The Bone Bed (Scarpetta Novels Book 20) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: While this book has been loved by someone else, they left it in great condition. Hurry and buy it before someone else does and take advantage of our FREE Super Saver Shipping!!!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Bone Bed (A Scarpetta Novel) Hardcover – October 16, 2012

See all 23 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
Hardcover, October 16, 2012
$0.75 $0.01

Hero Quick Promo
12 Days of Kindle Book Deals
Load your library with Amazon's editors' picks, $2.99 or less each today only. Learn more

Product Details

  • Series: A Scarpetta Novel (Book 20)
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780399157561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399157561
  • ASIN: 0399157565
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.7 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,858 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #345,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

On the same day she receives a mystifying video e-mail about an American anthropologist missing in Canada, Kay Scarpetta retrieves a woman’s body from Massachusetts Bay (after disentangling it from a massive sea turtle) and testifies at the trial of a billionaire industrialist accused of murdering his missing wife. Disparate cases tend to connect in crime fiction, and soon Scarpetta—with her chief investigator, Pete Marino, temporarily sidelined—is searching for what her husband, FBI profiler Benton Wesley, believes to be a serial killer. Unfortunately, one of the cases doesn’t quite fit the pattern. And then there’s Scarpetta herself, now feeling both her age and some friction in her marriage. She’s gazing appreciatively at younger men, including her newly hired deputy at the Cambridge Forensic Center, Dr. Luke Zenner, while Wesley admits that his younger female partner is in love with him and has tried to lure him to bed. Which distracts Scarpetta when the killer, inevitably, targets her. Cornwell’s forensics are fine, but she still seems to be struggling to recover the freshness and verve that formerly distinguished the Scarpetta series. Longtime fans may not be bothered, but others may find reading this more a duty than a pleasure. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: As the twentieth entry in the Kay Scarpetta series, this is bound to be promoted heavily. Shortcomings aside, it extends the personal stories of a handful of characters whom fans have followed for years. --Michele Leber


“When it comes to the forensic sciences, nobody can touch Cornwell.”

The New York Times Book Review

More About the Author

In 1990, Patricia Cornwell sold her first novel, Postmortem, while working at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. An auspicious debut, it went on to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity awards as well as the French Prix du Roman d'Aventure prize - the first book ever to claim all these distinctions in a single year.

Today, Cornwell's novels and now iconic characters, medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, her niece Lucy and fellow investigator Pete Marino, are known all over the world. Fox 2000 is actively developing a feature film about Kay Scarpetta. Beyond the Scarpetta series, Patricia has written a definitive account of Jack the Ripper's identity, cookbooks, a children's book, a biography of Ruth Graham, and two other fiction series based on the characters Win Garano and Andy Brazil.

Cornwell was born in Miami, grew up in Montreat, North Carolina, and now lives and works in Boston.

Visit the author's website at:

Customer Reviews

Once I started reading I couldn't put the book down.
A.F. Richards
Way too much detail was written that just seemed like page filler having very little to nothing to do wit the excruciating slow development of the story.
This story line kept your interest all the way thru and kept you guessing how the ending of the book would end.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

211 of 224 people found the following review helpful By Elise on October 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What can I say about Scarpetta number twenty? I didn't dislike the book, but in my opinion, Cornwell has yet to produce a follow-up book that is in anyway comparable to the quality of her first six to eight books. This review does contain a few mild spoilers!

Before I air my complaints, I will give credit where credit is due. Bone Bed reintroduces readers to the Kay Scarpetta they met in Virginia. For the first time in I don't know how many books, Scarpetta is back in her diving gear and working the crime scenes like she used too. That is the one thing I really appreciated about this book. Kay is sharp. I had forgotten what an impressive investigator she could be. As she goes through a crime scene, very little escapes her attention. Her intelligence, ambition, and compassion are magnetic. I can't speak for everyone, but that is the character that captured my attention and held my interest in 90s.

With that said, I found her supporting characters highly annoying and redundant. Marino and Benton are still stuck in a downward spiral of regret and resentment. I know that real life issues (you know, your average faked death and attempted rape) don't go away over night, but I think Cornwell has taken it to a level that is entirely unnecessary. I for one, am very tired of hearing the sad song that refuses to end. Benton played dead; Mario got drunk and tried to play hooky. Naturally, these flaws in character will keep the two of them from being best friends and undoubtably leave some skeletons in the closet, but Cornwell has strung it out to the degree that she has allowed it to monopolize the chemistry that made the characters so captivating in the beginning.

Another issue I had with this book is that I felt like I had read it already.
Read more ›
14 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
113 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Carla J. Schroder on October 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Cornwell's Scarpetta books have always had their flaws, like Kay's enemies never getting their comeuppance, and Kay's addiction to being betrayed and the world champion victim even as she is supposed to be so awesome smart and powerful. Other annoyances are continual buildups to climaxes that never happen, for example Marino threatening to stroke out over every little thing, and Lucy's non-stop drama over nothing (geez Lucy is obnoxious), and characters and subplots that get introduced, are a big deal, and then are dropped and never resolved. But the complex plots, good action, and complex trails of clues were enjoyable and interesting. Then along about "Point of Origin" the Scarpetta series slid off the rails and never made it back. Benton Wesley died, but then miraculously came back in "Blow Fly." But in the interim anything that was halfway interesting about him was lost, and he became a stiff wooden bore.

In "Blow Fly" Cornwell changed from writing in the first-person from Scarpetta's viewpoint to a weird present-tense third person. It's a rambling shapeless stream-of-consciousness, and "Blow Fly" is the last Scarpetta book I read to the end. I've tried every one since, and they all lose me in the first few chapters.

"Bone Bed" is billed as a comeback, a return to the old Scarpetta, Cornwell getting back on track. Nah. Don't think so. It's back to first-person Kay, but it's still rambling stream-of-consciousness. It starts out with Kay working alone in her sleek new office, and she's all agitated and freaked out because it sounds like someone is prowling in the building, and nobody else is supposed to be there. So does she get up and look? No, she just sits and frets. Then Lucy comes in, and Kay freaks out some more.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Deborah J. Pfiffner on October 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Used to be I couldn't wait to get my hands on another Kay Scarpetta novel. Seems to me, since the miraculous bringing of Wesley Benton "back to life", I have been dissapointed with these novels. You have to be a forensic specialist to understand what "Kay" is saying or thinking most of the time. And, aren't you supposed to root for the main, return characters? I have found over the years that I don't feel that way. I don't think anyone would let their child, much less their niece, act and treat them the way Lucy does her Aunt Kay. And if it's so painful for Kay to remember what Marino did to her all those years ago, why would she keep him on her staff? These things make no sense to me. To me, it's like a sitcom that should have ended years ago because it isn't funny anymore, I think maybe it's time to retire Kay Scarpetta. These books are no longer entertaining and page turning to me, they are creepy, hard to understand (in fact I find myself rereading page after page to try and figure out what it means)and I wish I hand't wasted this much money on this book - I could have found another murder mystery that would make me anxious to sit down and finish, not feeling like this one does. I'm left feeling like Kay Scarpetta is not the character I knew and loved, and Lucy and Morino should have been kicked to the curb years ago. If you liked the original Scarpetta/Marino novels, you will most likey not like this one at all.
10 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I`ve read the whole Scarpetta series,and I haven`t wanted to throw anything across the room so many times as I have this book. It takes her forever to get to the point of the book,and then she sums up the main reason for the darn book in three short,simple sentences!!!! After not mentioning her til the very end. I don`t know what`s going on with Ms.Cornwell,but her last few books have been very subpar. And that`s coming from an avid fan. I was beyond dissapointed with this book. I suggest before buying it,read it at the library first. I ended up skipping entire paragraphs and skimming pages because she just went on and on about stuff that wasn`t really that important to the story. Nearly 3 chapters about the history of the leatherback turtle alone. I wasn`t sure if I had the right book if it didn`t come with a cover!!
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?