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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.

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Books by this Author

Books by Patricia Cornwell at BookBrowse
Red Mist jacket Port Mortuary jacket The Scarpetta Factor jacket Scarpetta jacket
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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

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