The mystery novelist Patricia Cornwell is suing her former financial management firm for tens of millions of dollars. I read about it in the Boston Globe; here is the story reprinted in another newspaper (the Globe version is behind a paywall). This gives you a flavor of what the suit is about:
Cornwell said she was flabbergasted to learn, upon her questioning in 2009, that her net worth was only eight figures, which was her annual income in each of the previous four years.
When she took a closer look at the books, she said, she discovered that Anchin had borrowed money in her name for real estate investments without her knowledge. She says money from the sale of her Ferrari was unaccounted for, and she had to pay close to $200,000 in taxes on a helicopter because the firm wrongly registered it in New York.
She also says that Anchin mishandled a financial transaction involving 48 rare books, leaving the money unaccounted for, and that she found a $5,000 check that Snapper had written for a bat mitzvah gift to his daughter from Cornwell.
In addition, Cornwell’s wife, a Boston-area neurologist, also claims she was bilked by the firm.
Here is Cornwell venting about the case in the Huffington Post.
And here are my banal. uninformed comments:
- She had a helicopter???
- She had an eight figure income? That’s a lot of figures, for someone who isn’t a professional basketball player.
- I can see an author getting bilked; authors live in a different world. But a neurologist, too?
I read one of Cornwell’s early Scarpetta novels; I vaguely remember it as being OK, but not quite good enough to make me want to read another. Clearly the way to untold wealth in the writing biz is to come up with an ongoing series that keeps all your old novels in print and selling. But clearly that’s not necessarily the path to happiness and peace of mind. I have this idea that, if I had enough money (well short of eight figures), I’d just invest it conservatively and continue to live more or less the way I live now, so I wouldn’t have to worry about money ever again. But I’m probably deluded. Probably if I had as much money as Patricia Cornwell, I’d want a helicopter too.