We are proud to announce that BookBrowse has won Platinum in the 2024 Modern Library Awards.

Patricia Cornwell biography

Author Biography  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Patricia Cornwell

Patricia Cornwell

Patricia Cornwell Biography

New York Times bestselling novelist Patricia Daniels Cornwell is the only woman in the United States to receive England's coveted Gold Dagger, widely considered to be the most prestigious crime-writing award in the world.

A former award-winning police reporter for the Charlotte Observer, Cornwell worked for more than six years as a computer analyst in the chief medical examiner's office in Virginia, where 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 was a volunteer with the Richmond Police Department, and has spent time with law enforcement around the world.

Those experiences 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.

Cornwell's first Kay Scarpetta book, Postmortem (1990), is the only novel ever to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony and Macavity awards, as well as the French Prix du Roman d'Aventure in a single year. Her subsequent Scarpetta novels, Body of Evidence (1991), All That Remains (1992), Cruel & Unusual (1993), The Body Farm (1994), From Potter's Field (1995), Cause of Death (1996), Unnatural Exposure (1997), Point of Origin (1998), Black Notice (1999) and The Last Precinct, received critical acclaim and became national and international bestsellers. The Last Precinct, was published in 2000 and was a New York Times bestseller, followed by Bow Fly, Trace, Predator, Book of the Dead, Scarpetta, The Scarpetta Factor, Port Mortuary, and Red Mist.

Cornwell is also the author of the bestselling Southern Cross (1999), Hornet's Nest (1997), and Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham (1997), a biography of Ruth Bell Graham, wife of evangelist Billy Graham. Born in Miami, Florida, Cornwell now divides her time between Richmond, Virginia, and New York. A graduate of Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, Cornwell has continued her ties with the school through scholarships to assist gifted students who are interested in writing.

In October 2001, G.P. Putnam's Sons published Isle of Dogs, a new novel featuring Andy Brazil, and Food To Die For: Secrets from Kay Scarpetta's Kitchen.

In 2003 Cornwell published a nonfiction book called Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed.

Patricia Cornwell's website

This bio was last updated on 08/10/2016. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Patricia Cornwell at BookBrowse
Red Mist jacket Port Mortuary jacket The Scarpetta Factor jacket Scarpetta jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Patricia Cornwell but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Alafair Burke

    Alafair Burke

    Alafair S. Burke is an American crime novelist, professor of law, and legal commentator. She is the author of two series of crime novels-one featuring NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher; the other, Portland, Oregon, prosecutor ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Point of Origin

    Try:
    Close Case
    by Alafair Burke

  • Dr Robin Cook

    Dr Robin Cook

    Doctor and author Robin Cook is widely credited with introducing the word "medical" to the thriller genre, and thirty years after the publication of his breakthrough novel, Coma, he continues to dominate the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Blow Fly

    Try:
    Vector
    by Dr Robin Cook

We recommend 17 similar authors


Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    by Derek B. Miller
    Derek B. Miller's sixth novel, The Curse of Pietro Houdini, opens in the town of Cassino, Italy, in ...
  • Book Jacket: Our Moon
    Our Moon
    by Rebecca Boyle
    In Our Moon: How Earth's Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us ...
  • Book Jacket: Neighbors and Other Stories
    Neighbors and Other Stories
    by Diane Oliver
    The history of American segregation, along with changes to it in the 1960s, is sometimes taught and ...
  • Book Jacket: Wild and Distant Seas
    Wild and Distant Seas
    by Tara Karr Roberts
    Tara Karr Roberts is a newspaper columnist who also teaches English and journalism. Wild and Distant...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Mockingbird Summer
by Lynda Rutledge
A powerful and emotional coming-of-age novel set in the 1960s by the bestselling author of West with Giraffes.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Strong Passions
    by Barbara Weisberg

    Shocking revelations of a wife's adultery in 19th New York explode in an incendiary trial exposing the upper-crust and its secrets.

  • Book Jacket

    Leaving
    by Roxana Robinson

    An engrossing exploration of the vows we make to one another and what we owe to others and ourselves.

Win This Book
Win The Cleaner

The Cleaner
by Brandi Wells

Rarely has cubicle culture been depicted in such griminess or with such glee."
PW (starred review)

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.