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Autopsy: A Scarpetta Novel (Kay Scarpetta, 25) Mass Market Paperback – May 24, 2022

4.4 out of 5 stars 15,021 ratings

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Popular Highlights in this book

Editorial Reviews


“With a sophisticated narrative, an outstanding company of characters, a horrific crime, and a surprising ending [Cornwell] proves you can go home again… Scarpetta is brilliant, compassionate and humble, excelling in her profession and in diplomacy while trying to solve a heinous crime… Longtime fans will cheer Scarpetta’s return.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“Scarpetta is back at her former job as chief medical examiner for the state of Virginia. She has a lot of cleaning up to do… [Cornwell] pulls it off nicely. In fact, she pulls off the whole book nicely. Scarpetta's return to her Virginia roots feels just right.” — Booklist

“The autopsy, remotely controlled by Scarpetta—and physically carried out by two astronauts—is an astonishing, groundbreaking sequence… Patricia Cornwell’s terse, evocative style adds to the creeping sense of unease… Thirty years on, there’s still no other crime writer like her.” — The Sunday Times (UK)

“To have Scarpetta return—and engaged in a hunt for a possible serial killer—is simply terrific… The dead woman’s trail seems to be leading to a dangerous serial killer but Scarpetta isn’t convinced. The science, as readers know, will tell… [This is] gold-star Scarpetta at work… I loved it.” — Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Autopsy revitalizes this venerable series and its beloved cast of characters... As always, forensics is at the forefront—but it is balanced by the themes of family, friendship, and food... Whether you’re revisiting the indomitable Scarpetta or meeting her for the very first time, this is an ideal (re)entry point.” — Criminal Element

"Propulsive...the tension is sustained to the last page...Dr. Kay Scarpetta is back and with her is a cast of well-drawn characters and intersecting plot lines...Thriller lovers and Cornwell’s many fans will enjoy riding along with Scarpetta as she navigates dark waters on a personal and professional level, on Earth and in space." — Jacksonville Times-Union

“Thank you, Patricia Cornwell: Dr. Kay Scarpetta is back!... [Cornwell’s] stories feature taut, complex, and well-wrought plots full of tension, suspense, unexpected twists, and a mood of danger and foreboding, all centered around an admirable central character… A solid entry in a memorable crime series.” — The American Spectator

"[Scarpetta] slips easily and naturally into past tense when filling us in on background details—all of which seems to give her slightly sharper edges; her doubts and also her impatience are especially vivid and warm in that mode." — Sullivan County Democrat

"Autopsy strides comfortably back into the dark and dangerous work of the complicated medical examiner. Long-time readers of this series will enjoy the gritty crime details, puzzling clues, and familiar characters." — Manhattan Book Review

Autopsy is… the best book Cornwell has written in years, a tale penned from the heart as well as the mind. A seminal forensics thriller that reminds us that this is a sub-genre she basically invented. The last must-read book of 2021 is not to be missed.” —

“Dr. Kay Scarpetta… [is] an awesome force in the field of forensic science.” — New York Times Book Review on Flesh and Blood

“In this tense forensic thriller, an ingenious killer threatens to destroy that which Kay Scarpetta loves most—her family.” — Daily News on Flesh and Blood

“Everyone knows Scarpetta; she has the wit, intelligence, and strength that any forensic sleuth should own. This never-stop action plot is yet another gift to readers from Patricia Cornwell-a literary artist that is never going to stop writing some of the best and most memorable thrillers out there.” — Suspense Magazine on Flesh and Blood

“In Scarpetta, Patricia Cornwell has a character as strong as any in popular fiction.” — Wall Street Journal

“When it comes to the forensic sciences, nobody can touch Cornwell.”New York Times Book Review

“Patricia Cornwell has created characters with real emotions and life experiences, and she provides them with more than enough danger to make things interesting. Dr. Scarpetta has become a good friend.” — on Chaos

“Lots of cutting-edge forensic detail and some revelatory character moments.” — Publishers Weekly on Chaos

“While Scarpetta’s character has flaws, she is still a powerful female protagonist and she offers the reader an amazing calculating approach to investigation. I am always amazed at the passion that she has for her position. . . . A fast engaging read.” — Dad of Divas Reviews on Chaos

“There is a quiet intensity to Ms. Cornwell’s writing that compels you to read, then the eeriness sets in. . . . With Chaos, once again Patricia Cornwell mesmerizes with her astounding scientific knowledge, her keen ear for dialogue and the human psyche, all woven together flawlessly.” — on Chaos

“Thrilling…. Readers new to Cornwell will find themselves involved from the very first page, as will the veterans. Chaos is one book you should not miss.” —

“Cornwell is still the ace of forensic science mysteries. Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her family and friends just keep growing as characters, and Cornwell’s plots are still taut and tangled enough to make readers afraid to miss even a bit of minutiae. With Flesh and Blood, Cornwell is at the top of her game.” — RT Book Reviews

“Stir phony IRS agents and wisecracking Boston cops and a few red herrings into the mix, and you’ve got the makings of a real puzzler. . . . A trademark Cornwell mystery: terse and tangled, messy and body-fluidy, and altogether satisfying.” — Kirkus Reviews on Depraved Heart

“Dark and cleverly plotted.” — Booklist on Depraved Heart

“Scarpetta is one of the most believable characters in crime fiction.” — Vancouver Sun

“Forget the pretenders. Cornwell reigns.” — Mirror (London)

“Cornwell’s books run on high octane fuel, a cocktail of adrenalin and fear” — The Times (London)

About the Author

Patricia Cornwell is recognized as one of the world’s top bestselling crime authors with novels translated into thirty-six languages in more than 120 countries. Her novels have won numerous prestigious awards including the Edgar, the Creasey, the Anthony, the Macavity, and the Prix du Roman d’Aventure. Beyond the Scarpetta series, Patricia has written a definitive book about Jack the Ripper, a biography, and three more fiction series among others. Cornwell, a licensed helicopter pilot and scuba diver, actively researches the forensic technologies that inform her work. She was born in Miami, grew up in Montreat, North Carolina, and now lives and works in Boston. 

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ William Morrow Paperbacks (May 24, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0063112213
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0063112216
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.19 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 15,021 ratings

About the author

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In 1990, Patricia Cornwell sold her first novel, Postmortem, while working at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. An auspicious debut, it went on to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity Awards as well as the French Prix du Roman d’Aventure prize—the first book ever to claim all these distinctions in a single year. Growing into an international phenomenon, the Scarpetta series won Cornwell the Sherlock Award for best detective created by an American author, the Gold Dagger Award, the RBA Thriller Award, and the Medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters for her contributions to literary and artistic development.

Today, Cornwell’s novels and iconic characters are known around the world. Beyond the Scarpetta series, Cornwell has written the definitive nonfiction account of Jack the Ripper’s identity, cookbooks, a children’s book, a biography of Ruth Graham, and two other fictional series based on the characters Win Garano and Andy Brazil. While writing Quantum, Cornwell spent two years researching space, technology, and robotics at Captain Calli Chase’s home base, NASA’s Langley Research Center, and studied cutting-edge law enforcement and security techniques with the Secret Service, the US Air Force, NASA Protective Services, Scotland Yard, and Interpol.

Cornwell was born in Miami. She grew up in Montreat, North Carolina, and now lives and works in Boston and Los Angeles.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
15,021 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 26, 2022
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 15, 2022
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Top reviews from other countries

1.0 out of 5 stars Propaganda
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 30, 2021
34 people found this helpful
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1.0 out of 5 stars For any Scarpetta fans... don't bother
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 17, 2021
18 people found this helpful
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, don't pay full price for this
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 3, 2022
16 people found this helpful
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Miss Jade
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Scarpetta book so far (no specific spoilers)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 24, 2022
11 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Author of all time. Sadly not this book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 6, 2021
12 people found this helpful
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