November 15, 2013 Patricia Cornwell turns out a book a year, on average, so it’s never a huge surprise when a new Kay Scarpetta novel hits shelves. The surprise is always in the story itself, and Cornwell has a knack for inventing tales that seem to predict the next wave of media obsession with crime. (After all, her protagonist, Kay Scarpetta, is the original fictional forensic investigator.) This year’s novel, Dust, has just been released. The Washington Post describes the novel as “a characteristically tangled mystery that begins with the discovery of a young woman’s body at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. On her body is a mysterious residue, dust that becomes colorfully visible under ultraviolet light and leads Scarpetta on a frightening hunt for the truth.”
But Dust isn’t Cornwell’s only new creative outlet. Last week Deadline Hollywood announced that she had signed on with ABC to develop a new crime drama called Greta Stone: “Bestselling novelist Patricia Cornwell, best known for her Kay Scarpetta series, is behind another crime franchise with a strong female character at the center, this time for TV. ABC has put in development Greta Stone, a drama project based on an original idea by Cornwell. Co-written by Cornwell and Law & Order alumna Stephanie Sengupta, Greta Stone centers on a young, orphaned, highly skilled female cop who is has an uncanny ability to solve crime,” according to the site.
On Tuesday, Cornwell–whom we claim as a Tennessee writer because she attended King College in Bristol and because she does much of her research at the University of Tennessee’s Body Farm–gave a few more details about the deal in an interview with CBS This Morning: “I’m working on the story with the screenwriter, I created it, I’m also an executive producer on it, and it’s very hands-on; I’m working in a really wonderful, collaborative way with the people involved, and with the network and the studio,” she said.
The she hinted at other new projects to come: “I plan to do that with some other projects that hopefully will take off. I’m still of course going to be writing my books, but I have other ideas and other things that I’d like to do.”
For more updates on Tennessee authors, please visit Chapter 16’s News & Notes page, here.