VJ Books Presents Author Patricia Cornwell!
Patricia Cornwell sold her first novel, Postmortem, while working as a computer analyst at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. At her first signing, held during a lunch break from the morgue, Patricia sold no copies of Postmortem and fielded exactly one question - an elderly woman asked her where she could find the cookbooks.
Postmortem would go on to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity awards as well as the French Prix du Roman d'Aventure prize - the first book ever to claim all these distinctions in a single year. To date, Cornwell's books have sold some 100 million copies in thirty-six languages in over 120 countries. She's authored twenty-six New York Times bestsellers. You can find a selection of Patricia Cornwell signed books below this author biography.
Patricia's novels center primarily on medical examiner Kay Scarpetta along with her tech-savvy niece Lucy and fellow investigator Pete Marino. Over twenty years, these characters have grown into an international phenomenon, eventually winning Cornwell the Sherlock Award for best detective created by an American author, the Gold Dagger Award, the RBA Thriller Award, and the Medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters for her contributions to literary and artistic development. Fox 20th Century currently owns the rights to the Scarpetta film.
Patricia's literary career expands outside the realm of the Kay Scarpetta series - she's authored a definitive account of Jack the Ripper's identity, two cookbooks (Food to Die For and Scarpetta's Winter Table), a children's book (Life's Little Fable), and a biography of Ruth Graham. She's also developed two other series based on Win Garano, an upstart Boston detective, and Andy Brazil, an enterprising Charlotte reporter.
Though Cornwell now lives in Boston, she was born in Miami and grew up in Montreat, North Carolina. After earning her degree in English from Davidson College in 1979, she began working at the Charlotte Observer, taking whatever stories came her way and rapidly advancing from listing television programs to covering the police beat. Cornwell received widespread attention and praise for her series of articles on prostitution and crime in downtown Charlotte. From the Charlotte Observer, Cornwell moved to a job with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia - a post she would later bestow upon the fictional Kay Scarpetta. It was during these years that Patricia penned Postmortem and began submitting it to major publishing houses in New York, without initial success.
When not writing from her Boston home, Patricia tirelessly researches cutting-edge forensic technologies to include in her work. Her interests span outside the literary: Patricia co-founded of the Conservation Scientist Chair at the Harvard University Art Museums. She appears as a forensic consultant on CNN and serves as a member of Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital's National Council, where she advocates for psychiatric research. She's helped fund the ICU at Cornell's Animal Hospital, the scientific study of a Confederate submarine, the archaeological excavation of Jamestown, and a variety of law enforcement charities. Patricia is also committed to funding scholarships and literacy programs.
Patricia Cornwell Bibliography
Kay Scarpetta Series
Postmortem - 1990
- Body of Evidence - 1991
- All That Remains - 1992
- Cruel and 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
- The Last Precinct - 2000
- Blow Fly - 2003
- Trace - 2004
- Predator - 2005
- Book of the Dead - 2007
- Scarpetta - 2008
- The Scarpetta Factor - 2009
- Port Mortuary - 2010
- Red Mist - 2011
- Bone Bed - 2012
- Dust - 2013
- Flesh and Blood - 2014
- Depraved Heart - 2015
- Chaos - 2016
- Quantum - 2019
- Autopsy - 2021
Andy Brazil / Judy Hammer Series
- Hornet's Nest - 1997
- Southern Cross - 1999
- Isle of Dogs - 2002
At Risk / Win Garano Series
- At Risk - 2006
- The Front - 2008
- Life's Little Fable - 1999; children's book
- A Time for Remembering - 1983; biography of Ruth Bell Graham; later reissued as Ruth: A Portrait
- Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham - 1997.
- Scarpetta's Winter Table - 1998
- Food to Die For: Secrets from Kay Scarpetta's Kitchen - 2002
- Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed - 2002
- Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert - February 2017
- The First Scarpetta Collection. Postmortem and Body of Evidence - 1995
- A Scarpetta Omnibus: Postmortem, Body of Evidence, All that Remains - 2000
- A Second Scarpetta Omnibus: Cruel and Unusual, The Body Farm, From Potter's Field - 2000
- A Third Scarpetta Omnibus: Cause of Death, Unnatural Exposure & Point of Origin - 2002
- The Scarpetta Collection Volume 1: Postmortem and Body of Evidence - 2003
- The Scarpetta Collection Volume 2: All that Remains and Cruel and Unusual - 2003
Patricia Cornwell Awards
- ECPA Gold Medallion Book Award in the Biography/Autobiography category for A Time For Remembering - 1985
- Edgar Award, John Creasey Memorial Award, Anthony Award, and Macavity Award for Postmortem - 1991
- Prix du Roman d'Adventures for Postmortem - 1992
- Gold Dagger for Cruel and Unusual - 1993
- Sherlock Award for Best Detective for the character Kay Scarpetta - 1999
- British Book Awards' Crime Thriller of the Year for Book of the Dead - 2008
- RBA International Thriller Prize 2011 for Red Mist
- Medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters for her contributions to literary and artistic development
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