At a Glance
The Alex Abella books in order include the New York Times bestselling author’s popular Charlie Morell series bout a Cuban-American private investigator turned lawyer in Los Angeles, California.
In addition to his series, Alex Abella has also written several fiction and non-fiction books, with the latest title, More Than a Woman, published in 2013. Here are the Alex Abella books in publication and chronological order for his crime series and his standalone works.
Charlie Morell Series in Order
Standalone Books by Alex Abella
Non Fiction Books by Alex Abella
- The Total Banana, 1979
- Shadow Enemies: Hitler’s Secret Terrorist Plot Against the United States, 2003(with Scott Gordon)
- Soldiers of Reason: The RAND Corporation and the Rise of the American Empire, 2008
About Alex Abella – Author Biography
Alex Abella is a book author, TV reporter, and screenwriter, who was born in Cuba in 1950 and emigrated to the US with his parents at the age of 10, after the botched Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. He lived in New York where he got a Pulitzer scholarship which allowed him to attend Columbia University.
Once he graduated from college, he moved to San Francisco in California where he got a job as a reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle covering local news. Next, he started working for KTVU-TV, Channel 2 News as a producer, writer, covering the network news also as a reporter.
In the late 1980s, Alex Abella moved to Los Angeles to become a writer, while at the same time he was working as a Spanish interpreter at the Los Angeles Superior Court and an assistant to a Private Investigator. He lives in the Los Angeles suburbs with his wife and two kids.
His first legal thriller book, The Killing of the Saints, draws from his experiences working within the legal environment. It was published in 1991 featuring the Santeria religious beliefs that can be used as a defense for murder in Hispanic Los Angeles. The book became a New York Times Notable Book in 1991, the same year it was published.
Ramon Valdez, a Santeria religion priest, is on trial for killing a few people in a jewelry store. He is pretty well-known and quite popular with established Cuban immigrants.
When he is accused of the murders, he asks Charlieto be his investigator appointed by the Court for this case. During the investigation, Charlie comes across several people involved in magic, Santeria, and witchcraft, and he has to face his own demons from the past.
Between the first book, The Killing of the Saints, and the second book, Dead of Night, Charlie becomes also a lawyer who has written a book about Santeria.
The second book, Dead of Night, brings back the relentless Cuban-American lawyer and investigator in its plot, who again has to deal with Santeria and the occult. After the passing of his mother, he promises one of her friends to search for her grandson who disappeared. The grandson is involved in satanic rituals and black magic. During the case, Charlie is on the tails of a cult leader who is also a killer.
The third and currently last book in the popular series, Final Acts, brings back, once again, Charlie to investigate a major conspiracy and murder. The story picks up after Dead of Night, where he was imprisoned for his beliefs in Santeria and the brutal murder of two cult members. This time, we get introduced to Latina lawyer Rita Carr who becomes Charlie’s lawyer.
When Charlie tells her that he is the victim of a conspiracy, Rita has difficulty believing his tale until things happen that she has no choice but realize that all is, in fact. true.
The plot of the book is in most part related by Rita, which alternated with Charlie’s own storyline. Many readers feel that this book is the strongest let down in the entire series, however, many also found a few likable characters in Rita, whom they hope to see once again in a new book if he chooses to write another one. Considering that the third book in the series was published in 2000, we shall see if this series becomes, after all, a trilogy.
Reading the Alex Abella books in order for his Charlie Morell series is recommended, as we get several glimpses into the character and history of Charlie. Also, he does evolve and develop from story to story, becoming a PI, defense attorney, and book author.
The Great American, the author’s first non-series book (and the second book written) was published in 1997. It describes the real-life escapades of William Morgan, a U.S. Marine who was in Cuba fighting with Fidel Castro. Soldiers of Reason is another non-fiction book, focusing on RAND Corporation for several decades, starting from the onset of WWII throughout the last half century.
Alex Abella Awards and Nominations
The Killing of the Saints, the author’s debut novel became a New York Times Notable Book in 1991, the year it was published.
The author was nominated for an Emmy Award for “Best Breaking News Story” at KTVU-TV (Fox 2 news reports from around the Bay Area)