BUYER: Patricia Cornwell and Staci Gruber
LOCATION: Boston, MA
SIZE: 4,553 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Yesterday we received a covert communique from a real estate insider–let’s call her Boston Betty–who snitched to Your Mama that super successful crime novel writer Patricia Cornwell and her ladee-mate Staci Gruber snatched up a couple of high-priced condominiums at the posh Fairmont Battery Wharf development.
Miz Cornwell, whose people came down from abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe, is unquestionably best known for her best selling series that feature a steely, tough talking medical examiner protagonist named Kay Scarpetta and her wealthy genius lesbian niece Lucy Farinelli. The 18 Kay Scarpetta novels, filled with graphic, gruesome, medically accurate and fascinating forensic details, have all sold like hotcakes making Miz Cornwell one of the world’s most commercially successful and ridiculously rich writers.
After many fits and starts, Miz Cornwell’s novels will finally be seen on the big screen. It was announced earlier this year that Angelina Jolie signed on to play Kay Scarpetta, an obvious choice, perhaps, but one that will ensure the Kay Scarpetta film franchise is at least as successful as the book series.
Miz Cornwell, who somewhat bizarrely has long standing relationships with George H.W. Bush and the Billy Graham family, has developed and cultivated a particular interest in Jack the Ripper and has spent years and bundles of her own money to prove her theory that noted impressionist painter Walker Sickert was Jack the Ripper. Miz Cornwell has gone so far as to purchase more than 30 of Sickert’s paintings in order to try and lift some DNA off of them that she could pair up with a letter attributed to Jack the Ripper. Miz Cornwell wrote a convincing book on her theory about Sickert–who was himself a wee bit obsessed with Jack the Ripper–but has not been embraced by the art world who, it seems, is not interested in having to possibly re-think and re-write the history of an accomplished artist.
Although she is famously reluctant to discuss her private life, several years ago Miz Cornwell confirmed that in 2005 she married Dr. Staci Gruber. Miz Gruber may not be as famous as her wife, but she’s no intellectual slouch and holds an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry position at Harvard Medical School as well as being Associate Director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory at McLean Hospital. This, children, is what you call a lesbian power couple even if they choose to keep very low public profiles as ladee lovin‘ females.
Anyhoo, according to Boston Betty, the Sapphic sisters scooped up not one but two apartments at the Fairmont Battery Wharf, a combination 5-star hotel and luxury condo complex development near the North End of town.
The complex, built on a couple of finger piers that stretch out into beauteous Boston Harbor not so far from where the Celtics bounce basketballs and the Bruins push pucks, offers residents 5-star hotel services including top-flight security, valet parking, concierge, snow removal, fitness facilities, and 24-hour housekeeping for those times when you need a the living room vacuumed and terlit scrubbed at 3:45 in the damn morning. A restaurant within the Fairmont Battery Wharf complex offers hotel guests and condo residents fancy, new-fangled French food and L’Institut de Guerlain provides spa services. Residents of the Fairmont Battery Wharf can request a private shuttle boat from the complex to Logan Airport and they can purchase docking rights so they park their boats out their back doors.
Listing information and the deed that Your Mama obtained shows the larger of the two condos–purchased by Miz Cornwell and Miz Gruber for $6,500,000–measures more than 4,500 square feet and includes 4 bedrooms, 4.5 poopers, 4 terraces plus a private roof deck, 2 garage parking spaces–where Miz Cornwell might park her Ferraris–and monstrous monthly taxes and common charges of nearly 8 thousand smackers.
The open plan living area has a fireplace, gleaming hardwood floors and numerous windows with expansive water views on three sides and the sleek gore-may kitchen, which can be opened to or closed off from the main living area with a set of folding glass doors, offers custom stainless steel and wood cabinetry that looks like they’re fashioned from walnut or some other luscious wood, jet black granite counter tops and breakfast bar, an induction cooking surface, and built in espresso maker.
While the view is lovely, the real star of this penthouse pad is the floating circular glass staircase that looks like someone stole it right out of the damn Apple Store on W. 14th Street in Manhattan. The translucent treads wind all the way up from the lower level to the roof top terrace. Listen puppies, Your Mama recognizes that these all-glass staircases represent a real damn feat in materials manipulation and architectural engineering. However, they are visually discombobulating, downright scary, and invite–nay, encourage–lurid peeping up the skirts of whatever women and drag queens might be gliding up and down the curving staircase. We don’t mean any disrespect but while this kind of display might be desirable for a couple of lesbians like Miz Cornwell and Miz Gruber, Your Mama does not need to be sitting on the sofa in the living room eating canapés and sipping an ice cold gin & tonic only to glance up to see the panties and/or cooch of some ladee as she ascends to the roof terrace without a clue that she’s giving everyone a good look at her naughty bits.
According to Boston Betty, Miz Cornwell and Miz Gruber not only picked up a penthouse pad at the Fairmont Battery Wharf complex, they also picked up a second apartment, perhaps to be used for guests, staff or–because beehawtcha gets some crazy fans–the private security detail Miz Cornwell reportedly employs on book tours and other public appearances.
According to listing information, the ladees paid $1,650,000 for the 2 bedroom and 2 pooper unit that measures almost 1,600 square feet and carries monthly tax and common charges of more than $2,200. The unit also comes with a private balcony with views of the harbor, one deeded parking space and all the luxe 5-star hotel amenities of the Fairmont Battery Wharf.
Since sometime in 2006, previous reports reveal that Cornwell and Gruber reside in a sprawling farmhouse in the literary hotbed of Concord, MA, the former home of noted writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry David Thoreau. Current writerly residents in Concord include presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, physicist/author Alan Lightman, writer Gregory Maguire and comedian Steve Carell who owns a home in Concord but resides–as far as we know–primarily in the Toluca Lake area of Los Angeles.