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Patricia Cornwell on new novel ‘The Bone Bed’

Posted at 12:43 PM, Oct 17, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-17 13:51:00-04

NEW YORK (CBS News) – Author Patricia Cornwell appeared on “CBS This Morning” to talk about her latest Kay Scarpetta novel, “The Bone Bed,” Wednesday.

She chatted with Norah O’Donnell, Gayle King and Anthony Mason about the book, which tells the story of a woman who vanishes while digging for dinosaurs.

Cornwell said there are definitely some big parallels between she Scarpetta. In fact, they both dealt with the loss of their fathers as children — and love Italian food. 

In the early novels, the Scarpetta character is the Commonwealth’s Chief Medical Examiner and reside’s in Richmond’s exclusive Windsor Farms neighborhood.

Cornwell is credited with starting the CSI craze, which spurred numerous books, movies and TV shows, by making forensic science and medicine accessible to the masses.

“I started out as a journalist after college. And they assigned me to the police beat — and I always asked the same question…,” she said.

Cornwell said she was fascinated with where the body had been taken — and what secrets it might reveal to investigators.

As a result,  when she decided to write crime fiction in the 1980s, she met up with a medical examiner and got to go inside a lab. However, she said all the futuristic things, like DNA and lasers, were just entering the game.  

And Cornwell admits that it is not always as easy or glamorous as it appears.

“We need so much more training in this country,” Cornwell said. “And it’s not really like what I write about — or we see on TV. I wish it was that good everywhere.”

Cornwell has sold over 100 million books around the world. “The Bone Bed” is the 20th book in the Kay Scarpetta series.

Watch “CBS This Morning” with Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell weekdays from 7 to 9 a.m. on CBS 6.