Book Talk-Dinosaur digger disappearance sparks murder mystery

Thu Nov 8, 2012 5:04am EST
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By Nick Olivari

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Medical examiner Kay Scarpetta receives a short video clip by email but the closing image of a severed ear is enough to start her investigating the disappearance of a woman paleontologist from a dinosaur dig 2,000 miles away in Alberta, Canada.

Patricia Cornwell's new book, "The Bone Bed", which was released this month, is the 20th novel featuring the currently Massachusetts-based Scarpetta and her cast of supporting characters.

Scarpetta is initially puzzled by the video but soon suspects a connection to gruesome crimes much closer to home even as she deals with problems in her closest personal circle.

Award winning Cornwell, 56, is the former director of applied forensic science at the National Forensic Academy and a member of the Advisory Board for the Forensic Sciences Training Program at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, New York City.

The author of 19 previous Scarpetta novels and five non-Scarpetta books, the Miami-born Cornwell lives in Boston with her partner and their four-year old British bull dog "Tram".

Cornwell talked to Reuters about her affection for Scarpetta and the inspiration and ideas for her books.

Q: How did you arrive at the Scarpetta series?

A: "Scarpetta walked into my life in the 1980's at a time no one wanted to write about these things and she has evolved over the years. She is a character I enjoy working with and I am not bored with her."   Continued...