Crime writer Patricia Cornwell has won a $51 million (£32 million) lawsuit against her former financial advisers.

The celebrated U.S. crime writer, best known for creating literary sleuth Dr. Kay Scarpetta, took bosses at New York-based company Anchin, Block & Anchin to court amid claims she was missing up to $40 million (£25 million) from her account after they were put in charge of her money matters, as well as those for her wife, Staci Gruber.

In her federal lawsuit, Cornwell accused her former representatives of negligence, insisting they made bad investment decisions and over-billed her for their services, causing her funds to dwindle to $10 million (£6.25 million).

The author testified in the federal case in Massachusetts earlier this month (Feb13), telling jurors that her former accountants had jeopardised her career by disrupting her work, causing her to miss a vital book deadline which resulted in the loss of a year's income - around $15 million (£9.4 million).

Lawyers for the defendants insisted the state of the economy played a big part in the investment flops, while they also indicated Cornwell's lavish spending was partly to blame.

However, the jury ruled in Cornwell's favour on Tuesday (19Feb13) and a judge ordered Anchin, Block & Anchin executives to pay up to the tune of $50.9 million (£31.8 million).

Speaking after the court triumph, Cornwell said, "God bless justice. It's a huge relief and it's been a huge ordeal."

The financial firm's bosses are considering appealing the verdict.