Kay Scarpetta Books In Order – How To Read Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta Series?

Are you a very recent addict to Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta Series and looking for what to read next? Worry no longer, you are in the right place!

Kay Scarpetta is a fictional character and protagonist in a series of crime novels written by Patricia Cornwell. She first appears in the 1990 novel Postmortem. The character was inspired by former Virginia Chief Medical Examiner Marcella Farinelli Fierro. The series is noted for the use of recent forensic technology in Scarpetta’s investigations.

We looked at all of the books in Kay Scarpetta Series authored by Patricia Cornwell’s and bring a list of Kay Scarpetta books in order for you to minimize your hassle at the time of choosing the best reading order.

Hope this article about Kay Scarpetta books in order will help you when choosing the reading order and make your book selection process easier and faster.

Happy reading!

Kay Scarpetta Books In Order

We propose the following publication order when reading Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta Series:

1. Postmortem (1990)Opens in a new tab.

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Under cover of night in Richmond, Virginia, a monster strikes, leaving a gruesome trail of stranglings that has paralyzed the city. Medical examiner Kay Scarpetta suspects the worst: a deliberate campaign by a brilliant serial killer whose signature offers precious few clues.

With an unerring eye, she calls on the latest advances in forensic research to unmask the madman. But this investigation will test Kay like no other, because it’s being sabotaged from within and someone wants her dead.

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2. Body of Evidence (1991) Opens in a new tab.

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A reclusive author, Beryl Madison finds no safe haven from months of menacing phone calls or the tormented feeling that her every move is being watched.

When the writer is found slain in her own home, Kay Scarpetta pieces together the intricate forensic evidence while unwittingly edging closer to a killer waiting in the shadows.

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3. All That Remains (1992)Opens in a new tab.

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With All That Remains, bestselling author Patricia Cornwell returns to the chilling world of gutsy medical examiner Kay Scarpetta for the third installment of the classic suspense fiction series that begins with Postmortem.

In Richmond, Virginia, young lovers are dying. So far, four couples in the area have disappeared, only to be found months later as mutilated corpses. When the daughter of the president’s newest drug czar vanishes along with her boyfriend, Dr. Kay Scarpetta knows time is short.

Following a macabre trail of evidence that ties the present homicides to a grisly crime in the past, Kay must draw upon her own personal resources to track down a murderer who is as skilled at eliminating clues as Kay is at finding them.

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4. Cruel and Unusual (1993)Opens in a new tab.

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In this fourth Kay Scarpetta mystery, the chief medical examiner for the state of Virginia is once again challenged by gruesome murder and confusing evidence. How could the fingerprints of Ronnie Joe Waddell appear at the scene of a murdered psychic after Waddell was executed in the electric chair?

In the midst of many puzzling matters come other difficult issues to confront Kay as she tries to do her job. She becomes the object of hysterical media attention and finds that she herself might be indicted for the very crimes she is trying to solve.

Someone is sabotaging her efforts by hacking into her computer files and leaking information. Exasperated, she calls upon her niece, Lucy, a 17-year-old computer whiz, whom readers will remember from earlier “Scarpetta” novels.

Along with FBI agent Benton Wesley and police chum Pete Marino, Lucy helps Kay solve the murders and ferret out the traitor in her office. Readers will enjoy the teen’s angst and the exciting twist at the book’s end.

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5. The Body Farm (1994)

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Little Emily Steiner left a church meeting late one afternoon and strolled toward home along a lakeside path; a week later, her nude body was discovered, bound in blaze-orange duct tape.

Called by the North Carolina authorities, forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta recognizes similarities to the gruesome work of a serial killer who has long eluded the FBI.

But as she tries to make sense of the evidence, she is left with questions that lead her to the Body Farm, a little known research facility in Tennessee where, with the help of some grisly experiments, she might discover the answer. 

It is Scarpetta alone who can interpret the forensic hieroglyphics that eventually reveal a solution to the case as staggering as it is horrifying.

But she must also endeavor to help her niece, Lucy, who is embroiled in controversy at Quantico. And Scarpetta, too, is vulnerable, as she opens herself to the first physical and emotional bond she has felt in far too long a time.

Tenacious and brilliant, tender and gentle, this is Scarpetta even more realized and poignant than we’ve seen her before—in a stunning achievement from a bestselling author at the peak of her powers.

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Also read: Patricia Cornwell Books In Order 

6. From Potter’s Field (1995)

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An unidentified nude female sits propped against a fountain in Central Park. There are no signs of struggle. When Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her colleagues Benton Wesley and Pete Marino arrive on the scene, they instantly recognize the signature of serial killer Temple Brooks Gault.

Scarpetta, on assignment with the FBI, visits the New York City morgue on Christmas morning, where she must use her forensic expertise to give a name to the nameless—a difficult task. But as she sorts through conflicting forensic clues, Gault claims his next victim.

He has infiltrated the FBI’s top-secret artificial-intelligence system developed by Scarpetta’s niece and sends taunting messages as his butchery continues, moving terrifyingly closer to Scarpetta herself.

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7. Cause of Death (1996)      

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Dr. Kay Scarpetta plunges into the murky depths of a ship graveyard to recover the very human remains of Ted Eddings, an investigative reporter.

Together with her niece Lucy and police captain Pete Marino, Scarpetta will follow the scents of death and violence to the heart of sinister darkness.

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8. Unnatural Exposure (1997)Opens in a new tab.

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Kay Scarpetta finds herself pitted against a possible bioterrorist in this suspense-filled read from #1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell. 

When a woman turns up dismembered in a landfill, Scarpetta initially suspects the work of a serial killer she’s been tracking. But her investigation turns far more dangerous when she realizes the victim’s skin is covered in an unusual rash—and Scarpetta herself may have just been exposed to a deadly virus.

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9. Point of Origin (1998)Opens in a new tab.

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The devastating fire tore through the horse farm, destroying everything it touched. Picking through the wreckage, Dr. Kay Scarpetta uncovers human remains—the work of an audacious and wily killer who uses fire to mask his brutal murders.

And when Scarpetta learns that her old nemesis, Carrie Grethen, has escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is somehow involved, the investigation becomes personal. Tragedy strikes close to home.

And Scarpetta must match Grethen’s every move with one of her own to douse the inferno of evil that threatens everyone around her.

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10. Black Notice (1999)Opens in a new tab.

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Dr. Kay Scarpetta is on a deadly mission that will pull her in two opposite directions: toward protecting her career or toward the truth.

Remains were all that was left of the stowaway. He arrived in Richmond’s Deep Water Terminal—the ghastly cargo of a ship from Belgium. The decomposed body gives Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta no clues to its identity—or the cause of death.

But an odd tattoo soon leads her on an international search to Interpol’s headquarters in Lyon, France—and towards a confrontation with one of the most savage killers of her career.     

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Read also: Best Patricia Cornwell Books

11. The Last Precinct (2000)Opens in a new tab.

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Patricia Cornwell brings her millions of readers a novel concerning crimes with roots in a murder from the distant past.  When Kay Scarpetta is mandated to investigate the 400-year-old violent death of one of America’s first settlers at Jamestown, Virginia.

It seems like the perfect match: modern technology’s savviest avatar versus an age-old crime.  Kay’s involvement in the case attracts headlines and more-the unwelcome ire of a person or persons unknown    

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12. Blow Fly (2003)  

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Settling into her new life as a private forensic consultant, Kay Scarpetta agrees to investigate a cold case in Louisiana—the baffling eight-year-old murder of a woman with a history of blackouts and violent outbursts.

Then she receives news that chills her to the core: Jean-Baptiste Chandonne—the vicious and unrepentant Wolfman who pursued her to her very doorstep—has asked to see her. From his cell on death row, he demands an audience with the legendary Dr. Scarpetta.

With her friends and family by her side, Scarpetta tries to guess what sort of endgame this madman has in mind—how, if at all, it’s related to the Louisiana case—and then confronts the shock of her life: a blow that will force her to question the loyalty and trust of all she holds dear.

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13. Trace (2004)Opens in a new tab.

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Now freelancing from south Florida, Dr. Kay Scarpetta returns to Richmond, Virginia, the city that turned its back on her five years ago.

Investigating the death of a young girl, she must follow the twisting leads and track the strange details in order to make the dead speak and to reveal the sad truth that may be more than even she can bear.

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14. Predator (2005)  

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Investigating the disappearance of two sisters in Florida, Dr. Kay Scarpetta follows clues that twist and turn, leading her into the psychopathic depths of a jailed serial killer’s mind.

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15. Book of the Dead (2007)Opens in a new tab.

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The Book of the Dead is the morgue log, the ledger in which all cases are entered by hand. For Kay Scarpetta, however, it is about to acquire a new meaning. 

A sixteen-year-old tennis star, fresh from a tournament win Charleston, is found nude and mutilated near Piazza Navona in Rome. The body of an abused young boy is dumped in a desolate marsh. A woman is ritualistically murdered in her multimillion-dollar beach home.

Meanwhile, in New England, problems with a prominent patient at a Harvard-affiliated psychiatric hospital begin to hint at interconnections among the deaths that are as hard to imagine as they are horrible. 

Scarpetta has dealt with many brutal and unusual crimes before, but never has she seen a string of death like what she’s facing now. Before she is through, that book of the dead will contain many names—and the pen may be poised to write her own…

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16. Scarpetta (2008)Opens in a new tab.

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Kay Scarpetta accepts an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured man on Bellevue Hospital’s psychiatric prison ward.

The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her, and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk—and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard.

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17. The Scarpetta Factor (2009)Opens in a new tab.

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In the extraordinary new novel by Patricia Cornwell-the world’s #1 bestselling crime writer-forensic expert Kay Scarpetta is surrounded by familiar faces, yet traveling down the unfamiliar road of fame.

A CNN producer wants her to launch a TV show called The Scarpetta Factor. But the glare of the spotlight could make Kay a target for the very killers she would put behind bars.

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18. Port Mortuary (2010)Opens in a new tab.

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The world’s bestselling crime writer Patricia Cornwell presents an extraordinary novel in which Kay Scarpetta is confronted with a case that could ruin her professionally and personally.

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19. Red Mist (2011)Opens in a new tab.

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Scarpetta has both personal and professional reasons to learn more about a string of grisly killings: the murder of a Savannah family years earlier, a young woman on death row, and then other inexplicable deaths that begin to occur at a breathtaking pace.

Driven by inner forces, Scarpetta discovers connections that compel her to conclude that what she thought ended with Fielding’s death and an attempt on her own life is only the beginning of something far more destructive: a terrifying terrain of conspiracy and potential terrorism on an international scale. And she is the only one who can stop it.

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20. The Bone Bed (2012)Opens in a new tab.

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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, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why.
 
But as events unfold with alarming speed, 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.
 
When she turns to those around her, Scarpetta finds that the danger and suspicion have penetrated even her closest circles. Her niece Lucy speaks in riddles.  Her lead investigator, Pete Marino, and FBI forensic psychologist and husband, Benton Wesley, have secrets of their own.

Feeling alone and betrayed, Scarpetta is tempted by someone from her past as she tracks a killer both cunning and cruel.

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21. Dust (2013)Opens in a new tab.

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In Dust, Scarpetta and her colleagues are up against a force far more sinister than a sexual predator who fits the criminal classification of a “spectacle killer.”

The murder of Gail Shipton soon leads deep into the dark world of designer drugs, drone technology, organized crime, and shocking corruption at the highest levels.

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22. Flesh and Blood (2014) Opens in a new tab.

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In this 22nd Scarpetta novel, the master forensic sleuth finds herself in the unsettling pursuit of a serial sniper who leaves no incriminating evidence except fragments of copper. The shots seem impossible, yet they are so perfect they cause instant death.

The victims appear to have had nothing in common, and there is no pattern to indicate where the killer will strike next. First New Jersey, then Massachusetts, and then the murky depths off the coast of South Florida, where Scarpetta investigates a shipwreck, looking for answers that only she can discover and analyze.

And it is there that she comes face to face with shocking evidence that implicates her techno genius niece, Lucy, Scarpetta’s own flesh and blood.

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23.Depraved Heart (2015) Opens in a new tab.

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In this 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.

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24. Chaos (2016)Opens in a new tab.

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On a late summer evening in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her investigative partner, Pete Marino, respond to a call about a dead bicyclist near the Kennedy School of Government. It appears that a young woman has been attacked with almost superhuman force.

Even before Scarpetta’s headquarters has been officially notified about the case, Marino and Scarpetta’s FBI agent husband, Benton Wesley, receive suspicious calls, allegedly from someone at Interpol. But it makes no sense.

Why would the elite international police agency know about the case or be interested? It soon becomes apparent that an onslaught of harassment might be the work of an anonymous cyberbully named Tailend Charlie, who has been sending cryptic communications to Scarpetta for over a week.

Even Lucy, her brilliant tech-savvy niece, can’t trace who it is or how this person could have access to intimate information. When a second death shocks Scarpetta to her core, it becomes apparent she and those close to her are confronted with something far bigger and more dangerous than they’d ever imagined.

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Your Thoughts

Have you just started reading Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta Series?

What’s your plan for reading order?

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Hussain

Hi, I’m Md Musharrof Hussain and I love great authors. When I find a book I like, I love to read every book from that author. But the question arises "which of their books should I read next?". That's why I created Honestreaders.com so that you can figure out the best reading order for your new favorite author.

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