Book of the Dead (Cornwell novel)

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Bookofthedead cornwell-p.jpg
Author Patricia Cornwell
Country USA
Language English
Series Kay Scarpetta
Genre Crime fiction
Publisher Charles Scribner's Sons, Berkley Books, Sphere Books
Publication date
Media type Print (hardcover, paperback)
Pages 432 (Paperback Sphere edition)
ISBN 978-0-7515-3405-4
Preceded by Predator
Followed by Scarpetta

Book of the Dead is a 2007 crime novel written by Patricia Cornwell.[1] It is the fifteenth book in the popular Kay Scarpetta series[2] and the fourth consecutive novel in the series to be written in third-person omniscient style, rather than Cornwell's traditional first-person narrative.


  • Dr. Kay Scarpetta
  • Benton WesleyFBI profiler. He is described in the following way:

    "He was FBI right down to his Florsheim shoes, a sharp-featured man with prematurely silver hair suggesting a mellow disposition that wasn't there. He was lean and hard and looked like a trial lawyer in his precisely tailored khaki suit and blue silk paisley-printed tie. I couldn't recall ever seeing him in a shirt that wasn't white and lightly starched.
    "He had a master's degree in psychology and had been a high school principal in Dallas before enlisting in the Bureau, where he worked first as a field agent, then undercover in fingering members of the Mafia, before ending up where he'd started, in a sense."[3]

  • Lucy Farinelli – Kay's niece. Described as being, "a genius, an impossible little holy terror of enigmatic Latin descent whose father died when she was small. Her mother Dorothy (Scarpetta's sister), who was too caught up in writing children's books to worry much about her flesh-and-blood daughter."[4]
  • Pete Marino – Detective Sergeant in the Richmond Police Department. Described as "pushing fifty, with a face life had chewed on, and long wisps of greying hair parted low on one side and combed over his balding pate. At least six feet tall, he was bay-windowed from decades of bourbon or beer".[5]
  • Rose – Kay's secretary


Cornwell's Scarpetta series has been criticized for being repetitive and morbid by some critics[6] whilst other reviewers claim that the characters in Cornwell's recent books have been "shallow" and "overused".[7] Others have praised the series for the unique plots in the series and Cornwell's characterisation of Scarpetta.[8][9]


  1. ^ Cornwell, Patricia. "Synopsis - Book of the Dead - Patricia Cornwell". Patricia Cornwell. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "BARNES AND NOBLE - Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell". Barnes and Noble. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Cornwell, Patricia (1990). (1st ed.). Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-7434-7715-4.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  4. ^ Cornwell, Patricia (1990). (1st ed.). Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-7434-7715-4.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  5. ^ Cornwell, Patricia (1990). (1st ed.). Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-7434-7715-4.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  6. ^ "Barnes & Noble - Book of the Dead - Reviews". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Book of the Dead - Reviews, Discussion, Book Club, Lists". Goodreads inc. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  8. ^ G, Barbara. "Book". The Bookreporter inc. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  9. ^ Lawson, Mark (28 December 2007). "Review: Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 4 October 2011.