Patricia Cornwell Extends Contract With Penguin Putnam

Posted on January 14, 2002

Patricia Cornwell Patricia Cornwell, the bestselling author of the popular Dr. Kay Scarpetta novels, has agreed to pen two new Scarpetta books for her publisher, Penguin Putnam, it was announced by Susan Petersen Kennedy, President of the company. Cornwell's novels are published in 34 countries and 31 languages. Her novels have been #1 New York Times bestsellers in both hardcover and paperback in the United States. There was speculation in the book industry about whether Cornwell would continue with Penguin Putnam after Phyllis Grann, its CEO and President, left the company for Random House.

Patricia Cornwell said, ``Putnam has done a wonderful job for me. Why would I want to be published anywhere else?''

To date Ms. Cornwell has written eleven Kay Scarpetta bestsellers, the most recent one was The Last Precinct which was published by Penguin Putnam in hardcover in 2000 and in paperback last year. Her current bestselling hardcover book, Isle of Dogs, a new novel featuring Andy Brazil, was published in October of 2001 and was also a #1 New York Times bestseller.

Susan Petersen Kennedy said, ``Patricia Cornwell has been a part of our publishing family since 1995 when we published the paperback edition of The Body Farm which became a #1 New York Times bestseller. In the following year we began publishing both her hardcover and paperback books and right from the start we all knew it was a perfect fit. Patricia is one of the most gifted, modern day novelists in the industry. We deeply admire her brilliance and talent, and are repeatedly awed by the depth of research she personally conducts for her books. She is very highly regarded by us all and we are very happy to be working with her for many years to come.''

The two new Scarpetta books are in addition to the two as yet-to-be published Scarpetta novels and the one non-Scarpetta novel Cornwell already has under contract with Penguin Putnam. In addition she is currently working on a non-fiction book about her research on the famous Jack The Ripper case, which was the subject of a recently nationally televised Diane Sawyer interview with Cornwell. The Jack the Ripper book is due out in the fall of this year and the next Scarpetta is scheduled for publication in 2003. Cornwell's hardcover books will continue to be published under G. P. Putnam's Sons and the paperback editions under Berkley Books.

A former award-winning police reporter for the Charlotte Observer, Ms. Cornwell worked for more than six years as a computer analyst in the chief medical examiner's office in Virginia, where she witnessed hundreds of autopsies and even assisted as a ``scribe,'' recording the measurements of the wounds of murder victims. During that time she was also a volunteer with the Richmond Police Department, and has spent time with law enforcement around the world. Those experiences inspired her to create Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a tenacious chief medical examiner of Virginia who tracks serial killers in the novels.