Cover image for The unofficial Patricia Cornwell companion
The unofficial Patricia Cornwell companion
Beahm, George W.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, [2002]

Physical Description:
xvii, 300 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3553.O692 Z53 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The Unofficial Patricia Cornwell Companion is the first and only book devoted to this bestselling author and her beloved heroine, forensic pathologist Dr. Kay Scarpetta. It's the definitive work on Cornwell--encompassing all the details of her life, her body of work, and the deep and intriguing relationship between the two.

Including numerous interviews and articles about Cornwell's work, a number of rare photographs of the author and her world, as well as a detailed discussion of each title, the Companion is a fact-packed encyclopedia for the millions of readers who've become hooked on Scarpetta and her creator. Fans will delight in the true insider's look at Richmond, the city Kay Scarpetta calls home, as well as a thorough examination of the geography of Cornwell's world. A glossary of forensic terminology and a guide to the characters who appear in each novel round out the book, making it a useful reference tool in addition to a revealing look at a reclusive author.

All in all, The Unofficial Patricia Cornwell Companion is a must-read for each of Patricia Cornwell's millions of fans.

Author Notes

George Beahm lives in Williamsburg, Virginia. The Unofficial Patricia Cornwell Companion is his ninth book.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Many readers consider these companion volumes as essential additions; others find them superficial and simplistic. This slight companion to the works of Patricia Cornwell (the creator of Dr. Kay Scarpetta) is somewhere in the middle: while the book is, its author acknowledges, full of commonly known facts (it draws heavily on Cornwell's own official Web site, for example, and on various published interviews and articles), it does offer enough variety to make it interesting to Cornwell's fans. Beahm, who has written companion guides to the works of Anne Rice and Vaughan Bode, offers brief chapters on each of Cornwell's books, a couple of introductory chapters that constitute a sketchy biography, and a handful of appendixes on forensic pathology, scientific terminology, and a list of codes used by the police to describe criminal activities. Nearly all of the book's information can be found elsewhere by Cornwell fans who are keen to play detective, but those who prefer a handy book that puts it all between covers will find it useful. David Pitt

Publisher's Weekly Review

George Beahm, the compiler of The Stephen King Companion and The Unauthorized Anne Rice Companion, has now assembled The Unofficial Patricia Cornwell Companion. Beahm examines both the bestselling author's life and her works, while appendices include a technical guide to the world of Kay Scarpetta and a guide to collecting Cornwell from Postmortem (1990) to the present. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



The Unofficial Patricia Cornwall Companion SECTION I THE FACTS: A LOOK AT THE LIFE OF PATRICIA CORNWELL CHRONOLOGY N ote : The chronology that follows is abbreviated, focusing on key personal moments and professional publications. For more information, consult Cornwell's official Web site.   1956 * Born June 9, in Miami, Florida; daughter of Sam and Marilyn Daniels. 1963 * Moves with family to Montreat, North Carolina. 1965 * With her two brothers, she comes under the care of Ruth and Billy Graham, who place them with nearby missionaries who raise them after Marilyn Daniels is hospitalized. 1979 * Graduates from Davidson College, earning a B.A. degree. * Works at the Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina) until 1981. 1980 * Marries Charles Cornwell, June 14. * Receives Investigative Reporting Award for a series on prostitution from the North Carolina Press Association. 1981 * Moves to Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, who enrolls in the Union Theological Seminary. * Begins work on a biography of Ruth Bell Graham (wife of evangelist Billy Graham). 1983 * Publishes A Time for Remembering: The Ruth Bell Graham Story. 1984 * Begins work on her first novel, about a male detective. * Meets Dr. Marcella Fierro, a medical examiner in Richmond, who is generally considered the inspiration for Dr. Kay Scarpetta. 1985 * Works in the office of the Chief Medical Examiner (Richmond, Virginia). * Receives the Gold Medallion Book Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association for her biography of Ruth Bell Graham. 1987 * Real-life inspiration for Postmortem : a series of stranglings in Richmond in the summer. 1988 * Postmortem is submitted to publishers via Michael Congdon, her first literary agent. 1989 * Scribner buys Postmortem . The beginning of Cornwell's relationship with Susanne Kirk (a Scribner editor). * Divorces Charles Cornwell. 1990 * Publishes her first novel, Postmortem . * Receives numerous awards for Postmortem, including : John Creasey Award (British Crime Writers Association) Edgar Award (Mystery Writers of America) Anthony Award (Bouchercon, World Mystery Convention) Macavity Award (Mystery Readers International) * Buys home in Windsor Farms, in Richmond. 1991 * Receives French Prix du Roman d'Adventure, for Postmortem . * Publishes Body of Evidence , the second Scarpetta novel. 1992 * Publishes All That Remains , the third Scarpetta novel (August). 1993 * Publishes Cruel and Unusual , the fourth Scarpetta novel. * Receives Gold Dagger Award for Cruel and Unusual . 1994 * Changes literary agents; retains Esther Newberg of ICM. * Publishes The Body Farm , the fifth Scarpetta novel (August). 1995 * Publishes From Potter's Field, the sixth Scarpetta novel (August). 1996 * Changes publishing houses; moves to G.P. Putnam. * Publishes Cause of Death , the seventh Scarpetta novel (July). * Publishes An Uncommon Friend: The Authorized Biography of Ruth Bell Graham , a reprinting of her first book under a new title. 1997 * Publishes Ruth, a Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham, reprinting the previous biography, adding a new introduction and epilogue (September). * Publishes Hornet's Nest (January), establishing a new series. * Publishes Unnatural Exposure , the eighth Scarpetta novel (August). * Publishes Point of Origin , the ninth Scarpetta novel (July). * Publishes Scarpetta's Winter Table (October); a novella in hardcover. 1999 * Publishes Southern Cross (January). * Publishes Black Notice , the tenth Scarpetta novel (August). * Publishes Life's Little Fable (May). 2000 * Cornwell attends birthday party to celebrate Ruth Bell Graham's eightieth birthday. * Publishes the eleventh Scarpetta novel, The Last Precinct (November). 2001 * Publishes Isle of Dogs , the third Judy Hammer/Andy Brazil novel. * Publishes Food to Die For: Secrets from Kay Scarpetta's Kitchen , with Marlene Brown. 2002 * Publishes Jack the Ripper, Case Closed , a nonfiction book. 2003 * Tentative publication of the twelfth Kay Scarpetta novel. (Note: This will be the first of four Scarpetta novels currently under contract). THE UNOFFICIAL PATRICIA CORNWELL COMPANION. Copyright (c) 2002 by George Beahm LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010. Excerpted from The Unofficial Patricia Cornwell Companion: A Guide to the Bestselling Author's Life and Work by George Beahm All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.