Unnatural Death by Patricia Cornwell

book cover

Midas delivers an unmissable campaign for the legendary Patricia Cornwell


The Brief

Midas was appointed to deliver a high-profile, impactful media campaign for Patricia Cornwell’s new Scarpetta novel, Unnatural Death, published by Little, Brown on 23 November 2023.

Our objectives were to deliver a variety of eye-catching, high-profile interviews and reviews, as well as planning and overseeing Patricia’s first UK visit since 2018. Patricia had published 26 novels featuring Kay Scarpetta and we were tasked with securing national interviews and features that would reflect Patricia’s profile as one of the biggest selling crime writers worldwide.


The Work

Over the course of our campaign, Midas secured a wide breadth of national and regional publicity for Unnatural Death across national newspaper, magazine, regional and digital media, which befit an author of Patricia’s standing.

At the outset, following an initial call with Patricia, the Little, Brown team and our US counterparts, we finalised agreed key messaging, overall strategy, interview/feature angles, and target media.

We worked closely with Patricia’s team to ensure her brief UK visit was spent in the most effective way to garner media interest and drive sales. We utilised the rare visit to ensure a broad sweep of broadcast interviews that are unable to be achieved down-the-line, offering exclusive time to high profile programmes such as BBC Breakfast, BBC R4 This Cultural Life and BBC World Service. We kept in regular contact with our US counterpart on making the most of Patricia’s media days, as the US publication followed ours.

One of our key targets for the publicity campaign was to secure interviews in the broadsheet newspapers that showcased Patricia’s incredible expertise and dedication to her craft and we are thrilled to have achieved this with three interviews including double page spreads in both the Guardian G2 and Sunday Express, and a further interview in Daily Telegraph. Secondly, we needed to utilise Patricia’s limited in-person time with broadcast interviews that would drive sales during the week of publication – this was achieved through numerous interviews that saw Unnatural Death move significantly up the Amazon Movers & Shakers chart during the week.

The key lifestyle and women’s magazines gave glowing reviews, as did the leading crime reviewers at Daily Mail, Crime Monthly and The Sun.


The Results

Midas achieved three national newspaper interviews for Patricia including a front-page interview in The Guardian G2, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Express, which all ran around publication. During her UK visit, we secured broadcast interviews for Patricia on BBC Breakfast, Times Radio with Kait Borsay, Scala Radio Book Club, BBC Radio 5 Live with Nihal Arthanayake, BBC Radio 4 This Cultural Life and BBC World Service Outlook.

In terms of magazines and digital media, we secured a spread of incredible reviews, including in Heat, Crime Monthly, Woman’s Weekly, Best, Hot Press, Irish Examiner, Fabulous and Take a Break. Patricia was interviewed for the prestigious ‘My Life in Books’ feature in Prima, the ‘Funny Old World’ slot in Woman’s Weekly, and The Shift with Sam Baker podcast, and she was featured in The Week and Candis.

We organised an exclusive event with Patricia at Waterstones Piccadilly, chaired by international bestselling thriller writer and Scarpetta fan, Chris Whitaker. The event gave 100 of Patricia’s UK fans the opportunity to hear from the legendary author during her limited UK visit.

We built the buzz on social media with a proof competition for bloggers ahead of publication which reached over 21,000 users on X and created noise all over the channel. We maintained this early engagement with a three week long blog tour running throughout November, garnering positive reviews that were shared on social media, Amazon and Goodreads.