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Patricia Cornwell

Biography

Patricia Cornwell

In 1990, Patricia Cornwell sold her first novel, POSTMORTEM, while working at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. An auspicious debut, it went 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. Growing into an international phenomenon, the Scarpetta series won 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.

Today, Cornwell's novels and iconic characters are known around the world. Beyond the Scarpetta series, Cornwell has written the definitive nonfiction account of Jack the Ripper's identity, cookbooks, a children's book, a biography of Ruth Graham, and two other fictional series based on the characters Win Garano and Andy Brazil. While writing QUANTUM, Cornwell spent two years researching space, technology and robotics at Captain Calli Chase's home base, NASA's Langley Research Center, and studied cutting-edge law enforcement and security techniques with the Secret Service, the US Air Force, NASA Protective Services, Scotland Yard and Interpol.

Cornwell was born in Miami. She grew up in Montreat, North Carolina, and now lives and works in Boston and Los Angeles.

Patricia Cornwell

Books by Patricia Cornwell

by Patricia Cornwell - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

On the eve of a top-secret space mission, Captain Calli Chase detects a tripped alarm in the tunnels deep below a NASA research center. A NASA pilot, quantum physicist and cybercrime investigator, Calli knows that a looming blizzard and government shutdown could provide the perfect cover for sabotage, with deadly consequences. As it turns out, the danger is worse than she thought. A spatter of dried blood, a missing security badge, a suspicious suicide --- a series of disturbing clues point to Calli’s twin sister, Carme, who’s been MIA for days. Desperate to halt the countdown to disaster and clear her sister’s name, Captain Chase digs deep into her vast cyber security knowledge and her painful past, probing for answers to her twin’s erratic conduct.

by Patricia Cornwell - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

On an early autumn day, Elisa Vandersteel is killed while riding her bicycle along the Charles River. Dr. Kay Scarpetta decides at the scene that this is no accidental Act of God. Her investigation becomes complicated when she begins receiving a flurry of bizarre poems from an anonymous cyberbully who calls himself Tailend Charlie. When the 10th poem arrives exactly 24 hours after Elisa’s death, Scarpetta begins to suspect the harasser is involved, and sounds the alarm to her investigative partner, Pete Marino, and her husband, FBI analyst Benton Wesley. She also enlists the help of her niece, Lucy. But to Scarpetta’s surprise, tracking the slippery Tailend Charlie is nearly impossible, even for someone as brilliant as her niece.

by Patricia Cornwell - Nonfiction, True Crime

Vain and charismatic Walter Sickert made a name for himself as a painter in Victorian London. But the ghoulish nature of his art --- as well as extensive evidence --- points to another name: Jack the Ripper. Patricia Cornwell has collected never-before-seen archival material --- including a rare mortuary photo, personal correspondence and a will with a mysterious autopsy clause --- and applied cutting-edge forensic science to open an old crime to new scrutiny. Incorporating material from PORTRAIT OF A KILLER, this new edition has been revised and expanded to include eight new chapters, detailed maps and hundreds of images that bring the sinister case to life.

by Patricia Cornwell - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Dr. Kay Scarpetta is working a suspicious death scene in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when an emergency alert sounds on her phone. A video link lands in her text messages and seems to be from her computer genius niece Lucy. But how can it be? It’s clearly a surveillance film of Lucy taken almost 20 years ago. The diabolical presence behind what unfolds seems obvious --- but strangely, not to the FBI. Certainly that’s the message they send when they raid Lucy’s estate and begin building a case that could send her to prison for the rest of her life.

by Patricia Cornwell - Fiction, Mystery

Dr. Kay Scarpetta finds herself in the unsettling pursuit of a serial sniper who leaves no incriminating evidence except fragments of copper. The victims appear to have had nothing in common, and there is no pattern to indicate where the killer will strike next. When Scarpetta investigates a shipwreck, looking for answers that only she can discover and analyze, she comes face to face with shocking evidence that implicates her techno genius niece, Lucy, her own flesh and blood.

by Patricia Cornwell - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

The body of a young woman named Gail Shipton has been discovered on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's rugby field. Physical evidence links the case to a series of uniquely weird homicides in Washington, D.C., where Kay Scarpetta's FBI husband has been deployed to help capture a serial killer dubbed the Capital Murderer. The cases all connect and yet seem to conflict.

by Patricia Cornwell - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta in Boston. As events unfold, Scarpetta begins to suspect that the paleontologist’s disappearance is connected to a series of crimes much closer to home: a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures, and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age.

by Patricia Cornwell - Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Determined to find out what happened to her former deputy chief, Jack Fielding, murdered six months earlier, Kay Scarpetta travels to the Georgia Prison for Women, where an inmate has information not only on Fielding, but also on a string of grisly killings.

by Patricia Cornwell - Fiction, Thriller

In this 18th installment of Patricia Cornwell’s bestselling series, Kay Scarpetta is assigned to Port Mortuary “at Dover Air Force Base where U.S. Armed Forces Medical Examiners take care of all military casualties” and other special cases.