Sunday, August 25, 2013

Patricia Cornwell - One of My Favorite Authors

Patricia Cornwell
The book that started
my liking for the
 Kay Scarpetta character.
    I have been in a book-reading mode lately. While dusting a while back, I stopped to peruse my collection of books by Patricia Cornwell. I have been a fan of hers since being introduced to her first book, "Postmortem," back in 1990 by a friend and co-worker. As I sat on the floor dusting the area with Cornwell's books, I recalled how I couldn't wait until one of her books was published and when it was available in the bookstores, I'd rush down, buy it and devour it from front to back - in one sitting.
     As the years passed, I was not as in tune to when her books came out. But, when Steve and I would stop at Barnes and Noble at the Jantzen Beach shopping center in Portland, I would look through the Bargain Books section where I would pick up one or two of them.  I would buy them, take them home and set them aside, telling myself I would read them one day. 
    In my job, I read a lot of words :-) so when I get home from work, reading is one of the last things on my mind and that saddens me. Instead, I veg out in front of the TV, getting whisked away into another time so to speak.  I enjoy the shows we watch - "Pawn Stars," "Storage Hunters," "Rizzoli and Isles," "Burn Notice," "The Bridge," "Under the Dome," "Major Crimes," "Suits," "Perception," ... and the list goes on - but since dusting off the Patricia Cornwell books, a nagging voice in the back of my mind kept telling me I need to read more. So ... over the past few weeks I have been working on getting back into it. After all, books can take me "away" just as easily as watching TV.
    Even though hubby and I still "veg" out in front of the TV while eating dinner, it doesn't occupy all my moments from the time I get home from work until it is bedtime. First on the agenda - when the weather cooperates (which it has for weeks now) - is to change clothes and head outside to sit on the patio or in the yard for an hour or so to decompress. With a favorite beverage on the table between our chairs, we talk about our day, pet the cat, watch the deer if they come into the yard, listen to the birds chirp, oggle at the butterflies and dragonflies and  enjoy each other's company. Then it's back in the house to prepare dinner and relax in front of the TV. About an hour before "bedtime," we head into the bedroom and read. :-)
    On a recent week off, I read the 492-page "The Scarpetta Factor." It was great - as is usual with books by Patricia Cornwell. I started "Blow Fly" and finished it yesterday. It was another 400-plus page book. And last night, I began "Trace."
   Of the 21 books in the Kay Scarpetta series, I have all but three of them - "Port Mortuary," "The Bone Bed" and "Dust," which is scheduled to come out in November of this year. I am not as far behind as I had thought in reading the books in the series. Of the 18 I have, I have four left to read. 
    In addition, Cornwell wrote three books in the Andy Brazil / Judy Hammer series. I am happy to say I have read them. I also read the two she has in the Win Garano series. 

    For those of you who have not heard about Patricia Cornwell, she was born in 1956 and began her career in 1979 as a crime reporter for the Charlotte Observer. She worked for the medical examiner's office in Virginia as a technical writer and computer analyst, and volunteered to work with the Richmond (Virginia) Police Department.
    Her character, Kay Scarpetta is a medical examiner, who solves crimes and loves to cook.
    Cornwell also wrote two books with recipes from the series, one is called "Food to Die For" and contains recipes from Scarpetta's kitchen. The other is called "Scarpetta's Winter Table," and is an intimate look at how the main characters in the Scarpetta series celebrate the week between Christmas and New Year's with recipes such as Pete Marino's "Cause of Death Egg Nog," Lucy Farinelli's "Felonious Cookies," Scarpetta's "Holiday Pizza," "Bad Mood Pasta Primavera," "Childhood Key Lime Pie" and more.
     Cornwell wrote a biography of Ruth Bell Graham, who was her friend; and a non-fiction work, "Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Cased Closed," a "self-financed search for evidence to support the theory that painter Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper," notes several websites including
    To read more about Cornwell, her work and her life, visit her official website at
    Below is a list of her books I found on Wikipedia in their appropriate "series" and in the order they were published. I highly recommend reading them.

Kay Scarpetta series
    1. "Postmortem" (1990).
    2. "Body of Evidence" (1991).
    3. "All That Remains" (1992).
Coming out November 2013
    4. "Cruel and Unusual" (1993).
    5. "The Body Farm" (1994).                                                        
    6. "From Potter's Field" (1995).
    7. "Cause of Death" (1996).
    8. "Unnatural Exposure" (1997).
    9. "Point of Origin" (1998).
   10. "Black Notice" (1999).
   11. "The Last Precinct" (2000).
   12. "Blow Fly" (2003).
   13. "Trace" (2004).
   14. "Predator" (2005).
   15. "Book of the Dead" (2007)
   16. "Scarpetta" (2008).
   17. "The Scarpetta Factor" (2009).
   18. "Port Mortuary" (2010).
   19. "Red Mist" (2011).
   20. "The Bone Bed" (2012).
   21. "Dust" (November 2013).

Andy Brazil / Judy Hammer series
    1. "Hornet's Nest" (1997).
    2. "Southern Cross" (1999).
    3. "Isle of Dogs" (2001).

Win Garano series
    1. "At Risk" (2006).
    2. "The Front" (2008).

Children's book
    1. "Life's Little Fable" (1999).

    1. "A Time for Remembering: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham" (1983).
    2. "Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham" (1997 update of "A Time for Remembering").
    3. "Scarpetta's Winter Table" (1998).
    4. "Food to Die For: Secrets from Scarpetta's Kitchen" (2002).
    5. "Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed" (2002).

No comments:

Post a Comment