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Patricia Cornwell returns to beginnings as crime novelist

FILE - In a Feb. 7, 2013, file photo, author Patricia Cornwell leaves federal court in Boston after she took the stand in her lawsuit against her former financial management company. Media outlets report that Cornwell visited the department Monday, April 24, 2017, and paid the costs for an entire weeklong course on gunshot restoration, worth an estimated $20,000. The purpose of the donation is philanthropic, but Cornwell said she also intends to observe the course as part of research for her next novel. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) ORG XMIT: NYAG207 (Steven Senne / AP)
FILE - In a Feb. 7, 2013, file photo, author Patricia Cornwell leaves federal court in Boston after she took the stand in her lawsuit against her former financial management company. Media outlets report that Cornwell visited the department Monday, April 24, 2017, and paid the costs for an entire weeklong course on gunshot restoration, worth an estimated $20,000. The purpose of the donation is philanthropic, but Cornwell said she also intends to observe the course as part of research for her next novel. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) ORG XMIT: NYAG207 (Steven Senne / AP)
Associated Press

CHESTERFIELD, Va. – Patricia Cornwell has gone back to her beginnings, the place where she got her start writing crime novels.

She’s returned to the Chesterfield County Police Department in Virginia, where media outlets report that she’s taking a weeklong course on reconstructing crime scenes from gunshot evidence.

This week’s course is worth an estimated $20,000, which Cornwell has donated to the police department, but she says she also intends to observe the course as research for her next novel.

Cornwell moved to Richmond in 1983 wanting to write crime novels, and says people in Chesterfield law enforcement were “unbelievably open” with her back then. Now, she says, she wants to show her appreciation.

Chesterfield County Police Chief Thierry Dupius thanked Cornwell, and gave her a commemorative coin.

Cornwell has written two dozen novels novels featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a medical examiner and forensic consultant.

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