Patricia Cornwell began working as a reporter with The Charlotte Observer in 1979 and after a series of newspaper jobs, she eventually become a reporter covering crime.
It was while working on her first novel in 1984, about a male detective that she met the female medical examiner in Richmond who was to become the inspiration for her character of Dr. Kay Scarpetta. Cornwell took a job in the medical examiner’s office shortly thereafter, working first as a technical writer, then as a computer analyst.
Also around this time, Ms. Cornwell began volunteering with the Richmond Police Department. It was Postmortem, written in 1990, but based on a series of real-life strangulations that occured in Richmond in the summer of 1987, that firmly launched Patricia Cornwell’s career as a renown American crime writer.
Postmortem won her numerous awards including the American Edgar Award.
Her crime novels have greatly influenced the television industry to develop popular fictional TV series such as the as Quincy, M.E., CSI, NCIS, and documentary series such as Forensic Files, Cold Case Files, Crime 360, etc.
Cornwell has written other books such as the Andy Brazil series, the Win Garano series, books about Jack the Ripper, a biography of Ruth Bell Graham (wife of televangelist Billy Graham) and a couple of cookbooks.
Patricia Cornwell…Scarpetta Series. Dr. Kay Scarpetta is a medical examiner who uncovers clues with the use of forensic science, to not just uncover the cause of death of the victims that come into her morgue, but to assist Detective Pete Marino in field investigations and often confrontations with the killer(s). Her Scarpetta series, (from first book)
Her latest book Quantum features a new heroine, a NASA pilot who is also a quantum physicist and cybercrime investigator.
My personal favorites are her Scarpetta novels, but Cornwell’s real-life investigation into unmasking the identity of the mysterious Jack the Ripper is gripping, as she makes her case as to who she believes was history’s most notorious murderer.