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Cause of Death | [Patricia Cornwell]

Cause of Death

On a quiet day, away from the hustle of Richmond, in a small cottage on the Virginia coast, Dr. Kay Scarpetta receives a disturbing phone call from the Chesapeake police. Thirty feet deep in the murky waters of Virginia's Elizabeth River, a scuba diver's body is discovered near the Inactive Naval Shipyard.
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Publisher's Summary

On a quiet day, away from the hustle of Richmond, in a small cottage on the Virginia coast, Dr. Kay Scarpetta receives a disturbing phone call from the Chesapeake police. Thirty feet deep in the murky waters of Virginia's Elizabeth River, a scuba diver's body is discovered near the Inactive Naval Shipyard.

As the police begin searching for clues, the wallet of investigative reporter Ted Eddings is found. Unnerved by the possible identity of the victim, Scarpetta orders the crime scene roped off and left alone until she arrives. What was he doing there, searching for Civil War relics as the officer suggested, or was there a bigger story? As she rifles through the multitude of clues, a second murder hits much closer to home. This new development puts Scarpetta and her colleagues hot on the trail of a military conspiracy.

Filled with lurid details that Cornwell's legions of fans have come to expect, Cause of Death is a breathtaking mystery further enhanced by C. J. Critt's gripping narration.

Cause of Death is the 7th book in the Kay Scarpetta series.

Don't miss the other titles in Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series.

©1996 Patricia Daniels Cornwell; (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Cornwell remains a master of the genre, instilling in readers an appetite that only she can satisfy." (Publishers Weekly)
"The fascination with monstrous evil that's run through Cornwell's recent work blossoms with a vengeance....Full marks, as always, for the gripping forensic detail and beleaguered Scarpetta's legendary toughness." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (424 )
5 star
 (160)
4 star
 (134)
3 star
 (95)
2 star
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1 star
 (12)
Overall
4.2 (233 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (43)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (230 )
5 star
 (110)
4 star
 (74)
3 star
 (36)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
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  •  
    DONA 02-26-13
    DONA 02-26-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "ALWAYS A PLEASURE"

    I know that sounds like an odd title for any Cornwell book. This one is so intriguing on so many levels. Whose cause of death is Scarpetta going to discover next? The story moves from one tragic and ugly scene to another keeping the reader guessing and then getting things all figured out only to come to the next twist in the road. That's why reading PC"s novels is always a pleasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ANNE R HARRIS MISSOULA, MT, US 01-19-13
    ANNE R HARRIS MISSOULA, MT, US 01-19-13 Member Since 2007
    ratings
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    18
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Story and performance top notch"

    Cornwell does an excellent mystery again. I'll admit that I've skipped a few novels and I'm now "backfilling" the story with some of the earlier Scarpeta stories. I find the performance by CJ Critt easy to listen to and I enjoy her rendition of the characters. I recommend the story, performance, and production.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Midlothian, VA, United States 07-05-12
    Pamela Midlothian, VA, United States 07-05-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing Plot"
    What did you like best about Cause of Death? What did you like least?

    Love the series, but this one seemed to lack the same thrill to keep listening.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Patricia Cornwell again?

    Absolutely


    What three words best describe C.J. Critt’s voice?

    Honestly? SNOBBISH. If the stories weren't so interesting, I might revert back to the paperbacks I also bought of the same series.


    Did Cause of Death inspire you to do anything?

    Not really...


    Any additional comments?

    This plot was disappointing and implausible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dee 06-04-12
    Dee 06-04-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Questionable story - not a great reader"
    What did you like best about Cause of Death? What did you like least?

    I have read several reviews mentioning the bad reader - I'm afraid it's true. The lady that reads this book I'm sure is very nice but does not do well as an audio book reader. The inappropriate voice inflections, mispronunciations and general dullness is very distracting.


    What was most disappointing about Patricia Cornwell’s story?

    The characters have always been written as very skilled and experienced professionals. In this particular story the main characters leaped to irrational and unwarranted conclusions several times during the story, which was disappointing. It's been a while since I have read a Kay Scarpetta novel, but I remember really liking them. In this story character Kay was overly emotional, selfish and irrational. Not the Scarpetta novels I remember - maybe I have moved past these? Not sure.


    What about C.J. Critt’s performance did you like?

    Nothing - I'm sorry but I thought she was a terrible reader. I would not get another book she reads.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlotte Phoenix, AZ, United States 03-12-12
    Charlotte Phoenix, AZ, United States 03-12-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More please!"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    What a great story line. Not one of her strongest endings but this writer continues to beguile her readers as we follow the body trail to the irresistible ending. I'm behind in the series and can't wait to read the next installment. In looking ahead I noticed that Point of Origin is not on the audible list. Please hurry and add this one. I'll be there by next week. :)


    If you’ve listened to books by Patricia Cornwell before, how does this one compare?

    Compared to the rest this one is about a 7.


    Which character – as performed by C.J. Critt – was your favorite?

    She does a pretty good Marino


    Was Cause of Death worth the listening time?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    When will Point of Origin be added?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Stone Harbor, NJ, United States 11-30-11
    Douglas Stone Harbor, NJ, United States 11-30-11 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Pretty Good Scarpetta, Prety poor reader"

    The story is entertaining and holds the attention for the most part. dragging only in a few places. There ARE a couple holes in the plot but nothing too bad or beyond the implicit requirement to suspend a certain bit of skepticism common to most fiction.

    You'd be better off reading this one though, as the performance of C.J. Critt is grating to say the least. She is ponderous through expository portions and especially any technical descriptions. Her renditions of the dialogue make Kay Scarpetta sound like a 1940's "dame" combined with a sexpot, instead of a contemporary, accomplished doctor and CME. Scarpetta's niece Lucy, a 24 year old highly intelligent FBI Agent, sounds like a spoiled 14 year old. And C.J. seems to have zero clue as to how to portray any of the male characters. Skip this listen and get the book. The voices in your imagination will be much more satisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Maplewood, MO, USA 06-28-10
    Don Maplewood, MO, USA 06-28-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    26
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    "Stilted, plodding narrator ruins good story"

    After several tries I finally got through this good story. The narrator needs to find other work or maybe a gallon or two of black coffee before work. It ruins the... suspense when one... pauses every third... word for no... apparent reason.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robyn 06-28-10
    Robyn 06-28-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "OMG the reader of this book is so irritating!!"

    The narrator of this book is just too irritating for words. I could barely get through the first half hour. I'll try it again, but I just don't know if I can tolerate the reader to get to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth San Rafael, CA, United States 05-25-09
    Elizabeth San Rafael, CA, United States 05-25-09 Member Since 2014

    I love books! They have always added so much to my world. Between being a busy mom, having a demanding career, and keeping my household running smoothly, I have zero free time to just sit and read a book. Audible allows me to keep up with my reading (or "reading") while I'm working or driving or cooking or cleaning the house. I enjoy that so much - I love Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bad choice of narrator!"

    I am a big fan of the Scarpetta series and am working my way through the books in order. I loved the story here, but the narrator's voice was not well suited to the character and was annoying at times. I really hope that there is a different narrator for future books in this series!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Morley 03-23-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointed"

    Poor narration and character development. Undiscernable dialog made this a disappointing audio story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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