Patricia Cornwell Books In Order

Last Updated on November 4, 2021 Reading the Patricia Cornwell books in order really depends on which series you’re looking at – or whether it’s a series you want to read or her standalone novels, in the first place.

Here is the list of all the Patricia Cornwell books in proper reading order with the series sorted by chronological order with the book numbers within each series in brackets.

New Patricia Cornwell Books


Autopsy, (Kay Scarpetta #25, 2021

Kay Scarpetta Series In Order

  1. Postmortem, 1990 (Kay Scarpetta #1)
  2. Body of Evidence, 1991 (Kay Scarpetta #2)
  3. All That Remains, 1992 (Kay Scarpetta #3)
  4. Cruel and Unusual, 1993 (Kay Scarpetta #4)
  5. The Body Farm, 1994 (Kay Scarpetta #5)
  6. From Potter’s Field, 1995 (Kay Scarpetta #6)
  7. Cause of Death, 1996 (Kay Scarpetta #7)
  8. Unnatural Exposure, 1997 (Kay Scarpetta #8)
  9. Point of Origin, 1998 (Kay Scarpetta #9)
  10. Black Notice, 1999 (Kay Scarpetta #10)
  11. The Last Precinct, 2000 (Kay Scarpetta #11)
  12. Blow Fly, 2003 (Kay Scarpetta #12)
  13. Trace, 2004 (Kay Scarpetta #13)
  14. Predator, 2005 (Kay Scarpetta #14)
  15. Book of the Dead, 2007 (Kay Scarpetta #15)
  16. Scarpetta, 2008 (Kay Scarpetta #16)
  17. The Scarpetta Factor, 2009 (Kay Scarpetta #17)
  18. Port Mortuary, 2010 (Kay Scarpetta #18)
  19. Red Mist, 2011 (Kay Scarpetta #19)
  20. The Bone Bed, 2012 (Kay Scarpetta #20)
  21. Dust, 2013 (Kay Scarpetta #21)
  22. Flesh and Blood, 2014 (Kay Scarpetta #22)
  23. Depraved Heart, 2015 (Kay Scarpetta #23)
  24. Chaos, 2016 (Kay Scarpetta #24)
  25. Autopsy, 2021 (Kay Scarpetta #25)

Andy Brazil Series in Order

  1. Hornet’s Nest, 1996 (Andy Brazil #1)
  2. Southern Cross, 1998 (Andy Brazil #2)
  3. Isle of Dogs, 2001 (Andy Brazil #3)

Win Garano Series in Order

  1. At Risk, 2006 (Win Garano #1)
  2. The Front, 2008 (Win Garano #2)

Captain Chase Series

  1. Quantum, 2019  (Captain Chase #1)
  2. Spin, 2021 (Captain Chase #2)

Non-Fiction Patricia Cornwell Books

About Patricia Cornwell

Patricia Cornwell was born in 1956 in Miami and grew up in Montreat, North Carolina.

Patricia CornwellDuring her childhood, Patricia suffered extensive emotional abuse. In an interview where she was asked why she is focusing on psychopaths in her books, the author mentioned it’s because she “grew up with terrible fear.” After her father left the family on a Christmas day when Patricia was only 5 years old, she was also molested by a convicted pedophile.

Thankfully nothing really bad happened, but it was enough to shake her to the core. When her brother appeared on his bicycle, the guy was trying to take Patricia to his car, which would have most likely ended up with her death.

Thus, in 1961, her mother took her and her two brothers and moved to Montreal, in North Carolina, since she was fearing for the well-being of her kids. During school, Patricia was quite the bright A student, she was a good athlete and quite the talented cartoonist.

She attended the Davidson College where she earned her English degree in 1979. She got her first job the same year, as working for the Charlotte Observer where she did various jobs, starting from listing TV programs to covering the police beat.

Some of the articles she wrote on prostitution and crime in the downtown Charlotte area brought her a lot of attention, praise, and respect, and this is when she received her first award, the North Carolina Press Association’s Investigative Reporting Award.

In 1981, she began working on the biography of Ruth Bell Graham, wife of the famous evangelist Billy Graham, who took Patricia in when her mother became sick.

After leaving her job as a journalist behind, in 1985 she started working with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia, where she stayed for six years. This is the very place that her fictional character, Kay Scarpetta, would work in as well.

Her first novel, Postmortem, was written during this time, and while initially it was not successfully received, it was eventually published and it became the first book in her popular crime series.

The author is living in Boston where she is working on her next book.

Not many people know, but the author of the popular Kay Scarpetta series has also written a couple of non-fiction books, among them also being also two foodie books as well – and they’re great too!

Of course, when we mentioned Patricia Cornwell, we mostly think of the famous Scarpetta series, featuring the Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, working in Massachusetts. The author’s very first novel, Postmortem, published in 1990, is, I think, also her most popular book as well. It is really the book that started a new trend with CSI style novels – forensic anthropology mystery books – that would take the fiction genre by storm.

She also created two additional crime series focusing on Andy Brazil, a young journalist turned cop in Virginia, as well as another other series with center stage taken by Win Garano in Boston.

An interesting side note is that Patricia Cornwell appeared as herself on TV in one of the Criminal Minds episodes, “True Genius.”

The author’s latest book is part of the Kay Scarpetta series, called Chaos, published in 2016. It is the 24th book in the Kay Scarpetta series.

Just like Dan Brown, Patricia Cornwell had also legal issues. The author of the Virginia Ghost Murders, Leslie Sachs, accused Patricia of plagiarism for her The Last Precinct novel, saying that the two books have too many similarities to be a mere coincidence. During the trial, Patricia got awarded $37,780 in damages that she had to pay for in order to defend herself from the other author’s attacks. Sachs also was permanently banned from defaming Patricia Cornwell in any shape or form in the future.

In addition, the trials and tribulations of our favorite author were far from over. At some point in her career, she was investigated for a full year by the FBI for political campaign finance fraud. She was absolutely sure that she would end up in prison because once the FBI is investigating someone, the person usually doesn’t get off lightly.

In her book Depraved Heart, Patricia Cornwell made sure to point out just how useless the FBI is at times since they want to get people even when they are completely innocent. This was something like a literary revenge for what she had to endure at the hands of the FBI during that fateful year.

Should We Read The Patricia Cornwell Books In Order?

The question is relevant to her 3 mystery series, but most importantly to her Kay Scarpetta series in order. Having read the books, I’d suggest reading them in publication order – incidentally, in case of all three series, the right chronological order is also the order in which the books were published.

You will see not only Kay Scarpetta developing her personality through the books, but you will also get to learn her relationship with her niece, Lucy Farinelli, which is worth learning about for the intensity of it. Overall sure, you can read them in any order you choose as the action evolved one story per book, but the characters develop, mature and progress from novel to novel. Worth not missing out on it.

As a side note, what I”m really waiting for (aside from the latest Kay Scarpetta book, of course) is the new movie to be played by Angelina Jolie. We don’t know when the movie will air yet (it was initially rumored to air in 2015, but that deadline passed a long time ago).

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52 Responses to “Patricia Cornwell Books In Order”

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  1. Brett says:

    I’ve read almost all the books I love Scarpetta even tho I class my self as a male chauvinist but I believe if a person can do a job they should be aloud to do it weather there female or male and love reading about female who show they are capable to do the job better then a male
    That’s why I’d like to know what happened to Virginia West
    In the hornets nest series I thought her, Hammer and Andy made a great team but in Isle of dogs isn’t there and there is no mention of what happened to her???

  2. Anne Marie Colliet says:

    Kay, you are flawed, thus real and relatable thank God! This is why women of all ages ( 69 and master’s plus 60 hours retired teacher, now defense attorney3 years of law school and backgrounds identify with you and believe in you. Your vulnerability comes through in your manuscripts and endears you to the audience….the bond of trust and respect is established leaving us wanting more! I started your Kay Scarpetta Series after I retired teaching, after I took my last treatment fighting leukemia, after my father died, after my mother entered dementia, after my family exploded and I was literally on the run from my my my family who were in pursuit of my money….money won in a large lawsuit from an awful accident I was in that permanently disabled me right before my father’s death!

    I was in a program called, Safe Quarters, being protected from my youngest sister and brother and I bought the audio version of Last Precinct.” I had a brand new car and I sat outside the facility in the heat of summer, runnng my car air conditioning, and read your box on my car radio. Guys, most homeless would come by the car to visit me, some getting in and listening for awhile, all wondering what I was doing in a place like that! In the four and one half months I was there I read six of your books on audio and spent a whole lot of money on gas! But I developed a love for you YOU and Kay!

    That was the summer of 1998 and this is 2021 and I have read all of your books and still adore you and your writing! I, too was abused physically by a psychopathic brother… the brother mentioned above that caught up with me. He beat the crap out of me, stole the money I had on me ( about $3o,000 … not all of it) and left me on the side of the road on the L.I.E. in NY. Today, I am permanently disabled suffering balance and hearing loss from that beating on top of my other medical problems. My brother and youngest sister concocted a wild story about me and spread it all over the place after I left. They continue to live their lies…. FYI

    Keep writing, Queen of Writing!

  3. Sondra says:

    I think you’re the most gifted writer. Just bought your new Kay Scarpetta series. Autopsy. Can’t wait to start reading. Please don’t ever stop writing.

  4. Rhonda Pantel says:

    The best and only books I read are kay scarpetta novels!!!!! Please don’t ever stop writing them Patricia! You are truly the most gifted writer ever!

  5. Cameron Sweaza says:

    Can I subscribe to this website?

  6. Collrrn Henry says:

    Your books a great to read.

  7. Phyl says:

    Will there be any new Scarpetta books? The last one was 2016 and I really enjoy them

  8. Shirley Davis says:

    I have all the books in the Scarpetta books and shelve them in date order. Over time I have re-read the entire series three times. I guess it should be clear I really enjoy them. Thank you Patricia Cornwell!

  9. Kim says:

    Jac wrote:
    August 31, 2016 at
    I listen to these books and I can’t get Stephanie plum out of my head listening to flesh and blood this has to be changed sorry!

    I know what you mean Jac! Ha! The narrator Lorelei King is why. I love her voice for Stephanie Plum but I didn’t like it for Kay Scarpetta

  10. Cat Stevenson says:

    Waiting for the Scarpetta book after Chaos!!!!

  11. Ccoooke says:

    I forgot how great the Scarpetta series are. Had to list them again just so I can see where I left off. On that note, I can re-read these and still thoroughly enjoy them again. I love Scarpetta’s stregnth and smarts yet see he tender side as well. Well written in subject matter and characted(s)…. With the exception of wanting to slap Marino! Bull headed, complex but smart! Don’t get me started on
    Lucy! She is amazing. Always liked her and her character immensely. I hope this series continues!

  12. Tina Gicewicz says:

    I am reading Red Mist right now. I love the Scarpetta series. I hope you continue to write many more. I’ve learned a lot from her and am extremely impressed that you put yourself through so much in order to state facts that are true about forensic science.
    Thank you for all the truth you put in your series.

  13. Le Loup Garou says:

    I was recently turned on to Conwell novels as a result of her being mentioned by the Jefferson Bass writing team..after running out of their books, I began the Scarpetta quest. Within a month I had read 13 of them.
    Absolutely riveting. I however was unfornate enough to not have read them in order. I cant seem to obtain the book where the “ressurection” occurs and it is driving me crazy!! Please help!! So I settled for Book of The Dead for now…

  14. Lyzz says:

    I’ve read every book – and I think it’s absolutely necessary to read the Scarpetta series in order – if you want to enjoy them to the maximum effect. Some villains crossover books, and the behaviors of some characters just cannot be “felt” if you have no context. And lastly, some events will just not rock your world if you don’t have the “prerequisites” in mind – or if you already know the future.

  15. gill watts says:

    many thanks for that info. have found my copy of trace and will re read.will have to sort out and arrange my titles to read in sequence!!

  16. gill watts says:

    love the books trying to collect them all. have just finished blow fly and need to know title of next book in this series of chandonne

    • Mystery Sequels says:

      After Blow Fly is Trace. The list of the Kay Scarpetta books in order is at the top of this page.

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