15 December 2005

Book Banter -- Body of Evidence

Title: Body of Evidence
Author: Patricia Cornwell
Length: 274 pages
Genre: mystery
Banter Points: It's easy to see from Cornwell's second novel featuring medical examiner Kay Scarpetta why these books have done well and why Cornwell keeps writing them. Her character is fresh, smart and growing. Scarpetta evolves from the first book, "Postmortem," and there are plenty of places where Scarpetta can continue to change as a character.

"Body of Evidence" follows Scarpetta's investigation into the death of writer Beryl Madison. The day Madison returns to Virginia after an extended stay in the Florida Keys, she's murdered. The ensuing mystery ranges all the way from Florida to Maryland and dredges up things in Scarpetta's own past.

Bummer Points: The ending happens all in a rush. Word Nerd vacilates on whether mysteries are better if all the clues are laid out through the book or whether being surprised is good. "Body of Evidence" doesn't give much to help the reader figure it out until the whole puzzle unlocks for Scarpetta.

Word Nerd recommendation: The Kay Scarpetta books are a well-written, sort of early CSI-type story. With many more books in the series, Word Nerd will surely keep reading.

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