Books by Patricia Cornwell

CHAOS by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"Fans, aware that this particular fatality is incidental to the larger saga of the heroine's epic struggle with the forces of evil, will forgive the absence of a coherent mystery or characters worth caring about. The closest analogue to Cornwell's wildly successful series, in fact, may be a superhero franchise."
Dr. Kay Scarpetta's talk to the bigwigs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government is delayed by murder, malicious online posts, anonymous messages, a visit from her sister, and a familiar malefactor from her past in this kitchen-sink 24th installment. Read full book review >
DEPRAVED HEART by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"A trademark Cornwell mystery: terse and tangled, messy and body fluid-y, and altogether satisfying."
Another gritty, world-weary tale of mayhem by masterful mysterian Cornwell (Flesh and Blood, 2014, etc.). Read full book review >
FLESH AND BLOOD by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"No wonder Scarpetta asks, 'When did my workplace become such a soap opera?' Answer: at least 10 years ago.
Happy birthday, Dr. Kay Scarpetta. But no Florida vacation for you and your husband, FBI profiler Benton Wesley—not because President Barack Obama is visiting Cambridge, but because a deranged sniper has come to town. Read full book review >
DUST by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Nov. 12, 2013

"The takeaway? 'People still suck.' Yes, they do, and they do very bad things to each other. Stay tuned."
Kay Scarpetta is back, as world-weary and sharp-eyed as ever, in this latest Cornwell (The Bone Bed, 2012, etc.) outing, the 21st in the series. Read full book review >
THE BONE BED by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Oct. 16, 2012

"An ingenious murder method, more hours in the mortuary and forensics lab than usual, an uncharacteristically muffled killer, and all the trademark battles among the regulars and every potential ally who gets in their way."
Having survived brushes with ruthless killers, human monsters and treacherous colleagues of every stripe (Red Mist, 2011, etc.), forensic pathologist Dr. Kay Scarpetta limps into her 20th case to encounter more of the same. Read full book review >
RED MIST  by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Dec. 6, 2011

"Cornwell at her worst, Cornwell at her best, but mainly Cornwell at her most."
Yet another demonstration that the murderous enemies of forensic pathologist Dr. Kay Scarpetta aren't neutralized by life imprisonment or death. Read full book review >
PORT MORTUARY by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Nov. 30, 2010

Quite a homecoming for Dr. Kay Scarpetta after her six months at Dover Air Force Base—a corpse back in Cambridge that seems to have been locked away in a mortuary still alive. Read full book review >
THE SCARPETTA FACTOR by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Oct. 20, 2009

"A helpful appendix lists the seven previous novels (Scarpetta, 2008, etc.) related to this one. Readers who don't know them will be baffled; readers who do will be exasperated."
A Manhattan waitress's murder kicks off yet another round of forensic-driven navel gazing for Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her friends and enemies. Read full book review >
SCARPETTA by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Dec. 2, 2008

"The title perfectly suits a challenging mystery that's only a pendant to the endless soap opera revolving around a heroine who just can't stop posing for Mt. Rushmore."
Dr. Kay Scarpetta celebrates her 20th anniversary as a larger-than-life medical examiner by taking on a case of murder among little people. Read full book review >
BOOK OF THE DEAD by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Oct. 23, 2007

"Proceed at your own risk."
Pioneering pathologist Kay Scarpetta (Trace, 2004, etc.) goes up against a wraithlike killer whose self-appointed mission is to "relieve others of their suffering." Read full book review >
TRACE by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Sept. 7, 2004

"Cornwell's full-employment approach to evil hits all her high notes: grueling forensics, supernal villainy, Scarpetta's righteous duels with bullying authority figures. If the result is more synthetic than inspired, fans won't be disappointed."
Five years after getting eased out in a nasty political brawl, Dr. Kay Scarpetta (Blow Fly, 2003, etc.) is back in Richmond to battle still another monstrous killer. Read full book review >
BLOW FLY by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Oct. 13, 2003

"A more serious problem is that the perils feel recycled, shapeless, and so soaked in evil that they're headed nowhere in particular for Sisyphus Scarpetta."
Fresh from tussling with a nonpareil real-life serial killer (Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed, not reviewed), Cornwell brings back forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta for her first outing in three years. Read full book review >
THE LAST PRECINCT by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Oct. 16, 2000

"This time, though, the obsessive revisiting of earlier horrors has a soap-opera sameness, as if Cornwell kept painting her heroine's ongoing struggles in darker and darker colors because she couldn't bear to let anything go."
What could be more open and shut than a case in which a widely sought killer tricks his way into the home of Virginia's Chief Medical Examiner, attacks her with a hammer of exactly the same sort he'd used in killing Richmond Deputy Police Chief Diane Bray, and is still on the scene when police arrive? Read full book review >
BLACK NOTICE by Patricia Cornwell
Released: July 1, 1999

Virginia Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta has never liked Christmas, and this year, when she's still mourning the death of her FBI lover Benton Wesley (Point of Origin, 1998), looks like her worst holiday season ever. Read full book review >
SOUTHERN CROSS by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Jan. 11, 1999

Widowed of the pusillanimous husband who worshiped her from afar in her debut (Hornet's Nest, 1997), Charlotte (N.C.) Read full book review >
POINT OF ORIGIN by Patricia Cornwell
Released: July 6, 1998

Does Kay Scarpetta ever have a nice day? Read full book review >
RUTH, A PORTRAIT by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Sept. 19, 1997

A syrupy but engaging biography of the famous preacher's irrepressible wife. Read full book review >
UNNATURAL EXPOSURE by Patricia Cornwell
Released: July 7, 1997

"But fans, swept up in a fever of their own, won't care a bit. (First printing of 1,000,000; Literary Guild/Mystery Guild main selection; $750,000 ad/promo)"
Whoever shot the latest unidentified female victim Dr. Kay Scarpetta's called out to examine—whoever cut off her head, dismembered her, and bagged her torso for disposal in a Virginia landfill—may have been doing her a favor. Read full book review >
HORNET'S NEST by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Jan. 6, 1997

Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the most famous medical examiner in fiction (see Cause of Death, p. 715, etc.), will have to fend for herself this time, as her creator leaves her behind for a big- city cop novel set in Charlotte, North Carolina. Read full book review >
CAUSE OF DEATH by Patricia Cornwell
Released: July 2, 1996

"It's only the sketchy, unbelievable villains who ring hollow. (First printing of 1,000,000; $750,000 ad/promo budget; Literary Guild main selection; Mystery Guild main selection)"
The fascination with monstrous evil that's run through Cornwell's recent work (From Potter's Field, 1995, etc.) blossoms with a vengeance when Virginia Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta is called out on New Year's Eve to examine the body of Ted Eddings, an investigative reporter killed during an unauthorized dive in Norfolk's Inactive Naval Ship Yard. Read full book review >
FROM POTTER'S FIELD by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Aug. 3, 1995

"Take that, Hannibal Lecter! (Literary Guild/Mystery Guild main selection)"
Before he killed the woman Dr. Kay Scarpetta knows only as Jane, Scarpetta's nemesis Temple Gault (Cruel and Unusual, 1993) took his victim to the shark exhibit at the Museum of Natural History, walked her through the Sheep Meadow in Central Park, and made her strip despite the Christmas Eve weather. Read full book review >
THE BODY FARM by Patricia Cornwell
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"But beneath the welter of quarrels and coincidences is as insidious a study of evil as Cornwell has turned in. (Literary Guild main selection)"
Virginia Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta (Cruel and Unusual, 1993, etc.) has given up smoking and strayed far enough from her high-pressure office to act as a consulting profiler for the FBI, but her nerves are just as frayed at Quantico, especially since her rebellious niece Lucy is a computer-whiz trainee for the Engineering Research Facility down the hall. Read full book review >