Note: The chronology that follows is abbreviated, focusing on key personal moments and professional publications. For more information, consult Cornwell's official Web site.
• Born June 9, in Miami, Florida; daughter of Sam and Marilyn Daniels.
• Moves with family to Montreat, North Carolina.
• 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.
• Graduates from Davidson College, earning a B.A. degree.
• Works at the Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina) until 1981.
• Marries Charles Cornwell, June 14.
• Receives Investigative Reporting Award for a series on prostitution from the North Carolina Press Association.
• 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).
• Publishes A Time for Remembering: The Ruth Bell Graham Story.
• 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.
• 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.
• Real-life inspiration for Postmortem: a series of stranglings in Richmond in the summer.
• Postmortem is submitted to publishers via Michael Congdon, her first literary agent.
• Scribner buys Postmortem. The beginning of Cornwell's relationship with Susanne Kirk (a Scribner editor).
• Divorces Charles Cornwell.
• 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.
• Receives French Prix du Roman d'Adventure, for Postmortem.
• Publishes Body of Evidence, the second Scarpetta novel.
• Publishes All That Remains, the third Scarpetta novel (August).
• Publishes Cruel and Unusual, the fourth Scarpetta novel.
• Receives Gold Dagger Award for Cruel and Unusual.
• Changes literary agents; retains Esther Newberg of ICM.
• Publishes The Body Farm, the fifth Scarpetta novel (August).
• Publishes From Potter's Field, the sixth Scarpetta novel (August).
• 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.
• 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.
• Publishes Southern Cross (January).
• Publishes Black Notice, the tenth Scarpetta novel (August).
• Publishes Life's Little Fable (May).
• Cornwell attends birthday party to celebrate Ruth Bell Graham's eightieth birthday.
• Publishes the eleventh Scarpetta novel, The Last Precinct (November).
• 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.
• Publishes Jack the Ripper, Case Closed, a nonfiction book.
• 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 © 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.