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Patricia Cornwell Books In Order

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Publication Order of Kay Scarpetta Books

Publication Order of Andy Brazil/Judy Hammer Books

Publication Order of Captain Chase Books

Publication Order of Winston Garano Books

Publication Order of Picture Books

Life's Little Fable (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Scarpetta's Winter Table (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Food to Die For: Secrets From Kay Scarpetta's Kitchen (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Chasing the Ripper (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Modern Crime Fiction(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon

Patricia Cornwell Biography:

Patricia Cornwell is an American fiction crime writer. She was written thirty seven books, including fiction, non-fiction, and a children’s book. She has sold over 100 million copies of her books. She has written many series, including the Doctor Kay Scarpetta books about a female medical examiner for Virginia.

Other series include the Andy Brazil and Judy Hammer series, the Win Garano series, and an Omnibus that refers to the Scarpetta novels. She has written a total of twenty four New York Times Best Sellers. She sold her first book Postmortem while she was working as a computer analyst at Virginia’s medical examination offices.

Cornwell was born on June 9, 1956 in Miami. Her father left the family when she was just five years old. Her mother subsequently was hospitalized for depression in 1961. Cornwell went with her two brothers Jim and John into foster care, growing up in Montreal, North Carolina.

Cornwell struggled herself with depression in addition to anorexia nervosa. She attended King College in Tennessee before graduating from Davidson College with a Bachelor of the Arts in English. Patricia landed a job as a crime reporter in 1979 at The Charlotte Observer.

She married one of her English professors, Charles L. Cornwell, in 1980. She also wrote a non-fiction biography of friend Ruth Graham Bell. Charles became a preacher and they divorced in 1989. Patricia chose to keep her married name. Proving that life can be more dramatic than art, Cornwell entered into an affair with married FBI Agent Margo Bennett.

She had met Bennett at an FBI academy where she had been doing research for the Kay Scarpetta books. The affair went on for two years and would not have been made public except for the fact that Margo’s husband found out about the affair in 1996 and was subsequently taken into custody for a number of charges including attempted homicide on his wife and the kidnapping of their church pastor.

Cornwell married again in 2005 to a psychiatry professor at Harvard named Staci Ann Gruber. They live together currently in Boston, Massachusetts. Her books are translated into over one hundred languages including the dynamic series about Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

The first book in the series, Postmortem, features this heroine in the same line of work as Cornwell, inspired by her career. The book begins with Scarpetta getting called in to a gruesome hanging in Richmond, Virginia where she is a medical examiner.

There are only a few clues left behind, including a strange smell, semen, and and a strange substance. The book makes a reference to DNA profiling which is a new practice. In addition to her job, Scarpetta must retain guardianship over her ten year old niece, Lucy.

She also has a relationship of romantic nature with a certain Commonwealth attorney. Scarpetta is compromised when her office seems to be the source of several news leaks. Combining with FBI profiler Branton Wesley and the sister of the fifth victim, investigative reporter Abby Turnbull, Scarpetta executes a carefully crafted plan to try and draw the killer out.

They publish a fake story in the media that suggests the suspect is mentally unstable and burdened with terrible odor as a result of a malfunctioning metabolism. As Scarpetta searches for a pattern, a link among the victims, she begins to suspect the murders are not random but the workings of someone with inside information.

As the clues pile up and the game goes deeper, no one may be safe. Least of all Scarpetta. Postmortem won multiple awards including a French Prix du Roman d’Adventure prize. Body of Evidence is the sequel to Postmortem. It was published a year later in 1992.

This time the victim is local romance writer Beryl Madison, brutally stabbed to death. Madison’s lawyer makes accusations that Scarpetta herself has lost a precious manuscript Beryl wrote about his early years. The deaths keep on coming in her professional life while Kay has to deal with the appearance of an old flame in her personal life. Mark James was her lover when she was attending college.

They both come from very different backgrounds, his more affluent, hers more impoverished. As the deaths pile up and they get closer to the killer, the killer gets closer to Scarpetta. Patricia Cornwell signed a $385,000 for Body of Evidence, a significantly larger figure than the $7,500 she received for the rights to Postmortem.

Fox 20th Century has optioned the rights to make a Dr. Kay Scarpetta film but have not yet released a full length feature. It is estimated that the film studios spent at least $10 million on development costs. A number of actresses were attached to the project, at one point including Angelina Jolie.

At Risk was optioned by Lifetime channel to become a made for tv movie in 2010. It starred Andie McDowell as Monique Lamont and Daniel Sunjata as Win Garano and Annabeth Gish as Detective Delma Sykes.

Art imitates life as the story focuses on a famous crime writer that wants to solve an old case to further aid her political ambitions. At Risk aired on Lifetime in April 2010.

It was quickly followed up with another Garano movie, The Front. Daniel Sunjata reprises his role as Garano in this Boston story about a detective who is commanded to open an old case which throws his very life into deep jeopardy.

Hornet’s Nest was optioned for a movie for tv by TNT. The feature premiered in 2010 about Judy Hammer and her deputy as they try to hunt down a serial killer. With the help of young reporter Andy Brazil, the trio attempt to close in on a serial killer who is offing businessmen one by one.

Cornwell recently made headlines as the recipient of $50.9 million in a judgement handed down in 2013 on a lawsuit filed in 2009 against her financial advisers. Anchin, Block, and Anchin, LLC were found guilty of removing funds from Cornwell’s accounts for personal and other use.

This allegedly included five thousand dollars as a bat mitzvah gift and a pricey sports car. The defending party originally claimed that the lack of funds was due to the economy and expenses like a forty thousand dollar a month New York apartment.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Patricia Cornwell

14 Responses to “Patricia Cornwell”

  1. Sandee Rodriguez: 2 years ago

    I have been reading the Scarpetta books forever but had to take time off from it, for my career. I’ve picked up where I left off and have begun reading them again. I must say that Predator left me hanging. I kept looking for additional pages in my IPAD version & then even bought the 1st Edition of Predator to verify that my version was complete. Sadly it was. The next one in the series was Book of the Dead, but it hasn’t so far shed any light on what happened at the end of Predator. Does anyone else feel the same way or was I missing something?

  2. Kathy: 2 years ago

    Are her books clean, meaning no bad language or sex scenes? Thank you.

    • Julie: 11 months ago

      I don’t recall any graphic sex scenes, but there is quite a bit of swearing in the books.

      • Dorothy: 9 months ago

        I love the books and listen on my visionly impaired app. But I don’t like the use of God’s name in vain used.

    • Bonnie: 10 months ago

      No sex scenes, and that is a plus. However, she seems to have an “obsession” with using “God D” all the time. I cringe every time it appears; it appears to be her favorite words to use when the character is angry.

  3. Cristi: 2 years ago

    I want to know if a movie about Kay Scarpetta was ever made yet. I would like to see one. Anybody else?

    • Graeme: 2 years ago

      A TV show is apparently in the works as of June 2021.

  4. Jaime Stephens: 2 years ago

    I enjoy her books more than anything I’ve ever read in my life you can read them over and over and over and it’s like your reading them for the first time every time. Reading them in order is friggn amazzzzing.theyre so hard to put down you never get lost. Its indescribable. Iv put so many on patricias books and everyone I recommend her too gets as hooked as I.
    Fantastic woman incredible talent please don’t ever stop writing

    • Bea: 10 months ago

      She’s my favourite writer of all times!. Greetings from Uruguay!

  5. Ralph V. Shook: 3 years ago

    I enjoy Patricia Cornwells so much I reading them for the third time. Never read such a brilliant author. I believe many readers would appreciate more Kay Scarpetta

  6. ElmaBrown- Mitchell: 3 years ago

    Ms Cornwell I love reading your books,the last book I read wa sChaos, what a thriller,I am a mystery buff, and your books keeps me on the edge of my seat.
    I will purchase autopsy, and spin very soon.thank you Ms Cornwell ,a true fan of yours, and I love the closeness of your co workers in the book,please don’t stop now,Love,love your books

  7. Ann Long: 3 years ago

    I have enjoyed all the books I have read find them informative as I have only grade 12 education and to read and be able to read and be semi informed of medical situations.

  8. karen lumpkin: 3 years ago

    LOOOVVE your novels! And your non-fiction as well.

    Want more Scarpetta novels. Are you working on one?
    Please. 🙂 What is the novel Chalso? Is that a typo or one that I missed?

    Best Regards,

    Karen Lumpkin

  9. Annette Hemphill: 5 years ago

    Hi Everyone who love Patricia’s work,

    Are there going to be any further Scarpetta novels? I have Chalso, I can’t see another in this series?

    I haven’t read or seen the Omnibus series books by PC. what are they like?

    My ex burnt my entire Scarpetta library of PC. books. I’m having trouble getting them in Australia, QLD to WA.

    Partificial you are the Queen and Master Writer of Crime fromantic 0 Century to Eternity, nobody will be able to pass you.

    Please bring back new Scarpetta books again.
    It would to see more love & passion between Kay & her husband, plus Lucy settles with a Partner finally.

    Have you thought of doinG a 9/11 incorporating WTC, & Pentagon, Quantico novel, with a dedication of my fellow fire personnel, and other 000 personNelson ie police and ambo’s…plus others. I think it would be a fitting tribute.

    As a career female fire fighter we were deeply saddened by the loss of our colleagues in NYPD, NYPD etc.

    Thankyou Patricia for bring to world of forensic science to us all.

    In Honor of my fallen heroes


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