Patricia Cornwell

After 18 years, best-selling crime novelist Patricia Cornwell is leaving Penguin for HarperCollins, making her the first major writer to jump ship since Penguin and Random House merged last month. Cornwell, best known for her crime novels based on medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, signed on for an eight figure, two-book deal with the HarperCollins' William Morris imprint. Penguin's Putnam imprint will release Dust, the 21st Scarpetta book in November, and William Morris will print the following one in the fall of 2014. 

The Oct. 29 merger of book behemoths Random House and Penguin not only creates the world’s largest publisher, home to authors as diverse as Fifty Shades of Grey’s E L James and mystery writer Patricia Cornwell, it also will present a formidable challenge to the growing power of such digital distributors as Amazon and Apple. And some already are worrying that the consolidation will decrease opportunities for authors and drive down advances.

Dozens of commercial book collections, including the entire Harry Potter series, have been downloaded for free from Google’s official Android Market after being uploaded by an unauthorised publisher.

The books were posted to the store this month by an unknown developer named UKER and proved popular with thousands of downloaders, according to AppBrain data.

The apps contain full e-book text but are of poor quality, with clumsy navigation.

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