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George Beahm, the compiler of The Stephen King Companion and The Unauthorized Anne Rice Companion, has now assembled The Unofficial Patricia Cornwell Companion. Beahm examines both the bestselling author's life and her works, while appendices include a technical guide to the world of Kay Scarpetta and a guide to collecting Cornwell from Postmortem (1990) to the present.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Many readers consider these companion volumes as essential additions; others find them superficial and simplistic. This slight companion to the works of Patricia Cornwell (the creator of Dr. Kay Scarpetta) is somewhere in the middle: while the book is, its author acknowledges, full of commonly known facts (it draws heavily on Cornwell's own official Web site, for example, and on various published interviews and articles), it does offer enough variety to make it interesting to Cornwell's fans. Beahm, who has written companion guides to the works of Anne Rice and Vaughan Bode, offers brief chapters on each of Cornwell's books, a couple of introductory chapters that constitute a sketchy biography, and a handful of appendixes on forensic pathology, scientific terminology, and a list of codes used by the police to describe criminal activities. Nearly all of the book's information can be found elsewhere by Cornwell fans who are keen to play detective, but those who prefer a handy book that puts it all between covers will find it useful. David Pitt
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