Books from the Backlog #62

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.

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This week's neglected book

The Scarpetta Collection: Postmortem and Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell

Series: Kay Scarpetta #1-2
Publication Date: Postmortem - 1990; Body of Evidence - 1991
Publisher: Scribner
Fans of Patricia Cornwell, the number one megastar who virtually invented the forensic thriller, will rejoice to see her first two novels, Postmortem and Body of Evidence, united in this much-anticipated omnibus volume. Hugely successful when they were first published, these are the two novels that brought Virginia Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta to the book-reading world. They are presented here complete and unabridged.


A serial killer is on the loose in Richmond, Virginia. Three women have died, brutalized and strangled in their own bedrooms. There is little pattern: the killer appears to strike at random -- but always early on Saturday mornings.

When Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta is awakened at 2:33 A.M., she knows the news is bad: there is a fourth victim, and she fears now for those who may follow unless she finds the forensic evidence that can break the case.

But not everyone wants her help. Not everyone is pleased to see a woman in this powerful job. Someone may even want to ruin her career and reputation before she can find the killer.

Body of Evidence

A reclusive writer is dead, and her final manuscript has disappeared...

Someone is stalking Beryl Madison. Someone who spies on her and makes threatening, obscene phone calls. Terrified, Beryl flees to Key West -- but eventually she must return to her Richmond home. The very night she arrives, Beryl inexplicably invites her killer inside.

Thus begins for Dr. Kay Scarpetta the investigation of a crime that is as convoluted as it is bizarre. Why would Beryl open the door to someone who would brutally slash and then neatly decapitate her? Did she know her killer? Adding to the intrigue is Beryl's enigmatic relationship with a prizewinning author and the disappearance of her own manuscript.

As Scarpetta retraces Beryl's footsteps, an investigation that begins in the laboratory with microscopes and lasers leads her deep into a nightmare that soon becomes her own.

Why did I add The Scarpetta Collection to my bookshelf?

I have no idea how long I have had this book on my shelves.  I actually have a good portion of the series on my shelf in hardcover just sitting there unread.  I love mysteries with a lot of forensics so this is right up my alley.  I have read many of the books in the Temperance Brennan series written by Kathy Reichs as well as the Body Farm series written by Jefferson Bass and loved them.  I am looking forward to the day when I finally get started with this series.

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book?  Would you recommend it to others?

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  1. I tried reading a lot of crime novels one year including this author but couldn't really get into most, other than the Lincoln Rhyme books which I still need to catch up with. Hope you enjoy it when you get to it!

  2. i never heard of Kay Scarpetta before, but this sounds right up my alley though

  3. I don't think I've read a Patricia Cornwell novel yet, but my mom enjoys her books.

  4. I love this series and used to grab each new book the moment it was available. I fell away from the series for some reason. I wouldn't mind getting back to it.

  5. Oh it's been a while since I haven't read a book by this author

  6. I might have a series or two setting my shelf unread. LOL I like that it gets into the forensics aspect, too.

  7. Body of Evidence is one of my favorites though it's been years since I read it. I loved it when it first came out and reread it several times though it's been years. I wonder if it's a bit dated? Cornwall kind of went off the edge for me after about book #6 but the first few I thought were really great.

  8. I'm not a Mystery/Thriller/Crime fan, but I have several IRL friends who love Patricia Cornwell. I hope you get a chance to start the series, soon. 👍✨

  9. I also enjoy this genre. I have read something like 23 of these. They were pretty good until book 20 and then they have just gone downhill for me.

    I've also read and enjoyed Kathy Reichs but it is so different from the Bones tv show which puts me off-kilter.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  10. I read a few of the early ones but lost interest. IIRC, the books turned very soap opera, not what I was looking for.

  11. I enjoyed her earlier books, but not so much her later ones. I ended up finally giving up on this series. I had really liked it initially though. I hope you will enjoy this when you get to it!


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