MLA Gold Award Site

Patricia Cornwell biography

Author Biography  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

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. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • 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" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes 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 readalikes

  • 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 15 similar authors

View all 15 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Victoria
by Daisy Goodwin

"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The Sunday Mirror (UK)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Second Mrs. Hockaday
    by Susan Rivers

    A love story, a story of racial divide, and a story of the South as it fell in the war.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win No Man's Land

No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien

Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.

Enter

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Ruler of the Night
    Ruler of the Night
    by David Morrell
    Amateur sleuth Thomas De Quincey is back in a mystery set in Victorian England. This time, he and ...
  • Book Jacket: A List of Cages
    A List of Cages
    by Robin Roe
    Robin Roe has written one helluva young adult debut novel. Alternating first person narratives by a ...
  • Book Jacket: Homesick for Another World
    Homesick for Another World
    by Ottessa Moshfegh
    The frizzy, freaky, funky, and frazzled all pile on in this much anticipated short story collection ...

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H W S W T Devil S H A L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.