What Order Do Patricia Cornwell Books Go In

What Order Do Patricia Cornwell Books Go In?

Patricia Cornwell is a renowned American crime writer best known for her popular series featuring forensic pathologist Dr. Kay Scarpetta. With a career spanning over three decades, Cornwell has captivated readers with her gripping storytelling and meticulous attention to detail. If you’re a fan of her work or looking to dive into her books for the first time, it’s important to know the correct order in which to read them. In this article, we will guide you through the chronological order of Patricia Cornwell’s books, along with a brief overview of the series and a FAQs section to address common queries.

The Kay Scarpetta Series:

1. Postmortem (1990): This is where it all began. In her debut novel, Cornwell introduces Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a brilliant forensic pathologist who finds herself entangled in a series of brutal murders in Richmond, Virginia.

2. Body of Evidence (1991): Scarpetta deals with another gruesome case, this time involving a serial killer whose victims are linked by a mysterious tattoo.

3. All That Remains (1992): Scarpetta investigates the murders of several young couples, leading her to confront her own traumatic past.

4. Cruel & Unusual (1993): Scarpetta is targeted by a convicted killer seeking revenge from behind bars.

5. The Body Farm (1994): Scarpetta joins forces with her niece, Lucy, to solve a murder case involving a decomposing body found at a research facility known as the Body Farm.

6. From Potter’s Field (1995): Scarpetta encounters a serial killer known as “The Werewolf” who leaves behind bizarre clues.

7. Cause of Death (1996): Scarpetta investigates the death of a reporter who was working on a high-profile case involving the death penalty.

8. Unnatural Exposure (1997): Scarpetta becomes embroiled in a case involving a deadly virus outbreak and a cyberstalker.

9. Point of Origin (1998): Scarpetta is called to the scene of a suspicious fire that claims the life of a wealthy couple.

10. Black Notice (1999): Scarpetta crosses paths with a dangerous killer who leaves behind cryptic messages carved into the victims’ bodies.

11. The Last Precinct (2000): Scarpetta is caught up in a conspiracy that threatens her career and personal life.

12. Blow Fly (2003): Scarpetta investigates a murder that appears to be linked to her old nemesis, Jean-Baptiste Chandonne.

13. Trace (2004): Scarpetta is drawn into a case involving a missing girl and a series of mysterious deaths.

14. Predator (2005): Scarpetta becomes entangled in a web of deception and betrayal as she investigates the murder of a young tennis player.

15. Book of the Dead (2007): Scarpetta faces a killer who leaves behind gruesome crime scenes reminiscent of her past cases.

16. Scarpetta (2008): Scarpetta confronts a sadistic killer who seems to know every detail of her life.

17. The Scarpetta Factor (2009): Scarpetta is unwittingly drawn into a murder investigation while on a book tour.

18. Port Mortuary (2010): Scarpetta joins a highly secretive team at the Dover Air Force Base Mortuary to solve a puzzling case.

19. Red Mist (2011): Scarpetta investigates the murder of a young girl and uncovers a dangerous conspiracy.

20. The Bone Bed (2012): Scarpetta is called to the scene of a mysterious death in a landfill, leading her on a hunt for a cunning killer.

21. Dust (2013): Scarpetta investigates the death of a young woman found in a landfill, uncovering a shocking connection to her past.

22. Flesh and Blood (2014): Scarpetta is faced with a series of brutal murders that may be linked to her own family.

23. Depraved Heart (2015): Scarpetta is caught up in a cat-and-mouse game with a dangerous enemy who threatens her loved ones.

24. Chaos (2016): Scarpetta investigates the death of a young woman and uncovers a complex web of deceit.

25. The Scarpetta Novels (2016): This is a collection of four shorter novels featuring Scarpetta: Postmortem, Body of Evidence, All That Remains, and Cruel & Unusual.

26. The “Scarpetta” Short Stories (2016): This collection includes nine short stories featuring Scarpetta.


Q: Can I read Patricia Cornwell’s books out of order?
A: While each book can be enjoyed as a standalone, reading in chronological order provides a better understanding of the characters and their development.

Q: Are there any spin-off series related to Kay Scarpetta?
A: Yes, Patricia Cornwell has also written spin-off series featuring Scarpetta’s niece, Lucy Farinelli, and her partner, Benton Wesley.

Q: Are there any other books by Patricia Cornwell that are not part of the Scarpetta series?
A: Yes, Cornwell has written several standalone novels, including “Hornet’s Nest” and “Southern Cross.”

Q: Will there be more books in the Kay Scarpetta series?
A: Yes, Patricia Cornwell continues to write new books in the series. “Spin” was published in 2021, and fans can look forward to more thrilling adventures with Scarpetta in the future.

In conclusion, Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series has enthralled readers with its gripping narratives and complex characters. By following the chronological order provided, readers can fully immerse themselves in Scarpetta’s world and witness her evolution as a forensic pathologist. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer, these books are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

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