Are you looking for the best Patricia Cornwell books? Worry no longer, you are in the right place!
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.
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.
Cornwell was born in Miami. She grew up in Montreat, North Carolina, and now lives and works in Boston and Los Angeles.
We looked at all of the books written by Patricia Cornwell for you and after hours of hair-splitting research, we bring some of her best books to you.
It isn’t an easy task to find the best books of an author because every book is different from each other. So, we also consider the scores based on selling and readers review of various book ranking websites like Goodreads, Amazon, LibraryThing, BookBub, Bookish, etc to find the best books.
Hope this article about 10 best Patricia Cornwell books will help you to narrow down your choice to make your book selection process easier and faster.
Best Patricia Cornwell Books
The top 10 best books by Patricia Cornwell are generalized below.
A serial killer is on the loose in Richmond, Virginia. Three women have died, brutalized and strangled in their own bedrooms. There is no pattern: the killer appears to strike at random, but always early on Saturday mornings.
So when Dr. Kay Scarpetta, chief medical officer, is awakened at 2.33 am, she knows the news is bad: there is a fourth victim. And she fears now for those that will follow unless she can dig up new forensic evidence to aid the police.
But not everyone is pleased to see a woman in this powerful job. Someone may even want to ruin her career and reputation.
The Body Farm is a crime fiction novel by Patricia Cornwell. It is the fifth book in the Dr. Kay Scarpetta series.
Kay Scarpetta is called in to assist in the investigation of the brutal murder of 11-year-old Emily Steiner in rural North Carolina, whose murder is chillingly reminiscent of the handiwork of a serial killer who has eluded the FBI for years.
Scarpetta is joined by her ingenious, rebellious niece, Lucy, an FBI intern with a promising future in Quantico’s computer engineering facility. To help with the investigation, Scarpetta turns to a clandestine research facility in Tennessee known as the Body Farm.
There she finds answers to Emily Steiner’s murder – and evidence that paints a picture of a crime more horrifying than she could have imagined.
Filled with tension and continual surprises, Unnatural Exposure is a thrilling chapter in Virginia Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta’s life and a triumph for #1 New York Times best-selling author Patricia Cornwell.
The body of an elderly woman is found dismembered in a Virginia landfill. Scarpetta initially believes the clues mirror that of a serial killer she’s tracked before. But upon further investigation, she discovers puzzling pox-like eruptions on the woman’s body that, perhaps, point in another direction.
When the killer contacts her via e-mail, Scarpetta enlists the aid of her computer-savvy niece, Lucy, to help track this monster through cyberspace. Learning that the Virginia victim was exposed to a high-tech virus that might unleash an epidemic, Scarpetta realizes she’s dealing with a sophisticated mind.
Her investigation leads her from the government’s biological defense facility in Utah to Atlanta’s Center for Disease Control, and eventually to quarantine when it is discovered that Scarpetta has been exposed to this fatal virus.
Along the way, she’s forced to deal with the unscrupulous ambitions of a slick FBI agent, Lucy’s problems, and her own turbulent feelings for Agent Wesley Benton.
Unnatural Exposure is the 8th book in the Kay Scarpetta series.
Number-one best-selling author Patricia Cornwell delivers the next enthralling thriller in her high-stakes series starring Kay Scarpetta – a complex tale involving a serial sniper who strikes chillingly close to the forensic sleuth herself.
It’s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta’s birthday, and while she’s enjoying a leisurely morning, a man is shot dead five minutes from her house. The bullet tore through him as he unloaded groceries from his car. Yet nobody heard or saw a thing.
It looks like the work of a serial sniper – one who leaves no trace except for tiny copper fragments, and whose seemingly impossible shots cause instant death. As Scarpetta investigates, uncovering details that only she can analyze, she begins to suspect that the killer is sending her a message.
Adding to Scarpetta’s growing unease is the sense that those closest to her are keeping secrets. And when her pursuit of the sniper takes Scarpetta to a shipwreck off the Florida coast, she comes face to face with shocking evidence that implicates her niece Lucy – Scarpetta’s very own flesh and blood.
After working one of the worst mass killings in U.S. history, Scarpetta returns home to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Exhausted and ill, she’s recovering at home when she receives an unsettling call. The body of a young woman has been discovered on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s rugby field.
The victim, a graduate student named Gail Shipman, is oddly draped in ivory linen and posed in a way that is too deliberate to be the killer’s first strike. A preliminary examination in the sea of red mud where the body has been left also reveals a bizarre residue that fluoresces blood red, emerald green, and sapphire blue.
Physical evidence links the case to a series of uniquely weird homicides in Washington, D.C., where 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. Gail Shipman was murdered for financial gain – or was she?
It will require the usual ensemble of characters to find out the truth, including Scarpetta’s sidekick Pete Marino, who has undergone a drastic change in his life that places him center stage in a Cambridge investigation that puts everyone at risk.
Also read: Patricia Cornwell Books In Order
On a quiet day, away from the hustle of Richmond, in a small cottage on the Virginia coast, Dr. Kay Scarpetta receives a disturbing phone call from the Chesapeake police. Thirty feet deep in the murky waters of Virginia’s Elizabeth River, a scuba diver’s body is discovered near the Inactive Naval Shipyard.
As the police begin searching for clues, the wallet of investigative reporter Ted Eddings is found. Unnerved by the possible identity of the victim, Scarpetta orders the crime scene roped off and left alone until she arrives.
What was he doing there, searching for Civil War relics as the officer suggested, or was there a bigger story? As she rifles through the multitude of clues, a second murder hits much closer to home. This new development puts Scarpetta and her colleagues hot on the trail of a military conspiracy.
Filled with lurid details that Cornwell’s legions of fans have come to expect, Cause of Death is a breathtaking mystery. Cause of Death is the 7th book in the Kay Scarpetta series.
The eleventh Scarpetta novel, in which the chief medical examiner is under a grand jury investigation for murder. She knows she’s being framed, and she no longer knows who she can trust.
Physically and psychologically bruised by her encounter with the killer Chandonne, Dr. Kay Scarpetta has to leave her home in the hands of the police team investigating the attack.
She finds shelter with an old friend, Anna Zenner, but it is not the haven of security she needs when she discovers that Anna has been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury that is investigating Scarpetta for murder. Kay knows she is being framed, and she knows she can trust no one.
Meanwhile it appears that Chandonne killed a woman in New York before his murderous spree in Virginia, but when Scarpetta looks more closely into that case with New York prosecutor Jaime Berger, proof of his guilt is far from certain–in fact she begins to believe he may not be the perpetrator of any of the crimes of which he is accused.
As she follows the forensic trail to the real killer, she gradually realizes that someone has been spinning a web for years with the aim of entrapping her. Who is it, and why are they so desperate to be rid of her?
From New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell comes Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert, a comprehensive and intriguing exposé of one of the world’s most chilling cases of serial murder – and the police force that failed to solve it.
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, one that’s left its bloody mark on the pages of history: Jack the Ripper.
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: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed, this new edition has been revised and expanded to include eight new chapters.
Number-one New York Times best-selling author Patricia Cornwell delivers the 23rd engrossing thriller in her high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.
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 twenty years ago.
As Scarpetta watches, she begins to learn frightening secrets about her niece, whom she has loved and raised like a daughter. That film clip and then others sent soon after raising dangerous legal implications that increasingly isolate Scarpetta and leave her confused, worried, and not knowing where to turn.
She doesn’t know whom she can tell – not her FBI husband, Benton Wesley, or her investigative partner, Pete Marino. Not even Lucy.
In this new novel, Cornwell launches these unforgettable characters on an intensely psychological odyssey that includes the mysterious death of a Hollywood mogul’s daughter, aircraft wreckage on the bottom of the sea in the Bermuda Triangle, a grisly gift left in the back of a crime scene truck, and videos from the past that threaten to destroy Scarpetta’s entire world and everyone she loves.
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.
International bestselling author Patricia Cornwell delivers pulse-pounding thrills in a series featuring a brilliant and unusual new heroine, cutting-edge cyber technology, and stakes that are astronomically high.
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 the 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 to clear her sister’s name, Captain Chase digs deep into her vast cybersecurity knowledge and her painful past, probing for answers to her twin’s erratic conduct.
As time is running out, she realizes that failure means catastrophe – not just for the space program but for the safety of the whole nation.
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