Years ago, when I first started using the internet, I joined a group of mystery readers who only read novels by Patricia Cornwell. At that time, I truly enjoyed Patricia Cornwell, even though she was not at all cozy!
As with most reading groups that only follow one author, the group fizzled out. At the time, Cornwell simply wasn’t able to keep up with our group’s demand… even though she was putting out one Kay Scarpetta book a year. I don’t mean that I think that a year is too short a time for an author to be able to write a novel, I just mean that for a group to only talk about that limited a number of books, it became a little tedious. Actually, I left the reading group before the group disbanded completely…
There were two reasons I stopped reading Patricia Cornwell’s novels:
1. Lucy, her niece, simply started grating on my nerves. Anytime Lucy appeared in the book, I knew that I was going to be in for some major complaining and whining. I found myself thinking things like: "Grow up!" "Get over it!" and "Get over yourself!" whenever Lucy came to visit her aunt, or even when she called her. I could have put up with Lucy had Lucy and Kay not been as close as they were…unfortunately, Lucy was around a lot!
2. The final straw…. For those of you readers who have never read a Kay Scarpetta novel, the books revolve around Kay, a chief medical examiner. I know that the books are not intended to be cozy, but, believe me, I have read a lot of books that aren’t cozy. It seemed to me that Cornwell was trying too hard to impress her readers with new forensic details. Since she was writing so many books with so many forensic details, it seemed to me that she just had to keep pushing the envelope further to come up with something totally new. And, at one point, those "totally new" details just seemed superfluous to me… as if the more gross and gruesome the details could be, the more respect we were supposed to have for Kay. (I won’t get into details, since this is a cozy site, but believe me… I will never look at my large soup/stew pots the same way!)
I know that Cornwell has many, many fans out there, and that I am definitely in the minority. But, really, unless I’m training to become a forensic examiner, then spare me the most gruesome of gross details!