The popular Alex Delaware series started in 1985 with When the Bough Breaks, which won an Edgar Award for Best First Novel. All books in the series involve Dr. Alex Delaware, a child psychologist who does consulting work for the police in Los Angeles.
He actually used to be a child psychologist, but he retired due to burn out when a sexual predator committed suicide right in front of him in Alex’s office. Now, he is mostly working with the police when they call him or serious and dangerous cases where his knowledge, sense of observation and skills are required.
Alex Delaware is a very controversial character, being anti-stereotypical gay, with strong morals and ethics. The series is loved not only by the mainstream audience, but also by the LGBT community. He is what it’s called a post-modern detective. He feels strong empathy for his clients, especially children, he is very good at his job and feels strongly about being a psychologist.
While he uses various techniques and tools to handle each case that is thrown towards him, his character remains more or less constant from book to book. He doesn’t really “evolve.” Whether you read the first book in the series or the last, you will find Alex Delaware to be pretty much the same guy.
Besides his empathy towards his clients and towards victims of all sorts of abuse, he has a keen eyes for details and a great sense of observation. He can notice even the tiniest details around him. As a person, he does have a strong sense of ego, but he doesn’t flash it in front of other people. He is very polite, restrained (unless he is around very bad people) and he is not an arrogant person. Alex has strong morals. Due to his background and gained skills, he finds it rather easy to read people and research information on everything related to the particular case. Due to all these, Alex Delaware is one of the best detectives of our times.
The issue of homosexuality is present in this book, which creates a lot of controversy among the series readers. Reading the Alex Delaware books in order will not lessen from this theme. It is included from the beginning to the latest published novel.
While the series has been criticizes of being too formulaic, mystery fans have him as one of their favorite authors due to the fast paced non-stop action that his books are known for.
Some of the issues the book series tackles (besides homosexuality) are terrorism, insanity, human depravity, lack of morals, and the loss of personal identity.
The Alex Delaware series by Jonathan Kellerman is one of the most popular crime mystery series in our modern times.
Currently, there are 33 published Alex Delaware books published to date. The latest one released so far is called Night Moves, released in 2018. The Alex Delaware books are listed below in publication order.
Alex Delaware Series In Order
1. When The Bough Breaks (Alex Delaware #1), 1985
2. Blood Test (Alex Delaware #2), 1986
3. Over The Edge (Alex Delaware #3), 1987
4. Silent Partner (Alex Delaware #4), 1989
5. Time Bomb (Alex Delaware #5), 1990
6. Private Eyes (Alex Delaware #6), 1992
7. Devil’s Waltz (Alex Delaware #7), 1993
8. Bad Love (Alex Delaware #8), 1994
9. Self-Defense (Alex Delaware #9), 1995
10. The Web (Alex Delaware #10), 1996
11. The Clinic (Alex Delaware #11), 1997
12. Survival of the Fittest (Alex Delaware #12), 1997
13. Monster (Alex Delaware #13), 1999
14. Doctor Death (Alex Delaware #14), 2000
15. Flesh and Blood (Alex Delaware #15), 2001
16. The Murder Book (Alex Delaware #16), 2002
17. A Cold Heart (Alex Delaware #17), 2003
18. Therapy (Alex Delaware #18), 2004
19. Rage (Alex Delaware #19), 2005
20. Gone (Alex Delaware #20), 2006
21. Obsession (Alex Delaware #21), 2007
22. Compulsion (Alex Delaware #22), 2008
23. Bones (Alex Delaware #23), 2008
24. Evidence (Alex Delaware #24), 2009
25. Deception (Alex Delaware #25), 2010
26. Mystery (Alex Delaware #26), 2011
27. Victims (Alex Delaware #27), 2012
28. Guilt (Alex Delaware #28), 2013
29. Killer (Alex Delaware #29), 2014
30. Motive (Alex Delaware #30), 2015
31. Breakdown (Alex Delaware #31), 2016
32. Heartbreak Hotel (Alex Delaware #32), 2017
33. Night Moves (Alex Delaware #33), 2018
Should we read the Alex Delaware books in order?
I’ve read most of the book so far (have to catch up to 3 more) and I’d daresay it’s best to read them in proper order, however if you get them out of order, you won’t miss all that much, as each book has its own plot that starts and ends with the book. I do love to follow a character that I got attached to, so if you are into character progression and development, then yes, reading them in order will make more sense to you.
Above is the order of the Alex Delaware books based on the date of publication and chronological order. For this particular series, both the chronological and publication order are the same.
Note that Alex Delaware also makes sporadic appearances in some of Jonathan Kellerman’s Petra Connor books.