Jonathan Kellerman Alex Delaware Books In Order

Last Updated on February 7, 2022 The popular Alex Delaware novels by Jonathan Kellerman started in 1985 with When the Bough Breaks, which won an Edgar Award for Best First Novel. All books in the series involve Alex Delaware, a child psychologist who consults for the police in Los Angeles.


New Alex Delaware Book

City of the Dead

City of the Dead (Alex Delaware #37), 2022


Alex Delaware Jonathan Kellerman Series In Order

  1. When The Bough Breaks, 1985
  2. Blood Test, 1986
  3. Over The Edge, 1987
  4. Silent Partner, 1989
  5. Time Bomb, 1990
  6. Private Eyes, 1992
  7. Devil’s Waltz, 1993
  8. Bad Love, 1994
  9. Self-Defense, 1995
  10. The Web, 1996
  11. The Clinic, 1997
  12. Survival of the Fittest, 1997
  13. Monster, 1999
  14. Doctor Death, 2000
  15. Flesh and Blood, 2001
  16. The Murder Book, 2002
  17. A Cold Heart, 2003
  18. Therapy, 2004
  19. Rage, 2005
  20. Gone, 2006
  21. Obsession, 2007
  22. Compulsion, 2008
  23. Bones, 2008
  24. Evidence, 2009
  25. Deception, 2010
  26. Mystery, 2011
  27. Victims, 2012
  28. Guilt, 2013
  29. Killer, 2014
  30. Motive, 2015
  31. Breakdown, 2016
  32. Heartbreak Hotel, 2017
  33. Night Moves, 2018
  34. The Wedding Guest, 2019
  35. The Museum of Desire, 2020
  36. Serpentine, 2021
  37. City of the Dead, 2022

Who is Alex Delaware

Alex Delaware used to be a child psychologist, but he retired due to burnout when a sexual predator committed suicide right in front of him in Alex’s office. Now, he is mostly working with the police – especially his friend, LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis, a gay homicide detective on the Los Angeles police force, where Alex is assisting as a psychologist when they call him on serious and dangerous cases where his knowledge, sense of observation, and skills are required.

Brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware is a very controversial character, being anti-stereotypical, with strong morals and ethics. 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 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 eye for details and a great sense of observation. Helped by LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis, 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, he is one of the best detectives of our times.

While the series has been criticized for 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 issues the book series tackles are homosexuality,  terrorism, insanity, murder involving a young woman strangled, human depravity, lack of morals, murders at a hospital for the criminally insane, a bizarre psychotic episode, and the loss of personal identity, a cunning serial killer, and Alex’s brilliant mind helps solve many cases over the years.

The child psychologist Alex Delaware book series by Jonathan Kellerman is one of the most popular crime mystery series in our modern times.

Currently, there are 37 published books featuring Alex helped by Milo Sturgis published to date. The latest Alex Delaware novel released so far is called City of the Dead, released in 2022. The books are listed above in proper reading order.


The Series In Brief

When The Bough Breaks

Seven-year-old Melody Quinn is the only witness of a horrific double murder but she can’t or won’t talk about what she saw. Child psychologist Alex Delaware is brought in to try and get through to her and to the truth of what happened that night. But it soon becomes clear that Melody isn’t just traumatised by the murders.

Alex is only too aware that LA is a city that spawns ugliness. But is he prepared for the seemingly bottomless pit of perversion and violence that he’s about to uncover?

Blood Test

Doctors believe that they can successfully treat a five-year-old cancer patient, Woody Swope. But Woody’s parents, members of a cult called ‘The Touchers’, are not only refusing the treatment, they’re also threatening to remove him from the hospital.

Alex Delaware is called in to talk the parents round. But before he can, the Swopes are gone and so is Woody. All that remains is a savagely ransacked and bloodied motel room, their teenage daughter, Nona, and an increasingly sinister case to solve.

Over the Edge

Jamey Cadmus is clearly a deeply troubled young man. Found clutching a bloodied knife at the scene of a brutal double homicide, surely he must be the vicious serial killer who’s been terrorizing LA. What other explanation can there be? The public is demanding the death penalty but his lawyer is pleading diminished responsibility.

Alex Delaware is asked to make an assessment of Jamey’s mental health but to do that he needs to look into Jamey’s past, and no one wants Alex digging there

Silent Partner

Dr Sharon Ransom is the most beautiful woman in the room; she’s also the most troubled. So when former lover Alex Delaware bumps into her at a lavish LA cocktail party, though still attracted to her, fear of reviving unhappy memories prevents him from offering the help she seems so desperate for.

Hours later, Sharon’s body is discovered with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Tortured by guilt, Alex wants answers. As his investigation begins, dark memories of his past with Sharon emerge, and a present full of madness, murder and sexual violence unfolds.

Time Bomb

A sniper opens fire on a crowded Californian schoolyard but is killed before any children are harmed. When the sniper’s identity is revealed, a media frenzy erupts. Why would they want to take innocent lives?

Alex Delaware is brought in to help the kids cope with the ordeal but is drawn into investigating the motives of the would-be assassin. Alex soon finds himself on a bloody and twisted trail into the world of political extremism from which there may be no way back.

Private Eyes

Alex Delaware regards Melissa Dickinson as one of his greatest achievements. A tormented seven-year-old when she first appeared in his LA surgery, two years on she was fully recovered.

Years later, Melissa contacts Alex, desperate for him to help her mother, Gina. Gina was a budding Hollywood starlet until a vicious acid attack left her disfigured. Crippled with fear, Gina has hidden from the world for two decades. But before Alex can help, she disappears. Now Alex is locked in a search leading him into a grotesque labyrinth of hidden histories and desires.

Devil’s Waltz

21-month-old Cassie Jones has spent most of her short life in and out of Paediatrics Hospital. Cassie is persistently, seriously ill and when no amount of testing can identify the cause, her doctor is lead to a disturbing diagnosis – Cassie’s mother could be making her daughter deliberately sick.

Alex Delaware is asked to make an independent assessment of the Jones family. But Alex’s attempts to find the answers and save a young girl’s life will reveal a terrifying circle of corruption, abuse and murderous hatred.

Bad Love

It starts with a tape delivered to Alex Delaware’s house – a recording of a soul-sickening scream followed by a twisted, childlike voice chanting ‘Bad love. Bad love. Don’t give me the bad love…’

Alex heard that phrase a decade ago, at a symposium for Dr Andres de Bosch and his work with troubled teens, why is he hearing it now? Then there are strange phone calls, a horrific act of vandalism and the discovery that other symposium delegates have been murdered. Unless Alex can make sense of the mind games being played he will be next…

Self-Defence

Someone traumatise Lucy Lowell after serving jury duty on the trial of a depraved killer. Horrific images haunt her waking life and at night she’s terrorised by the recurring nightmare of a small child watching a terrible scene unfold in a darken wood.

Lucy’s terrified that she’s losing her grip on reality. Her psychologist, Alex Delaware, thinks her dreams are repressed memories of something very real – a very real murder. Alex knows that delving into Lucy’s mind might awaken past terrors but nothing could have prepared him for the horrors about to be unleashed…

The Web

Dr William Moreland has spent much of his life attending to the physical and mental health of the inhabitants of Knife Island, a tiny Micronesian community. Feeling that his records should be analysed to ensure that the wealth of information contained within them should not be lost, he asks Alex Delaware for assistance.

The timing is perfect for Alex and his partner Robin. Desperate to escape the violence of Los Angeles and recuperate from a terrible ordeal, they seize the opportunity for a sabbatical.

The Clinic

For three months the police have found no clues to the murder of Hope Devane, psychology professor and controversial author of a pop-psych bestseller, an angry indictment of men. Now homicide detective Milo Sturgis, turns to his friend, Dr Alex Delaware, for help.

One by one, they unlock the very private compartments of her life: her marriage, her shadowy work for a Beverly Hills clinic, and her baffling link to another murder victim. But when Alex delves into her childhood he begins to understand the formidable woman she was – and the ties that entangled her life until the horrifying act of betrayal that ended it…

Survival of the Fittest

The mentally disabled daughter of a diplomat is killed in cold blood in a deserted corner of the Santa Monica mountains. Her father adamantly denies the possibility of a political motive, which leaves Milo Sturgis and his friend Alex Delaware to pose the question: why? The father is so intent on controlling the investigation that Alex and Milo start to wonder if he wants to find the truth – or keep it buried.

Within days, and after another killing, Alex finds himself ensnared in one of the darkest, most menacing cases of his career. Driven to find answers, Alex goes undercover, alone, to expose the smug brutality of a murderous conspiracy and a terrifying contempt for human life.

Monster

A corpse is found in a car trunk. The victim was a 25-year-old would-be actor called Richard Dada. He had been sawn in half. Eight months later, the body of Claire Argent, a psychologist at a hospital for the criminally insane, is discovered. She was mutilated in the same horrific way.

Detective Milo Sturgis is put on the case and, when the incoherent ramblings of a patient locked up in a mental hospital for the criminally insane begin to make terrifying sense, he calls on Alex Delaware to help him delve into the muddy waters of insanity.

Can Alex and Milo unravel this dark web of family secrets, vengeance and manipulation in time to stop further killing?

Doctor Death

People are voluntarily dying before their time in California. Some call it assisted suicide when cancer, heart disease or painful old age make the quality of life unbearable. Others say it is murder, that no-one has the right to help others take their own life.

As the debate rages over whether euthanasia should be legalised or not, the man at the centre of the row, nicknamed Doctor Death, continues his work. Alex Delaware joins in the argument, but when Detective Milo Sturgis comes to him with the suspicion that some of Doctor Death’s patients are not willing collaborators, Delaware finds himself on the frontline of the affair, and increasingly believes that euthanasia is not the prime motivation. So what is driving Doctor Death to kill so many?

Flesh and Blood

When Alex Delaware first saw Lauren Teague she was a sullen teenager with the usual problems: bad grades at school, moody, uncommunicative with her parents – which is why they thought she needed to see a psychologist.

Then years later, a shock: at a bachelor party for a fellow doctor, Delaware finds himself uncomfortably watching two strippers going through a degrading display – and one of them is Lauren Teague.

The Murder Book

Alex Delaware’s relationship with his long-term partner is on the rocks. He is floored when Robin announces she’s heading off on a three-month music tour.

But he soon has other things to think about. He is sent an envelope with no return address. Inside, he finds an album with gold letters on it – THE MURDER BOOK. It’s full of macabre pictures of murders, with brief descriptions of how, and why, the victims died. One picture – marked ‘Not solved’ – shows the horrifically mutilated body of a young woman.

A Cold Heart

Juliet Kipper, a gifted painter, is strangled in the LA gallery where her first solo show has opened to critical acclaim, and Milo Sturgis takes on the murder investigation as a favour to an old friend. He consults Alex Delaware, who, researching parallels with other deaths, looks for artists killed when on the verge of a breakthrough or comeback. And he finds two others.

The investigation points to a gruesome, sadistic pattern of death, taking Milo and Alex into the dark side of the art world, and Alex’s ex-lover Robin into terrible danger.

Therapy

Investigating the case of a lovers’ lane murder of a pair of college students, Milo Sturgis enlists the help of Alex Delaware. As the two peel back layer upon layer of deception, they encounter shocking truths that extend way beyond the slaughter of two young lovers.

Something other than therapy has been taking place within the plush, soundproof chambers of the young man’s therapist…

Rage

Eight years ago, Alex Delaware evaluated two teenage boys charged with the shocking murder of young Kristal Malley. Now one of the killers is out of prison – and wants to meet up with Alex.

But by the time the pair do come face to face again, one of them is dead. Was Rand Duchay just another victim of an LA street crime? Or is something more sinister going on here? Alex and Milo Sturgis mean to find out. To do so, they will follow a trail of blood that will lead them to the depths of cruelty – and straight to the heart of murderous betrayal.

Gone

Los Angeles is full of actors. For Alex Delaware, finding out what’s real and what’s not is about to become a matter of life and horrific death.

Called in to evaluate an aspiring actress accused – along with her boyfriend – of staging her own abduction, Alex is indifferent when the case seems to go nowhere. But then the girl is savagely murdered, and suddenly a straightforward script takes a decidedly unexpected turn. Dylan Meserve, the victim’s boyfriend, has also disappeared …

Is Dylan a deranged killer, or another victim? Alex and Milo Sturges begin auditioning suspects and trawling the depths of LA’s seedy underbelly. Then more dead wannabes start turning up…

Obsession

Just before she died, Patty Bigelow confessed to having killed a man. Now her niece Tanya is obsessed with finding out the truth about her aunt’s crime – and she needs Alex Delaware’s help…

Compulsion

A young woman who disappeared into the inky black night… A retired schoolteacher stabbed to death in broad daylight…Two women butchered in a small-town beauty parlor…

Three baffling murder cases, linked only by a perplexing lack of motive. Until Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware are called to the scene of a bizarre ‘crime’. A stolen car has been anonymously returned to its owner, undamaged and unblemished – except for a tiny, solitary bloodstain. This miniscule clue is enough to set the pair on a hunt for a multiple killer, from the well-heeled centre of LA society to its desperate edges, even as far as New York where their search thaws out a long-cold case.

Bones

A woman’s body is found in marshland outside LA. By the next morning the police have discovered the decaying corpses of three more women. They were all prostitutes except for the most recent victim; a classically trained pianist employed by a wealthy family, Selena Bass seems out of place in the grim tableau.

Alex Delaware is drafted in by Milo Sturgis to help with the case. Details of the crimes suggest a serial killer is prowling LA’s gritty streets. But when a new murder deviates from the pattern, derailing a possible profile, Alex and Milo must look beyond the suspicion of madness… and consider an even more sinister mind at work. There are no easy answers, for the darkest of drives and desires will fuel the most devious of foes.

Evidence

Early one morning a foreman shows up at the building site of a mega-mansion. Proceeding up unfinished plank steps, he arrives at the master bedroom. There, lying on a blanket, are a man and a woman, stabbed and bludgeoned to death.

Who are the lovers? Why have they chosen a construction site for their late-night tryst. Is the double murder simply a horrific example of wrong-place, wrong-time? Or were the victims stalked? And will the outrage be repeated?

Alex and Milo are called in but, as they struggle to make their way through the alternative universe that is the domain of the impossibly rich, they discover a scheme rooted in deception and evil beyond even their imaginations…

Deception

On a DVD found near her lifeless body, Elise Freeman chronicles a year-and-a-half-long ordeal of monstrous abuse at the hands of three sadistic tormentors. But even more shocking than the lurid details is the revelation that the offenders, like their victim, are teachers at a prestigious LA prep school.

If ever Milo Sturgis could use Alex Delaware’s psychological prowess, it’s now. From the start, this case promises to be an uphill climb for truth and a down-and-dirty fight for justice. Alex and Milo must penetrate the citadel of wealth and scholarship to expose the dirty secrets and deadly sins festering amongst LA’s elite. But power and position are not easily surrendered, and Alex and Milo may well be walking into a highly polished death trap…

Mystery

In a glamorous area of Los Angeles, the Beverley Fauborg hotel is about to close for good. Psychologist Alex Delaware and his girlfriend Robin are making a farewell visit to the hotel bar when one patron in particular grabs their attention – a beautiful but aloof young woman dressed all in white.

Two days later, Alex is called in on a murder case and is shocked when he recognises the victim as the woman in white. Discovering her true identity is not going to be easy though, and Milo’s investigation into the girl nicknamed ‘Mystery’ leads him to the darkest of secrets in the highest of places.

Victims

Not since Jack the Ripper has there been such a gruesome crime scene. One look at the victim’s apartment turned charnel house is enough for Milo Sturgis to summon his friend Alex Delaware for insights into the mind behind such carnage. But even Alex’s skills may be stymied when more slayings occur in the same ghastly fashion… with no apparent connection between them.

The only clue left behind – a blank page bearing a question mark – seems to be both a menacing taunt and a cry for help from a killer baffled by his own lethal urges. This one will haunt Alex’s waking life, and his darkest dreams, long after its end…

Guilt

When a young couple takes possession of their dream home, they can’t wait to remodel the neglected mansion. That is until they make a gruesome discovery of a rusted metal strongbox containing two rotting leather doctor’s bags. And inside each bag, swaddled in sheets of sixty-year-old newspaper, lies a tiny human skeleton.

The case hits the media, and theories abound. The most likely culprit is a mysterious woman, employed as private nurse to wealthy LA families during World War Two. Milo Sturgis consults Alex Delaware for insight into the perpetrator’s motives but the horror is just beginning…

Killer

Well used to elevated emotions, Alex Delaware shrugs off a joking death threat from beautiful Beverly Hills physician Constance Sykes, whose attempt to secure legal custody of her baby niece is thwarted by Alex’s forthright report to the court. Alex plays down the threat until LAPD’s Milo Sturgis rushes to his side with the shocking word on the street that a hit’s been taken out on him.

But while Alex may be in grave danger, it won’t be from the Beverley Hills doctor, for Connie is soon discovered brutally slain. When her sister Cherie and the baby disappear, apparently on the run, Alex’s search for answers leads him to aged rockers, charming homeboys and even Machiavellian judges.

Motive

Even hundreds of closed cases to his credit can’t keep Milo Sturgis from agonizing over the crimes that don’t get solved – and the victims who go without justice. Victims like Katherine Hennepin, a young woman strangled and stabbed in her home. A single suspect with a solid alibi leads to a dead-end – one even Alex Delaware’s expert insight can’t explain. The only thing to do is move on to the next murder case – because there is always a next one.

This time the victim is Ursula Corey, a successful, attractive divorcee who’s been gunned down – not a robbery but an execution, a crime that smacks of simple, savage revenge. And along with that theoretical motive come two strong contenders for the role of suspect: the dead woman’s business partner/ex-husband and her divorce lawyer/secret lover. But just as Alex and Milo think they’re zeroing in on the killer, a bizarre new clue stirs up echoes of the unsolved Hennepin murder.

Breakdown

Alex first meets beautiful and emotionally fragile actress Zelda Chase when called upon to evaluate her young son. Years later, Alex is unexpectedly reunited with Zelda when she is committed after a bizarre psychotic episode. But tragedy strikes and after her release, Zelda is discovered dead in the grounds of a palatial LA Estate, and her son missing. Having experienced more than enough of the city’s dark side to recognize the scent of evil, Alex turns to his friend, Milo Sturgis, for help in finding the perpetrator.

And when other victims vanish from the same upscale neighbourhood, worry turns to terror. As Alex and Milo unveil each devastating revelation and damning clue, Alex’s brilliant mind is challenged as never before – and his determination grows to see a killer caged and the truth set free.

Heartbreak Hotel

At nearly one hundred years old, Thalia Mars is a far cry from the patients Alex Delaware normally treats. But the charming, witty woman convinces Alex to meet with her in a suite at The Aventura – a luxury hotel with a checkered history.

What Thalia wants from Alex are answers to unsettling questions – about guilt, patterns of criminal behaviour, victim selection. When Alex asks the reason for her morbid fascination, Thalia promises to tell all during their next session. But when he returns the following morning, his question goes unanswered, and new ones arise…

In their most puzzling investigation to date, Alex and detective Milo Sturgis must peel back the layers of a fascinating but elusive woman’s life. For Thalia Mars is a victim like no other, an enigma who harbored nearly a century of secrets and whose life and death draw those around her into a vortex of violence.

Night Moves

Milo Sturgis knows there are crimes he cannot solve alone. And in this case, where the scene of the murder is as baffling as it is brutal, the insight of the good doctor Alex Delaware is crucial. There’s no spilled blood and no evidence of a struggle. And without hands and a face, the body can’t be identified immediately. Alex and Milo must find out how and why this disfigured corpse has appeared in Chet Corvin’s upscale home when the family are certain they don’t know the victim. But for some unknown reason, their cooperation remains guarded.

Though the grass may be greener on these privileged streets, Alex and Milo both know there’s enough dirt below the surface to bury a multitude of sins… even the deadliest of all.

The Wedding Guest

When a horrified bridesmaid finds the body of a young woman at a wedding reception, it makes the bride and groom’s choice of a Saints and Sinners theme all the more macabre. There are no means of identification and nobody knows the victim.

The bride is convinced someone is trying to sabotage her big day. The groom is sure it’s a dreadful mistake. It’s up to Alex and Milo Sturgis to uncover the truth. They have a hundred guests to question, and a strong suspicion that the motive for murder is personal…

The Museum of Desire

A mansion in Beverly Hills is leased out to host an event wild enough to herald the end of days.

The next day there isn’t a living soul to be seen. In the driveway sits a super-stretch limo, unlocked, with four bodies inside it. Nothing links the victims together. Each has been killed in a different way.

Now it’s up to Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis to begin their grisliest and most baffling case yet. As they struggle to make sense of the mass slaying, they will be forced to confront a level of evil that nothing can prepare them for.

Serpentine

Twenty-five years ago Ellie’s mother was found with a bullet in her head in a torched Cadillac that has overturned on infamously treacherous Mulholland Drive. No physical evidence, no witnesses, no apparent motive. And a slew of detectives have already worked the job and failed.

This is a case that calls for the insight of brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware. And as he and Sturgis begin digging, the mist begins to lift. There are too many coincidences. Facts turn out to be anything but. And as they soon discover, very real threats are lurking in the present…

City of the Dead

At 5 am in the upscale neighborhood of Westwood Village, two removal men are making a routine pick-up when they make a fatal hit. It’s a man – who appeared from nowhere – naked and with no means of identification.

Not long after, a woman is found dead in a house nearby, which neighbors suspect to be a brothel. Could the man have come from there?

When LAPD homicide lieutenant Milo Sturgis calls brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware to the scene, the case gets even more complicated. Delaware has met the woman before. She’s a psychologist too.


Should we Read the Alex Delaware Series 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 stories 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 series.

Spread the love

One Response to “Jonathan Kellerman Alex Delaware Books In Order”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. ELMARIE DE LANGE says:

    I CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF Jonathan Kellerman’s BOOKS

Leave A Comment...

*