Patricia Cornwell Profile and Books

Patricia Cornwell was born in 1956 in Miami, Florida. Her father was an appellate court lawyer who left the family when Cornwell was only 5 years old. Her mother then took her and her two brothers to North Carolina, but was soon hospitalised with severe depression, so the children were fostered in a strict religious household. Cornwell suffered from anorexia in her teens and it was during her recovery that she became close to Ruth Bell Graham (wife of Billy Graham) and was encouraged to start writing.

She started work as a reporter, eventually becoming a crime reporter. After moving to Richmond, North Virginia with her husband, she started working for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. It was here that the idea for her main character Kay Scarpetta was born, and where she wrote her first Scarpetta novel Postmortem.

Cornwell struggled to have Postmortem published. At that stage no one wrote about forensics. She pretty much invented the genre which has been adopted by many other writers and shows such as CSI.

Cornwell’s marriage ended after 9 years and she eventually came out as a lesbian.

Cornwell lives in Boston with her wife Staci. She still meticulously researches all aspects of her novels and has become an action women, immersing herself in the activities of her characters.

Kay Scarpetta series:

Andy Brazil / Judy Hammer series:

  • Hornet’s Nest (1996)
  • Southern Cross (1999)
  • Isle of Dogs (2001)

At Risk / Win Garano series:

  • At Risk (2006)
  • The Front (2008)

Children’s books:

  • Life’s Little Fable (1999)


  • A Time for Remembering: The Ruth Graham Bell Story (1983)
    An Uncommon Friend: The Authorized Biography of Ruth Graham Bell (1996)
    Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham (1997)
  • Food to Die For: Secrets from Kay Scarpetta’s Kitchen (2002)
  • Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed (2002)


Filed under Author Profiles, Cornwell, Patricia

5 Responses to Patricia Cornwell Profile and Books

  1. Pingback: Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell | Written Gems

  2. Pingback: Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell | Written Gems

  3. Pingback: All That Remains by Patricia Cornwell | Written Gems

  4. Pingback: The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell | Written Gems

  5. Pingback: From Potter’s Field by Patricia Cornwell | Written Gems

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>