Patricia Cornwell - Author

About the Author

Patricia Cornwell is one of the world’s major international best-selling authors, translated into thirty-six languages across more than fifty countries. She is a founder of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine, a founding member of the National Forensic Academy, a member of the New York OCME Forensic Sciences Training Program’s Advisory Board, and a member of the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital’s National Council, where she is an advocate for psychiatric research.

In 2008 Cornwell won the Galaxy British Book Awards’ Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year – the first American ever to win this prestigious award. Her most recent bestsellers include Scarpetta, Book of the Dead and The Front. Her earlier works include Postmortem – the only novel to win five major crime awards in a single year – and Cruel and Unusual, which won the coveted Gold Dagger award in 1993. Dr. Kay Scarpetta herself won the 1999 Sherlock Award for the best detective created by an American writer.

Featured books by Patricia Cornwell

Chaos

Chaos

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/07/2017

No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell delivers the twenty-fourth engrossing thriller in her high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta. On a hot late summer evening in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her investigative partner Pete Marino respond to a call about a dead bicyclist near the Kennedy School of Government. It appears that a young woman has been attacked with almost super human force. Even before Scarpetta's headquarters, the Cambridge Forensic Center, has been officially notified about the case, Marino and Scarpetta's FBI agent husband Benton Wesley receive suspicious calls, allegedly from someone at Interpol. But it makes no sense. Why would the elite international police agency know about the case or be interested? With breathtaking speed it becomes apparently that an onslaught of interference and harassment might be the work of an anonymous cyberbully named Tailend Charlie, who has been sending cryptic communications to Scarpetta for over a week. Stunningly, even her brilliant tech savvy niece Lucy can't trace whoever it is or how this person could have access to intimate information few outside the family would have. When a second death hundreds of miles south, shocking Scarpetta to her core, it becomes apparent she and those close her are confronted with something far bigger and more dangerous than they'd ever imagined. Then analysis of a mysterious residue recovered from a wound is identified as a material that doesn't exist on earth.

eBooks of the Month
Depraved Heart

Depraved Heart

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/07/2016

No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell delivers the twenty-third engrossing thriller in her high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta. You are being watched The death of a Hollywood mogul's daughter has the police convinced it's an accident. But Dr. Kay Scarpetta knows better. It's almost as if someone is leaving evidence only she would spot. They are always three steps ahead Scarpetta is sidetracked when she receives a video clip revealing disturbing secrets about her niece, Lucy. But before she can react, the FBI raid Lucy's estate. Time is running out Scarpetta suspects one person is behind it all: the murder, the videos, the FBI. She needs to stop them before it's too late - and everyone she loves is destroyed.

eBooks of the Month
Flesh and Blood

Flesh and Blood

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/07/2015

In Scarpetta’s twenty-second case it’s her birthday when she discovers shiny copper coins on her garden wall all bearing the date 1981. So begins a terrifying cat-and-mouse game with a cold-blooded killer. There are a few red herrings filling out this densely plotted tale but the story mounts alarmingly to a tremendous conclusion in Florida which eventually ends with a snap! For there is more to come … It’s another in a terrific series where the storyline is highly improbable but the execution of it is truly thrilling. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

eBooks of the Month
Dust

Dust

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/04/2014

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 sheltered gates of MIT, draped in an unusual cloth and posed in a way that is too deliberate to be the killer's first strike. A preliminary examination reveals that the body is covered in a fine dust that under ultra-violet light fluoresces blood-red, emerald-green and sapphire-blue, and physical evidence links this to another series of disturbing homicides in Washington, DC. As she pieces together the fragments of evidence, Scarpetta discovers that the cases connect, yet also seem to conflict, drawing herself and her team deeper into the dark world of designer drugs, drone technology, organised crime, and shocking corruption at the highest level.

eBooks of the Month
The Bone Bed

The Bone Bed

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/05/2013

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 of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why. But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect the paleontologist's disappearance is connected to a series of crimes much closer to home: a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures, and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age. When she turns to those around her, Scarpetta finds that the danger and suspicion have penetrated even her closest circles. Her niece Lucy speaks in riddles. Her lead investigator Pete Marino and FBI husband Benton Wesley have secrets of their own. Feeling alone and betrayed, Scarpetta is tempted by someone from her past as she tracks a killer both cunning and cruel.

eBooks of the Month
Port Mortuary

Port Mortuary

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/2011

Kay Scarpetta has been training at the Dover Port Mortuary, mastering the art of 'virtual autopsy' - a groundbreaking procedure that could soon revolutionise forensic science. And it is not too long before these new skills urgently need to be put into practice. A young man drops dead, apparently from a heart condition, eerily close to Scarpetta's home. But when his body is examined the next morning, there are stunning indications that he may have been alive when he was zipped inside a pouch and locked in the cooler. When the revolutionary 3D radiology scans reveal more shocking details about internal injuries unlike any Scarpetta has ever seen, she realizes that this is a case of murder - and that she is fighting a cunning and uniquely cruel enemy. Now it is a race against time to discover who and why before more people die. But that time is running out ...

eBooks of the Month
Body of Evidence

Body of Evidence

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/01/2011

Following murder cases from the post-mortem through all the detective work is not usually the job of the medical examiner but Cornwell is such a good story teller one can suspend belief and simply get caught up in scrutinising the clues and racing along with the fast paced plot. This is the second in the series and will have you double checking the windows are locked and the doors are bolted before you go to bed!

eBooks of the Month
Trace

Trace

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/11/2010

This is the 13th in the Scarpetta series and although Cornwell seemed to go off the boil a little with the previous couple in the series she is back on form with this, although a slightly different style by writing in the third person rather then first. Once you get used to the new style she is as compelling as ever. Kay Scarpetta’s beloved niece, Lucy, plays a big role in this one.Comparison: Karin Slaughter, Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs.

eBooks of the Month
Predator

Predator

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2010

Number 14 in the Scarpetta series, and perhaps not her best, but still worth the read to keep up to date with characters and she always writes a good yarn, even if it’s not as brilliant as some of the earlier books.

eBooks of the Month
Postmortem

Postmortem

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2010

This is the first in the Kay Scarpetta series introducing us to the medical examiner who also does her own fair share of detective work. Said to have inspired many a TV show such as the CSI series, these books have plenty of scientific detail and excellent plot lines to keep you gripped until the end. Books in The Kay Scarpetta Series: 1. Postmortem 2. Body of Evidence 3. All That Remains 4. Cruel and Unusual 5. The Body Farm 6. From Potter's Field 7. Cause of Death 8. Unnatural Exposure 9. Point of Origin 10. Black Notice 11. The Last Precinct 12. Blow Fly 13. Trace 14. Predator 15. Book of the Dead 16. Scarpetta 17. The Scarpetta Factor 18. Post Mortuary 19. Red Mist 20. The Bone Bed 21. Dust Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month
Cruel and Unusual

Cruel and Unusual

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2010

This won the Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel of the year and is the fourth in the Scarpetta series. The characters are really developing at this point in the series and the relationships between them are becoming an integral part of the plotlines. Great, gripping, gory stuff.

eBooks of the Month
Book of the Dead

Book of the Dead

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/04/2008

Winner of the Crime Thriller of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2008.The 15th book is here and will not disappoint. The plot lines are as gripping as ever and the crime scenes are as gruesome as we’ve come to expect. It would help if you have read some of the previous novels as there are references to characters and plots, with not much in the way of explanation, and for die-hard fans they may be surprised at some of the character twists but Patricia Cornwell still does not fail to deliver a cracking crime novel.

eBooks of the Month
At Risk

At Risk

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/03/2007

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 the chill of Cambridge, Massachusetts and the sultry humidity of Knoxville, Tennessee, Winston Garano, a police investigator, is instructed to look into a twenty-year-old murder case. Although Win reckons there are many more pressing current cases which should have higher priority, he gets on with the task, unaware of the can of worms he will prise open. With her hallmark qualities of deft characterisation, perfect research and tense story-telling, Patricia Cornwell has created a novel which entertains, intrigues and satisfies.

eBooks of the Month

Other books by Patricia Cornwell

Autopsy

Autopsy

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/11/2021

The legendary Patricia Cornwell is back with her No.1 bestselling, groundbreaking series following Kay Scarpetta Kay Scarpetta is back, and this time she's right in the path of danger... World-renowned forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta and her husband Benton, a psychologist with the US Secret Service, have returned to Virginia. They are headquartered five miles from the Pentagon in a post-pandemic world that's been torn by civil and political unrest. Just weeks into the job, Scarpetta is called to a railway track where a woman's body has been shockingly displayed, her throat cut down to the spine. But the trail of clues will lead Scarpetta back to her own neighbourhood. At the same time, a catastrophe occurs in a top-secret lab in outer space, endangering the scientists aboard. Scarpetta is summoned to the White House to find out what happened. As she starts the new investigation, an apparent serial killer strikes again, this time dangerously close to home. Praise for Patricia Cornwell 'A pioneer of the genre of forensic psychological thriller' BBC 'Devilishly clever' Sunday Times 'The top gun in this field' Daily Telegraph 'Cornwell's books run on a cocktail of adrenaline and fear' The Times 'One of the best crime writers writing today' Guardian

The Front

The Front

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/08/2021

The Front is the second book in the Winston Garano series, from bestselling author Patricia Cornwell. 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 British woman murdered more than forty years ago. Assumed to be a victim of the Boston Strangler, blind Janie Brolin was raped and left for dead in 1962. With no DNA and sketchy police records, this is a case that will test Garano to his limits. It will take him on a journey through the archives, into the latest innovations in forensic technology, and into partnership with senior officers at London's New Scotland Yard. And as Garano unearths deadly secrets from the past, his hard-nosed boss Monique Lamont is putting both their lives in jeopardy with her lust for power and success. With past and present colliding, the tension mounts with every page...

Spin

Spin

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/08/2020

Spin by Patricia Cornwell

Ripper

Ripper

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Ebook Release Date: 28/02/2017

A #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller.From New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell comes Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert, a comprehensive and intriguing expos of one of the worlds most chilling cases of serial murderand the police force that failed to solve it.Vain and charismatic Walter Sickert made a name for himself as a painter in Victorian London. But the ghoulish nature of his artas well as extensive evidencepoints to another name, one thats left its bloody mark on the pages of history: Jack the Ripper. Cornwell has collected never-before-seen archival materialincluding a rare mortuary photo, personal correspondence and a will with a mysterious autopsy clauseand applied cutting-edge forensic science to open an old crime to new scrutiny.Incorporating material from Portrait of a Killer: Jack the RipperCase Closed, this new edition has been revised and expanded to include eight new chapters.

Chaos

Chaos

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Ebook Release Date: 20/10/2016

No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell delivers the twenty-fourth engrossing thriller in her high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.Someone is following you...One summer evening in New England, two young girls stumble upon a body. Forensic pathologist Dr. Kay Scarpetta arrives at the scene to find a young woman has been attacked with almost superhuman force.Someone is taunting you...Meanwhile, people close to Scarpetta start receiving suspicious calls. Could they be linked to Scarpetta's anonymous cyber stalker, Tailend Charlie?Someone wants to destroy you...A second death shocks Scarpetta to her core. Because analysis of the body shows a material that doesn't exist on earth. And it's clear that someone, or something, is coming for her, and is hell-bent on creating chaos...

Depraved Heart

Depraved Heart

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Ebook Release Date: 22/10/2015

No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell delivers the twenty-third engrossing thriller in her high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.Dr. Kay Scarpetta is working a suspicious death scene in Cambridge, Massachusetts when an emergency alert sounds on her phone. A video link lands in her text messages and seems to be from her computer genius niece Lucy. But how can it be? It's clearly a surveillance film of Lucy taken almost twenty years ago.As Scarpetta watches she begins to learn frightening secrets about her niece, whom she has loved and raised like a daughter. That film clip and then others sent soon after raise dangerous legal implications that increasingly isolate Scarpetta and leave her confused, worried, and not knowing where to turn. She doesn't know whom she can tell - not her FBI husband Benton Wesley or her investigative partner Pete Marino. Not even Lucy.In this new novel, Cornwell launches these unforgettable characters on an intensely psychological odyssey that includes the mysterious death of a Hollywood mogul's daughter, aircraft wreckage on the bottom of the sea in the Bermuda Triangle, a grisly gift left in the back of a crime scene truck, and videos from the past that threaten to destroy Scarpetta's entire world and everyone she loves. The diabolical presence behind what unfolds seems obvious - but strangely, not to the FBI. Certainly that's the message they send when they raid Lucy's estate and begin building a case that could send her to prison for the rest of her life.In the latest novel in her bestselling series featuring chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Cornwell will captivate readers with the shocking twists, high-wire tension, and cutting-edge forensic detail that she is famous for, proving yet again why she's the world's #1 bestselling crime writer.

Black Notice

Black Notice

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Ebook Release Date: 17/03/2015

Following the post mortem of a stowaway which reveals neither cause of death nor identity, Dr Kay Scarpetta travels to Paris in search of information. In Paris she is given a secret mission, a mission which could ruin her career.

Point of Origin

Point of Origin

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Ebook Release Date: 17/03/2015

This dazzling thriller pits Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta against greater odds than ever before.Convicted serial killer Carrie Grethen has escaped from psychiatric hospital with plans for revenge. Wary and shaken, Scarpetta also has to investigate the death by fire of an unknown woman. The post-mortem reveals that the woman was stabbed before the fire was started, and soon Scarpetta and her colleagues are called out to the scene of another fire and another murder.When her lover Benton Wesley disappears while following up a tip-off, Scarpetta, with sudden appalling clarity, sees that Carrie has set up a scenario in which she has the upper hand and can manipulate them all.

Flesh and Blood

Flesh and Blood

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Ebook Release Date: 06/11/2014

No.1 bestselling author Patricia Cornwell delivers the next enthralling thriller in her high-stakes series starring Kay Scarpetta-a complex tale involving a serial sniper who strikes chillingly close to the forensic sleuth herself.It's Chief Medical Examiner Dr Kay Scarpetta's birthday, and while she's enjoying a leisurely morning, a man is shot dead five minutes from her house. The bullet tore through him as he unloaded groceries from his car. Yet nobody heard or saw a thing.It looks like the work of a serial sniper - one who leaves no trace except for tiny copper fragments, and whose seemingly impossible shots cause instant death. As Scarpetta investigates, uncovering details that only she can analyze, she begins to suspect that the killer is sending her a message.Adding to Scarpetta's growing unease is the sense that those closest to her are keeping secrets. And when her pursuit of the sniper takes Scarpetta to a shipwreck off the Florida coast, she comes face to face with shocking evidence that implicates her niece Lucy - Scarpetta's very own flesh and blood...

Cruel and Unusual

Cruel and Unusual

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Audio disc Release Date: 01/08/2014

Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell

Dust

Dust

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/11/2013

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 sheltered gates of MIT, draped in an unusual cloth and posed in a way that is too deliberate to be the killer's first strike. A preliminary examination reveals that the body is covered in a fine dust that under ultra-violet light fluoresces blood-red, emerald-green and sapphire-blue, and physical evidence links this to another series of disturbing homicides in Washington, DC. As she pieces together the fragments of evidence, Scarpetta discovers that the cases connect, yet also seem to conflict, drawing herself and her team deeper into the dark world of designer drugs, drone technology, organised crime, and shocking corruption at the highest level. Dust is a thrilling, addictive novel featuring one of the most iconic, original and compelling characters in crime fiction today.

Bone Bed

Bone Bed

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Ebook Release Date: 16/10/2012

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 of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why.But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect that the paleontologist'sdisappearance is connected to a series of crimes much closer to home: a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures, and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age.When she turns to those around her, Scarpetta finds that the danger and suspicion have penetratedeven her closest circles. Her niece Lucy speaks in riddles. Her lead investigator, Pete Marino, and FBI forensic psychologist and husband, Benton Wesley, have secrets of their own. Feeling alone and betrayed, Scarpetta is tempted by someone from her past as she tracks a killer both cunning and cruel.

Red Mist

Red Mist

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/04/2012

The nineteenth book in the Kay Scarpetta series, from No. 1 bestselling author Patricia Cornwell. 'America's most chilling writer of crime fiction' The Times 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 of a vicious and diabolically brilliant killer. Against advice, Scarpetta is determined to hear this woman out - she believes she may hold some answers to the murder of her former deputy. But soon she finds connections to a string of grisly killings, including the slaughter of a Savannah family years earlier. She can see a pattern to these killings, but who is behind them and why? As she learns more, Scarpetta is compelled to conclude that this is only the beginning of something far more destructive: a terrifying terrain of conspiracy and potential terrorism on an international scale. And she is the only one who can stop it . . . Praise for the groundbreaking series: 'One of the best crime writers writing today' Guardian 'Devilishly clever' Sunday Times 'The top gun in this field' Daily Telegraph 'Forget the pretenders. Cornwell reigns' Mirror 'The Agatha Christie of the DNA age' Express

The Body Farm/From Potter's Field

The Body Farm/From Potter's Field

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2011

THE BODY FARM: Black Mountain, North Carolina: a sleepy little town where the local police deal with one homicide a year, if they're unlucky. The discovery of the corpse of an eleven-year-old girl sends shockwaves through the community. Dr Kay Scarpetta, working on a similar case in Virginia, is called in, but the investigation baffles her - until she visits the curious pathologists' playground known as the Body Farm . . . FROM POTTER'S FIELD: The body is found propped against a fountain in a bleak area of New York's Central Park. The unknown female's death points to a chillingly familiar modus operandi - it appears that Temple Brooks Gault, Scarpetta's nemesis, is back at work. Summoning all her reserves of courage and skill, Scarpetta must track this most dangerous of killers, leading inexorably to an electrifying climax amid the dark, menacing labyrinths of the New York subway.

From Potters Field

From Potters Field

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Ebook Release Date: 15/03/2011

A Simon & Schuster audiobook. Simon & Schuster has a great book for every listener.

The Body Farm

The Body Farm

Author: Patricia Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/01/2011

The fifth book in the Kay Scarpetta series, from No. 1 bestselling author Patricia Cornwell. 'America's most chilling writer of crime fiction' The Times The Body Farm - a research institute that tests the decomposition of corpses. Black Mountain, North Carolina: a sleepy little town where the local police deal with one homicide a year, if they're unlucky, and where people are still getting used to the idea of locking their doors at night. But violent death is no respecter of venue, and the discovery of the corpse of the corpse of an 11-year-old girl sends shock waves through the community. Dr Kay Scarpetta, Chief medical Examiner on a similar case in Virginia, is called in to apply her forensic skills to this latest atrocity, but the apparent simplicity of the case proves something of a poisoned chalice - until Scarpetta finds enlightenment through the curious pathologists' playground known as the Body Farm . . . Praise for the groundbreaking series: 'One of the best crime writers writing today' Guardian 'Devilishly clever' Sunday Times 'The top gun in this field' Daily Telegraph 'Forget the pretenders. Cornwell reigns' Mirror 'The Agatha Christie of the DNA age' Express