Saturday, May 29, 2010

Do you read Patricia Cornwell?

A friend of mine is looking for recommendations. His wife wants to read some Patricia Cornwell and so he asked me on Facebook

You're the book whiz :) have you read any of her books and if so, would you recommend them?

Once I got over the warm fuzzy book whiz comment, I had to admit that I couldn't help. Unfortunately I have only read one Patricia Cornwell book, and I really, really didn't like it, so I said to him that I would ask some other people who might be better! So now, blog readers, I am asking you all.

Would you recommend reading Patricia Cornwell. If yes, which book should my friend's wife start with?


  1. Start with the early books in the series. They were very good. Then IMHO she lost her steam and went weird. But her early work? Great :)

  2. Interesting. I've only read one and didn't really like it.

  3. I would agree with Sally. I loved most of the series with Kay Scarpetta as the main character, but found the newer released ones not as good. I thoroughly enjoyed the ealy ones, though. What's not to love about a smart, capable woman solving murder mysteries!? :-)

  4. It's definitely worth reading the early books - assuming she likes to 1) read suspense and 2) is fine with reading autopsy scenes. But yeah, the further along in the series, the worse the books get. Most readers say Point Of Origin was the breaking up point for them. For me, I liked the books until around Black Notice. The most recent book, The Scarpetta Factor, was so bad that I think I'm officially ready to "break up" with Cornwell. And that's sad, because I'd been reading the books since high school :(

  5. I agree with everyone else. Her earlier books were great. I have her latest and haven't read it yet.

  6. I really don't have more to add that others haven't already said. Patricia Cornwell's novels are definitely on the dark side, but I really enjoyed the earlier ones in the Scarpetta series. her other series never really grew on me, I'm afraid. Postmotertem is the first in the Kay Scarpetta series.

    Like Wendy, I began to lose interest with Black Notice. I did go one to read two books after that in the series but gave up after that. Between the poor writing and not liking or caring about any of the characters anymore, I figured it was time.

  7. I agree with most of the comments that her earlier books were very difficult to put down (I think I read the fist 6 back to back). I stopped after she killed off a main character - you know my pet hates!

  8. Marg, sounds like we feel the same way about Cornwell - I have only read one book by her, The Front, and was underwhelmed to say the least.

  9. Booklover and Hilda, the only one I read was Blowfly and I really didn't like it. I listened to an interview where she said it was truly a standalone novel, but I don't think I was actually reading the novel she thought she wrote!!

    Kat, maybe that key character was the one that I think came back to life later?

    Literary Feline, Sally and Kendra, I will recommend the early Scarpetta books and then they can go from there.

    Page, have you stuck with the series all the way through?

    Wendy, it is hard to break up with an author at any time, especially one you have been reading that far back