Alex Kava Books In Order – Maggie O’Dell / Ryder Creed

Last Updated on April 18, 2024

Alex Kava is an American New York Times bestselling author known for her Maggie O’Dell mystery series, which I have read and really enjoyed. Her first novel, A Perfect Evil was also my first encounter with her writing. I got hooked, seeking out the rest of the books as soon as they were published.

Here are the Alex Kava books in order of reading for her Maggie O’Dell series, Ryder Creed series, standalone novels, short stories, collections, and novellas.

Latest Alex Kava Books

Midnight Creed
Midnight Creed, (Ryder Creed #8), 2023

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Maggie O’Dell Books in Order of Publication

  1. A Perfect Evil (#1), 2000
  2. Split Second ( #2), 2001
  3. The Soul Catcher (#3), 2002
  4. Good Night, Sweet Mother (#3.1), 2003
  5. At the Stroke of Madness (#4), 2003
  6. A Necessary Evil (#5), 2006
  7. Exposed (#6), 2008
  8. Black Friday (#7), 2009
  9. A Breath of Hot Air (#7.5), 2010 (with Patricia Bremmer)
  10. Damaged (#8), 2010
  11. Hotwire (#9), 2011
  12. Slices of Night (#9.5), 2011 (with J.T. Ellison and Erica Spindler)
  13. Fireproof (#10), 2012
  14. Stranded (#11), 2013
  15. Before Evil (#0.5), 2015

Maggie O’Dell Books in Chronological Order

  1. Before Evil (#0.5), 2015
  2. A Perfect Evil (#1), 2000
  3. Split Second (#2), 2001
  4. The Soul Catcher (#3), 2002
  5. At the Stroke of Madness (#4), 2003
  6. A Necessary Evil (#5), 2006
  7. Exposed (#6), 2008
  8. Black Friday (#7), 2009
  9. Damaged (#8), 2010
  10. Hotwire (#9), 2011
  11. Fireproof (#10), 2012
  12. Stranded (#11), 2013
  13. Good Night, Sweet Mother (#3.1), 2003

FBI Agent Maggie O’Dell Collections – Short Stories

  • Off the Grid, 2016 – it includes short stories and a novella featuring Maggie O’Dell

Ryder Creed Books in Order of Publication

The publication order is the same as the chronological order for this series

  1. Breaking Creed (#1), 2015
  2. Silent Creed (#2), 2015
  3. Reckless Creed (#3), 2016
  4. Lost Creed (#4), 2018
  5. Desperate Creed (#5), 2019
  6. Hidden Creed (#6), 2020
  7. Fallen Creed (#7), 2022
  8. Midnight Creed (#8), 2023

Standalone Novels in Order of Publication

Anthologies in Order of Publication

Short Stories in Publication Order with Erica Spindler, J.T. Ellison

J.T. Ellison is the author of the popular Taylor Jackson books

Erika Spindler is the author of the Stacy Killian books

  • Slices of Night, 2011 (Erica Spindler, J.T. Ellison)
  • Chimera, 2012 (J.T. Ellison)
  • Gray Lady Lady Gray, 2012 (J.T. Ellison)
  • Killing Carol Ann, 2012 (J.T. Ellison)
  • Prodigal Me, 2012 (J.T. Ellison)
  • Where’d You Get That Red Dress?, 2012 (J.T. Ellison)
  • The Number of Man, 2012 (J.T. Ellison)
  • The Omen Days, 2015 (J.T. Ellison)
  • The Endarkening, 2017 (J.T. Ellison)

Stacy Killian Books in Publication Order with Erica Spindler, J.T. Ellison

  • See Jane Die, 2004 (Erica Spindler)
  • Killer Takes All, 2005 (Erica Spindler)
  • Last Known Victim, 2007 (Erica Spindler)
  • Slices of Night, 2011 (Erica Spindler, J.T. Ellison)
  • Watch Me Die, 2011 (Erica Spindler)

About the Ryder Creek Series

The Ryder Creed set of books is a spin-off series from the main Alex Kava series, Maggie O’Dell, which features the famous profiler. Maggie O’Dell also appears in the series as a supporting character.

The first novel was released in 2014 with the title Breaking Creed, introducing to us Ryder Creed, an ex-marine who is focusing his time now on training rescue dogs. His company is called K9 Crimescents, which is quite fitting.

Ryder Creed has been quite popular recently due to his dogs that found a lot of drugs that were being smuggled at the Atlanta airport. Now Creed and his team is called to search aboard a commercial fishing vessel, where they found a secret compartment full of smuggled people.

While doing so, Ryder helped a teenage girl escape due to some old trauma at home (his little sister went missing many years ago).

In the meantime, Maggie O’Dell is the profiler assigned to a where she finds Ryder Creed’s name on a hitlist. While gangsters are going to his home to destroy him and everything he holds dear, Creed is not a simple backboard either. He is waiting for the Cartel hitmen with his own surprises.

This novel brought the main character to people’s eyes, and Creed became a huge success from this very story. As a person, he is a likable guy, but he has his own shadows from his time spent in Afghanistan. Spending time with his dogs and training them is a healing time and measure for him, helping him wake up from the past nightmares.

In Silent Creed, published in 2015, our main character and one of his dogs is called to a mudslide in North Carolina. While sifting through the debris to find any lost humans, a second mudslide occurs, and Ryder is buried alive. His dog, Bolo, escapes, and he finally leads the rescue team to the place where Ryder is located, aiding the team in fishing Creed out from the debris.

Reckless Creed is the third novel in the Ryder Creed series, published in 2016. Here Maggie O’Dell and Creed are working together to fit the pieces of several separate cases involving a dead missing woman, dead geese on a lake, as well as a young guy jumping to his death from his thirtieth floor hotel room in Chicago. What connects all these seemingly separate cases? It is up to the main characters, as well as Grace, another search and rescue dog to put the pieces together.

The fourth novel in the Ryder Creed series is Lost Creed, published in 2018. It goes back to the main character’s trauma about his missing sister (a past even that had been mentioned in the first book, Breaking Creed). Back then Ryder was 14 and his sister, Brodie, only 11. FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell appears once again with some clues about Ryder’s missing sister, which leads Ryder to finally be able to go after the possibly devastating truth.

Desperate Creed (published in 2019) finds our MC (main character) and his team after a tornado in order to find any survivors. However, as the storm picks up, it seems they are now fighting to save themselves as well. Not only that, but there is also a killer on the loose who is after Francine “Frankie” Russo who witnessed the murder of someone nearby. Can everyone escape from the tornado while also escaping and even catching the ruthless killer who wants to silence Frankie once and for all?

Hidden Creed is the author’s sixth novel, published in 2020. Grace, one of the rescue K9 dogs finds a shallow grave in an isolated part of Florida’s Blackwater River State Forest. But this body should have been stayed buried forever. As Creed and his dogs are searching for more human remains and clues to finding the killer, the killer is hell-bent on keeping his secret hidden forever. And he seems to know the forest way better than everyone else.

Fallen Creed, released in 2022, is the seventh novel in the Ryder Creed series. Ryder and Maggie are working again together, along with also Special Investigator, Tommy Pakula, who helped find Brodie, Ryder’s sister, before. When a rural postman finds black, plastic bag ditched at the side of the road, they can’t but try to connect this case to another of a missing woman who had disappeared just the same morning. While in Hidden Creed the main force was the forest and in Desperate Creed it was the tornado, now the K9 team has to fight the harsh winter with a heavy snowstorm that impedes Grace’s work since the dog had never worked in snow and cold before, and also makes it way more difficult to find the tail of a ruthless killer who doesn’t want to be found.

Alex Kava Biography – About the Author

Alex Kava books in order

New York Times bestselling author Alex Kava was born in 1960 in Silver Creek, Nebraska. She wanted to write books from a young age, however, her parents, while valuing education, classified reading books that were not part of study rather frivolous.

Reading for fun was not encouraged in the family. So Alex (born Sharon M. Kava) wrote her stories on the backs of calendars and only shared them with her brother.

So her parents would not see her writings, she hid everything she wrote during her young years in a shoe box under her bed.

Alex Kava went on a scholarship to the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska, from where in 1982 she graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in art and English.

After leaving college she got several jobs, some of them in the fields of marketing and advertising. Eventually, she started her own graphic design firm called Square One where she created logos, food packages, brochures, and newsletters for major corporations.

In 1992, Alex Kava started to work as director of public relations of her attending college, where she remained until 1996, which is when she switched to writing books.

The author published her debut novel in 2000, titled A Perfect Evil, which would become the first in the Maggie O’Dell series.

Initially, the author chose the pseudonym Alex to disguise her gender, however, while she keeps writing under the name Alex Kava, she now no longer hides who she is.

The author Alex Kava is a member of the  International Thriller Writers as well as the Nebraska Writers Guild and her books have been so far sold all over the world in over 4 million copies.

Her popular crime mystery series focuses on Maggie, an FBI profiler in Nebraska, who is called in to profile sadistic serial killers and hardened criminals all over the country, and does much more than simply profiling.

In the first book, A Perfect Evil, first introduces us to Maggie. When a small town gets a serial killer who is targeting kids, the local sheriff, Nick Morelli, knows he’s way out of his league, so he calls in the big guns.

Maggie is an FBI expert profiler who is sent to check out the situation. While the two are trying to solve the case, they also get strongly attracted to each other. Except, Maggie is married.

I love this series. I’ve read pretty much all the books. I love books with twisted, sadistic and ruthless serial killers and reading about those who catch them. If you enjoy reading gory and chilling novels, this series by Alex Kava totally fits the bill. It’s definitely not a cozy, and you’d better have a fondness for uber- suspenseful books, in which case the Maggie O’Dell series will become a dear favorite.

My only gripe with this Alex Kava series? I wish the romance between Maggie and Nick Morelli (what a great name!) were going in the direction I wanted it to. But one can only hope…(and no, this is not a romantic suspense series, the romance aspect is almost non-existent).

The author’s newer series, Ryder Creed, features Ryder, an ex-marine who is now working as a K9 search-and-rescue dog trainer who, every now and then, teams up with Maggie to solve cases.

Ryder was first introduced to us in Stranded, the last Maggie O’Dell book. He suffers from PTDS from his tour in Afghanistan and is now trying to put his life back together. Hannah, his good friend, and Grace, the abandoned dog that Ryder Creed finds and starts working with, are there to help him go through the tough times.

In Breaking Creed, the first book in the series, Ryder gets involved in a case of human trafficking which put a target on his back. The Cartel has a list with his name on it and he might be just their next kill. Currently, the latest Ryder Creed book is Lost Creed, published in 2018.

The author Alex Kava loves dogs, she had and has dogs, so it felt easy for her to introduce a new series that features dogs as main characters. Also, she even gave Maggie a dog in one of the books.

The Alex Kava books have sold over 6 million copies worldwide, and they have been so far translated into several languages, and have been published in over 30 countries. She has been made a bestselling author not only in the US but also in Poland, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy.

Alex Kava Awards and Memberships

  • Mari Sandoz Award
  • 2016 Florida Book Award
  • 2016 Nebraska Book Award

Alex Kava is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Nebraska Writers Guild.


  1. During this pandemic, our library would pull books for us, if we asked for them on line..I found the Kava series and have been working my way through. My brother and his wife and I trade them off..My usual way to get books at the library is to wander through the stacks..can’t do that on line….so finding this series has been a wonderful way to stay home and be safe.

  2. In Breaking Creed maggie makes a comment regarding a rescue of senator ellie romas ex husband and kids. What book is this story?

  3. Will there be more Maggie O’Dell books? I also enjoy the Creed books and the interaction between Maggie and Ryder. I am reading the series for probably the third time

  4. I love the Maggie Odell series and am always on the lookout for a good mystery writer

  5. I too have read all the O’Dell books in order, and I find this is true for all series of books, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Patricia Cornwell, and Lindsay to mention just a few read in order they become a TV series but much more in depth, my only concern is if it when the author will get tired of a character will I turn into someone depicted in Misery also an excellent book actually 2 tales in the one book.

    Karen Rees

  6. I have read every book in order and cannot wait for the next one to come out.I just love Maggie O Dell and although I am not an avid reader of books this series is by far the best stories I have ever read.

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