Writers scoured Cornwell's work for telltale clues: Wasn't Kay Scarpetta having an ongoing affair with a married FBI agent, a man whose first name was Benton? (Sound familiar?) Isn't Scarpetta's niece, a character more richly drawn with each passing book, a lesbian?
Didn't Margo Bennett receive a Mont Blanc pen from Cornwell, the very same gift Scarpetta gave her lover?
Weren't there suggestive book passages?
"The first time we made love," ponders Scarpetta in "From Potters Field" (Scribner, 1995), "I had made my life a hundred times more complicated. Certainly, I had known better. I had seen more than one poor feel on my autopsy table who had decided to get involved with someone married. People annihilated themselves and others. They became mentally ill. . . ."