The Scarpetta Factor - Scarpetta Novels 17 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 544 pages
Published: 27/05/2010
Publisher: Sphere

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It is the week before Christmas. The effects of the credit crunch have prompted Dr Kay Scarpetta to offer her services pro bono to New York... Read more

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Scarpetta - Scarpetta Novels 16

Scarpetta - Scarpetta Novels 16 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 512 pages
Published: 21/02/2009
Publisher: Sphere

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Leaving behind her forensic pathology practice in South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta takes up an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked... Read more

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Book of the Dead - Scarpetta Novels 15

Book of the Dead - Scarpetta Novels 15 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 480 pages
Published: 17/04/2008
Publisher: Sphere

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The 'book of the dead' is the morgue log, the ledger in which all cases are entered by hand. For Kay Scarpetta, however, it is about to have... Read more

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Predator - Scarpetta Novels 14

Predator - Scarpetta Novels 14 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 432 pages
Published: 02/09/2010
Publisher: Sphere

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Florida is full of human predators, and they all give Dr Kay Scarpetta the opportunity and the means to do what she does best - persuading the dead... Read more

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Trace - Scarpetta Novels 13

Trace - Scarpetta Novels 13 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 464 pages
Published: 04/11/2010
Publisher: Sphere

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Since Postmortem garnered critical acclaim and a record-breaking five awards for a first crime novel, the Scarpetta novels have often been imitated,... Read more

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Blow Fly - Scarpetta Novels 12

Blow Fly - Scarpetta Novels 12 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 528 pages
Published: 04/11/2010
Publisher: Sphere

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After her resignation as Virginia's Chief Medical Examiner and the horrifying events which threatened her life in THE LAST PRECINCT, Kay... Read more

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The Last Precinct - Scarpetta Novels 11

The Last Precinct - Scarpetta Novels 11 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 544 pages
Published: 02/09/2010
Publisher: Sphere

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Physically and psychologically bruised by her encounter with the killer Chandonne, Dr Kay Scarpetta has to leave her home in the hands of the police... Read more

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Black Notice - Scarpetta Novels 10

Black Notice - Scarpetta Novels 10 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 464 pages
Published: 02/09/2010
Publisher: Sphere

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An intriguing Dr Kay Scarpetta novel which will take Kay an ocean's breadth away from home. The case begins when a cargo ship arriving at... Read more

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Point of Origin - Scarpetta Novels 9

Point of Origin - Scarpetta Novels 9 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 400 pages
Published: 02/09/2010
Publisher: Sphere

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A farmhouse destroyed by fire. A body amongst the ruins. Dr Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner and consulting pathologist for the federal law... Read more

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Unnatural Exposure - Scarpetta Novels 8

Unnatural Exposure - Scarpetta Novels 8 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 384 pages
Published: 02/09/2010
Publisher: Sphere

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A sadistic serial killer, the weapon a deadly virus Dublin, Ireland and Richmond, Virginia: separated by thousands of miles - linked by murder. For... Read more

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Cause of Death - Scarpetta Novels 7

Cause of Death - Scarpetta Novels 7 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 384 pages
Published: 13/01/2011
Publisher: Sphere

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An investigative reporter is found dead in Virginia's icy waters ...New Year's Eve and the final murder scene of Virginia's bloodiest... Read more

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From Potter's Field - Scarpetta Novels 6

From Potter's Field - Scarpetta Novels 6 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 400 pages
Published: 04/11/2010
Publisher: Sphere

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Christmas had never been a particularly good time for Dr Kay Scarpetta. Although a holiday for most, it always seem to heighten the alienation felt... Read more

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The Body Farm - Scarpetta Novels 5

The Body Farm - Scarpetta Novels 5 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 384 pages
Published: 13/01/2011
Publisher: Sphere

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The Body Farm - a research institute that tests the decomposition of corpses. Black Mountain, North Carolina: a sleepy little town where the local... Read more

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Cruel and Unusual - Scarpetta Novels 4

Cruel and Unusual - Scarpetta Novels 4 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 416 pages
Published: 02/09/2010
Publisher: Sphere

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The fingerprints say the murderer is the man who's just been executed ...At 11.05 one December evening in Richmond, Virginia, convicted murderer... Read more

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All That Remains - Scarpetta Novels 3

All That Remains - Scarpetta Novels 3 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 416 pages
Published: 02/09/2010
Publisher: Sphere

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A killer is stalking young lovers. Taking their lives ...and leaving just one tantalising clue ...When the bodies of young courting couples start... Read more

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Body of Evidence - Scarpetta Novels 2

Body of Evidence - Scarpetta Novels 2 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 416 pages
Published: 13/01/2011
Publisher: Sphere

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A reclusive writer is dead. And her final manuscript has disappeared ...Someone is stalking Beryl Madison. Someone who spies on her and makes... Read more

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Postmortem - Scarpetta Novels 1

Postmortem - Scarpetta Novels 1 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 432 pages
Published: 02/09/2010
Publisher: Sphere

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A serial killer is on the loose in Richmond, Virginia. Three women have died, brutalised and strangled in their own bedroom. There is no pattern:... Read more

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Hornet's Nest - Andy Brazil 1

Hornet's Nest - Andy Brazil 1 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 448 pages
Published: 12/02/1998
Publisher: Time Warner Paperbacks

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Deputy Chief Virginia West likes and respects her boss, Hammer, but with an increasing number of visiting businessmen being murdered in her city by... Read more

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Southern Cross - Andy Brazil 2

Southern Cross - Andy Brazil 2 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 464 pages
Published: 02/12/1999
Publisher: Sphere

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Judy Hammer has accepted the challenge of Richmond, Virginia's police department to try and reverse the escalating crime statistics in the city.... Read more

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Isle of Dogs: v. 3

Isle of Dogs: v. 3 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 544 pages
Published: 06/06/2002
Publisher: Sphere

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Chaos breaks loose when the Governor of Virginia orders that speed traps be installed on all streets and highways, and warns that motorists will be... Read more

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At Risk - Winston Garano Series 1

At Risk - Winston Garano Series 1 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 240 pages
Published: 08/03/2007
Publisher: Sphere

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A 'one-off' from the best-selling creator of the Dr Kay Scarpetta series, based on the serialisation in the New York Times. Moving between... Read more

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The Front - Winston Garano Series 2

The Front - Winston Garano Series 2 (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 240 pages
Published: 29/12/2008
Publisher: Sphere

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Massachusetts State Investigator Win Garano is given one of his most challenging cases yet when he is asked to investigate the death of a young... Read more

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Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed

Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed (Paperback)

by Patricia Cornwell

Format: Paperback 528 pages
Published: 05/06/2003
Publisher: Time Warner Paperbacks

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Using the firsthand expertise she has gained through writing the bestselling Dr Kay Scarpetta novels, Patricia Cornwell has used the demanding... Read more

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