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Patricia Cornwell was born in Miami, Florida on June 9, 1956. When she was nine years old, her mother tried to give her and her two brothers to evangelist Billy Graham and his wife to care for. For a while the children lived with missionaries since their mother was unable to care for them. After graduating from Davidson College in 1979, she worked for The Charlotte Observer eventually covering the police beat and winning an investigative reporting award from the North Carolina Press Association for a series of articles on prostitution and crime in downtown Charlotte. Her award-winning biography of Ruth Bell Graham, the wife of Billy Graham, A Time for Remembering, was published in 1983. From 1984 to 1990, she worked as a technical writer and a computer analyst at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. While working for the medical examiner, she began to write novels. Although the award-winning novel Postmortem was initially rejected by seven different publishers, once it was published in 1990 it became the only novel ever to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity awards as well as the French Prix du Roman d'Adventure, in one year. She is the author of the Kay Scarpetta series, the Andy Brazil series, and the Winston Garano series. She has also written two cookbooks entitled Scarpetta's Winter Table and Food to Die For; a children's book entitled Life's Little Fable; and non-fiction works like Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from Postmortem
… (more)
Postmortem 6,587 copies, 101 reviews
The Body Farm 5,823 copies, 48 reviews
From Potter's Field 5,253 copies, 38 reviews
Cause of Death 5,116 copies, 38 reviews
Cruel and Unusual 5,116 copies, 51 reviews
All That Remains 5,062 copies, 64 reviews
Body of Evidence 5,023 copies, 52 reviews
Blow Fly 4,902 copies, 46 reviews
Point of Origin 4,854 copies, 35 reviews
Black Notice 4,795 copies, 43 reviews
Unnatural Exposure 4,731 copies, 48 reviews
Trace 4,721 copies, 42 reviews
The Last Precinct 4,704 copies, 38 reviews
Predator 4,317 copies, 59 reviews
Book of the Dead 3,847 copies, 71 reviews
Scarpetta 3,069 copies, 79 reviews
Hornet's Nest 3,020 copies, 29 reviews
At Risk 2,681 copies, 42 reviews
The Scarpetta Factor 2,455 copies, 54 reviews
Southern Cross 2,425 copies, 20 reviews
Isle of Dogs 2,319 copies, 28 reviews
Port Mortuary 2,051 copies, 61 reviews
Red Mist 1,711 copies, 45 reviews
The Front 1,680 copies, 43 reviews
The Bone Bed 1,490 copies, 37 reviews
Dust 1,167 copies, 22 reviews
Flesh and Blood 1,038 copies, 39 reviews
Depraved Heart 909 copies, 29 reviews
Chaos 716 copies, 13 reviews
Scarpetta's Winter Table 326 copies, 10 reviews
Quantum: A Thriller 317 copies, 15 reviews
Autopsy 181 copies, 9 reviews
Spin 77 copies, 3 reviews
Life's Little Fable 42 copies, 1 review
Predator [Abridged Audiobook] 17 copies, 1 review
No title 2 copies
Grön död 1 copy
Trace #14 1 copy
Star Quest 1 copy
Harlequin 1 copy
Book 4 1 copy
Kierre 1 copy
Orbite 1 copy

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Her first crime novel, Postmortem, was published by Scribner’s in 1990. Initially rejected by seven major publishing houses, it became the first novel to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity awards as well as the French Prix du Roman d’Aventure in a single year. In Postmortem, Cornwell introduced Dr. Kay Scarpetta as the intrepid Chief Medical Examiner of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 1999, Dr. Scarpetta herself won the Sherlock Award for best detective created by an American author
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