All 30+ Patricia Cornwell Books in Order | Ultimate Guide

Patricia Cornwell is a global top-selling crime author. Below is a list of all Patricia Cornwell books in order to help you choose the right reading order.

Her novels have been translated into 36 languages in more than 120 countries. She has several prestigious awards to her name, including the Edgar Award, The John Creasey Memorial Award, the Anthony Award, the Macavity Award, and the Prix du Roman d’Aventure.

Who is Patricia Cornwell?

Patricia Cornwell was born in Miami on June 9, 1956. Cornwell is an American fiction writer. She has written 37 books, including non-fiction and a children’s novel. She is the author of many series, including the Doctor Kay Scarpetta’s books about a female physician in Virginia.

The Andy Brazil series, Winston Garano series, and an Omnibus of the Scarpetta novels are just a few of her other series. In addition, she has had 24 New York Times bestsellers. While working as a computer analyst in Virginia’s medical exam offices, she sold her first book: Postmortem.

Patricia Cornwell Books in Order of Publication

Kay Scarpetta Books in Order

The Kay Scarpetta series marks the beginning of Patricia Cornwell’s writing career. The series opens with a gruesome trail of strangled victims across Richmond, Virginia.

Medical examiner Kay Scarpetta suspects the worst with a serial killer on the loose. However, this investigation will push Scarpetta to her limits because it is being sabotaged from within, and someone wants her dead.

What follows is a brilliant sequence of novels as Scarpetta uses forensic research to track horrific killers and finds herself entangled in many nail-biting situations.

  1. Postmortem (1989)
  2. Body of Evidence (1991)
  3. All That Remains (1992)
  4. Cruel and Unusual (1993)
  5. The Body Farm (1994)
  6. From Potter’s Field (1995)
  7. Cause of Death (1996)
  8. Unnatural Exposure (1997)
  9. Point of Origin (1998)
  10. Black Notice (1999)
  11. The Last Precinct (2000)
  12. Blow Fly (2003)
  13. Trace (2004)
  14. Predator (2005)
  15. Book of the Dead (2007)
  16. Scarpetta (2008)
  17. The Scarpetta Factor (2009)
  18. Port Mortuary (2010)
  19. Red Mist (2011)
  20. The Bone Bed (2012)
  21. Dust (2013)
  22. Flesh and Blood (2014)
  23. Depraved Heart (2015)
  24. Chaos (2016)
  25. Autopsy (2021)
  26. Livid (2022)
  27. Unnatural Death (2023)
  28. Identity Unknown (Expected: October 15, 2024)

Andy Brazil Series

Brazil, Hammer, and West will be heading to Richmond, Virginia, to address the growing gang problem. They will also bring the police department up to date with the most recent technologies and techniques. In addition, they bring a computer program that tracks criminal activity and a new way to reform officers.

  1. Hornet’s Nest (1996)
  2. Southern Cross (1999)
  3. Isle of Dogs (2001)

Winston Garano Series

Winston Garano’s crime fiction by Patricia Cornwell talks about the adventures of a mixed-race detective caught up in the machinations and cruelty of a ruthless DA. When they were first published in 2006, the Winston Garano books were controversial.

  1. At Risk (2006)
  2. The Front (2008)

Captain Chase Series

In this thriller by Patricia Cornwell, Captain Calli Chase races against the clock to stop a plot that could spell doom for humanity. Captain Calli Chase meets her twin sister and discovers the shocking truth about who they are after a disastrous NASA rocket launch.

  1. Quantam (2019)
  2. Spin (2021)

Patricia Cornwell Books in Order – Picture Books

  1. Life’s Little Fable (1999)

Patricia Cornwell Books in Order – Non-Fiction Books

  1. Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham (1983)
  2. Scarpetta’s Winter Table (1998)
  3. Food to Die For: Secrets From Kay Scarpetta’s Kitchen (2001)
  4. Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed (2002)
  5. Chasing the Ripper (2014)
  6. Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert (2017)

Summary of Patricia Cornwell Books in Order

Are you looking forward to reading Patricia Cornwell books in order? Take a look at our summary to rekindle your interest in reading a Patricia Cornwell book.

Postmortem Patricia Cornwell Books in Order

1. Postmortem

In Richmond, Virginia, a mass murderer is on the rampage. First, the murder of three ladies in their bedrooms, beaten and choked. The killer doesn’t use a particular technique or a regular pattern; they pick a Sunday morning and strike.

But when Dr. Kay Scarpetta, medical director wakes up early, she has a feeling that today’s news is awful since a fourth victim has already arrived in the hospital. Until she can discover alternative forensic evidence to assist the authorities, she now worries for the lives of those who will come after the last victim.

Despite this, not everyone delights in seeing a woman attain this important position. Possibly, somebody is out to destroy her professional and personal reputation.

Body of Evidence Patricia Cornwell

2. Body of Evidence

A writer who lived in seclusion died with her final book draft lost.

Unknown assailants are pursuing Beryl Madison. Someone is keeping tabs on her and sending her harassing, frightening calls and texts. Beryl escapes to Key West, but she has to return to her Richmond abode eventually. Upon the night of her arrival, Beryl inadvertently welcomes her assassin inside her home.

Dr. Kay Scarpetta’s investigation into a weird and intricate crime has just begun. For someone violently cut and almost murdered Beryl; why would she unlock the door to them? Was she aware of the identity of her assailant?

With the mysterious relationship between Beryl and a prestigious award novelist and the loss of her work, there is even more to the story. Scarpetta’s investigation into Beryl’s disappearance started in the laboratory amid electron microscopes and laser beams, causing her to fall into an unfortunate nightmare that soon begins to consume her.

All That Remains Kay Scarpetta Books in Order

3. All That Remains

Star-crossed lovers are being stalked by an assassin. Just one tantalizing clue was left in their wake.

Dr. Kay Scarpetta’s job as Senior Medical Officer becomes more challenging with the discovery of youthful dating couple’s dead bodies in isolated woods. The unfortunate circumstances caused her to report the cause of death as unknown eight times.

Once the daughter of a prominent woman in America goes missing, Kay finds herself at the mercy of political and media pressure. She discovers that crucial material is being suppressed or even falsified as she begins her investigation. Meanwhile, a vicious, calculating killer is still running wild. 

Cruel and Unusual Kay Scarpetta

4. Cruel and Unusual

According to the fingerprints, the recently executed man was the serial killer. On one fateful evening in December, a convicted killer named Ronnie Joe Waddell was sentenced to death by electric chair in Richmond, Virginia.

Scarpetta has found herself in such a situation before, so she knows what she is getting herself into. In addition to Waddell’s death, a gruesomely mutilated teenage boy’s body is discovered leaning against a garbage can.

When Scarpetta realizes that Waddell’s victim’s body had been put in a remarkably identical posture, she realizes that the two scenarios are somehow connected.

The Body Farm Patricia Cornwell Books in Order

5. The Body Farm

Researchers at the Body Farm conduct experiments on the decay of corpses. North Carolina’s tranquil community of Black Mountain has only one manslaughter a year, and residents are still growing used to the concept of latching their house doors.

However, the revelation of an 11-year-old girl’s body sends shivers across the town, for brutal death does not discriminate.

Chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta, who worked on a related scenario in Virginia, is summoned to use her forensic expertise in this newly announced tragedy. Still, Scarpetta discovers insight in the fascinating pathologists’ playroom renowned as the Body Farm before the case appears simple.

From Potter's Field Patricia Cornwell

6. From Potter’s Field

Dr. Kay Scarpetta was not a fan of Xmas. Scarpetta, Virginia’s Chief Medical Examiner, is often busy on this holiday because of the isolation suffered by society’s vicious edge.

An unclothed woman’s body was discovered by a fountain in an isolated part of Central Park in New York City. An unnerving familiar method of execution appears to have been used in her supposed demise.

Scarpetta’s enemy, Temple Brooks Gault, is back at work, evidenced by the bullet wound, the skin parts removed from the victim, and the exhibited corpse.

She must summon the fortitude and expertise she has stored up for such a grueling task with the help of her coworkers, Marino and Wesley. Scarpetta must track down this very deadly serial killer in the pitch-black, fearsome labyrinths of New York City’s metro system.

7. Cause of Death

An intrepid reporter’s dead body was discovered underneath the 30 feet frigid waters of Elizabeth River; Scarpetta finds the last gruesome spectacle of Virginia’s horrific year. Ted Eddings, a regular diver and an intelligence-gathering reporter and the Medical Examiner’s Office favorite, has died.

It is unclear whether Eddings was searching the chilly waters for a tale or merely searching for submerged treasures in the Non-active Dockyard. In addition, what reason could be behind a strange telephone call Scarpetta got from an individual disclosing the deceased’s death before notifying the police?

To decipher the mystery, Scarpetta must join forces with her niece Lucy and police commander Pete Marino using unique technology and outdated methods. Ted Eddings’s remains were found floating in the murky waters within a deep well of violence, which they closely follow.

Unnatural Exposure Kay Scarpetta

8. Unnatural Exposure

A psychotic serial killer is using a lethal virus. Two cities thousands of kilometers apart are already united by murder.

Visiting Ireland to teach gives Doctor Kay Scarpetta the chance to determine if there is a connection between the death from both borders of the Atlantic. Five decapitated, mutilated bodies were recovered in Ireland five years ago, but recently four were uncovered in the U.S. The 10th corpse in Virginia, however, is unique.

There’s a possibility that perhaps the older victim was gravely ill around the period of the incident — a slaying copycat. While horrifying, this is nothing new.

Scarpetta and her friends are in a state of utter fear when they found the second dead body. The manner of the person’s death sends a horrible message. Smallpox, which happens to be one of the deadliest and dangerous viruses on the planet, is the killer’s choice of weapon.

Point of Origin Patricia Cornwell Books in Order

9. Point of Origin

A fire incident ravaged a farmstead. The damages are littered all over, including the remains of someone. Doctor Kay Scarpetta, the ATF’s Chief Medical Officer, together with a forensic pathologist needs to investigate the fire.

Among the wreckage of the building, she discovers a dead body that recounts the tales of a brutal and gruesome killing. A fire had struck that very moment and was a much more horrifying event.

She flees from a mental health facility upon threats by the murderous Carrie Grethen. Carrie’s exact location remains a mystery, but Scarpetta has already begun receiving her cryptic and lethal plans for vengeance.

Phenomenal in tone and layout, Patricia Cornwell’s Place of Origin is one of her most captivating.

Black Notice Patricia Cornwell

10. Black Notice

It is a fascinating story of  Doctor Kay Scarpetta that takes her miles away from her abode.

A stowaway’s decaying remains are discovered on a sealed, closed container located on a Belgian cargo ship that docked in Richmond, Virginia’s Deep Sea Harbor. Doctor Kay Scarpetta, the Chief Medical Officer, conducts a postmortem examination, where she cannot identify or determine the nature of death.

Despite this, Scarpetta’s search for facts brings her to Interpol headquarters in Lyon, where she obtains necessary directives. She must travel to the Parisian morgue to get information, and after that, go to Virginia for an assignment. It is an operation that could end her professional career.

Doctor Kay Scarpetta and her loved ones are about to find themselves in grave danger in Black Notice, a drama that spans global lines.

The Last Precinct Kay Scarpetta

11. The Last Precinct

Doctor Kay Scarpetta’s experience with the assassin Chandonne affected her physiologically and mentally, leaving her scarred, so she must evacuate her house to the authorities for proper investigation of the incident.

As soon as she arrives, she learns that Anna Zenner plans to testify before a jury trial to probe Scarpetta for the murder of one of her neighbors. Doctor Kay is well aware that a setup is in play. She can’t trust anyone anymore.

Although it’s a possibility that Chandonne had previously murdered a lady in New York, Scarpetta’s investigation further into the case with Jaime Berger, a prosecutor in New York, reveals that evidence of his guilt remains elusive.

From there on, she starts to understand that Chandonne could be innocent of all the crimes for which he is alleged.

Doctor Kay soon knows that someone may be weaving a web for years with the sole purpose of getting to her as she traces the forensics trail.

Blow Fly Kay Scarpetta Books in Order

12. Blow Fly

As she heads to Florida in search of tranquility, Dr. Kay Scarpetta is lured into a global plot and confronted with the fright of her lifetime by a series of puzzling killings.

Scarpetta’s stress is becoming the reader’s because of Cornwell’s grasp on the audience and her capacity to drag them into her mysterious, suspenseful universe. Anxiety is infectious, and your adrenal hormones rise as a result.

Trace Patricia Cornwell Books in Order

13. Trace

Dr. Chandonne, a mass murderer, was willing to break the lady who placed him in prison, and the press was relentlessly tormenting her as she was driven out of Virginia. In addition, it lured Benton Wesley back into her life, her beloved and partner whose alleged death had left her heartbroken and shattered.

In the wake of her ordeal, she has a renewed sense of purpose and motivation. A 14-year-old girl’s mysterious death sends her back to her former post as a chief medical examiner in Virginia.

Scarpetta pursues a path that is impossible for the human sight to follow but ultimately comes to the truth that might be too much for her to endure.

Predator Patricia Cornwell

14. Predator

Cases as unsettling as any she ever dealt with end up resurfacing for Kay Scarpetta and her associates: Benton Wesley, Pete Marino, and her niece Lucy Farinelli.

Collaborating with the National Forensic Institute in Florida, Scarpetta and Marino studied an individual who died after being fatally wounded. There is a weird “pinball” structure in the shells that they cannot help but question if this indicates homicide or suicidal behavior.

A woman is being imprisoned against her will inside an uninhabited property in the suburbs. Even within the darkness, she is aware of her kidnapper’s presence, even if she cannot see him. Lucy woke up on Cape Cod to a gloomy cold morning with the certainty that she had committed a terrible error.


The best way to start with Patricia Cornwell is by reading the Patricia Cornwell books in order.

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