Reading the James Patterson books in order means delighting in his popular Alex Cross mystery series. Of course, the author has written several other series including his Women’s Murder Club and the Michael Bennett series, but nothing comes close to Alex Cross by far.
James Patterson was born and grew up in 1947 in Newburgh, New York. After attending the Manhattan College, he graduated in 1969 with a BA in English, after which he went to the Vanderbilt University where he got an MA in English, he earned both degrees summa cum laude.
While in the process of earning his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt, he shifted gears after a year instead and went to work in the advertising business. He became a junior copywriter for J. Walter Thompson, the well-known advertising agency, where he eventually became the CEO of the North American company.
In 1976, while still working at J.W.T, he got his first novel with the title The Thomas Berryman Number published by Little, Brown and Company, a book which won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel after being turned down by no less than 31 publishers. Here’s to perseverance!
His first Alex Cross novel, Along Came A Spider was published some 20 years later in 1993. From the time he published his first book, James Patterson has written around 150 novels, out of which some 115 books became New York Times bestselling novels.
Over the years his books have received numerous well-deserved awards, including the Edgar Award, the BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year Award, Children’s Choice Book Award for Author of the Year and the International Thriller of the Year award.
Several of his books have been close collaborations with other authors, such as Maxine Paetro, Peter De Jonge, Mark Sullivan, Andrew Gross, Michael Ledwidge and Ashwin Sanghi.
Along Came A Spider has been turned into a movie in 2001 featuring Morgan Freeman, while in 2012 and Tyler Perry got to play the role of Alex Cross instead. While I enjoyed both movies, I am a bit biased towards the first one since Morgan Freeman is one of my most favorite actors ever.
With close to 100 books written today, he is an author that has something for everybody, be it a child, young adult or mature person. His books range from thrillers, crime mystery, paranormal, sci-fi, romances to picture books for kids, so often times to read the James Patterson books in order you need a proper listing for all his series.
Along Came A Spider is the first book I’ve read by James Patterson and I remember I was instantly hooked. Since then I’ve caught up to everything he has written in the crime mystery genre, and he has become in the meantime one of my favorite authors ever, along with names like Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, James Rollins, Kathy Reichs, Harlan Coben, John Sandford and David Baldacci, among others.
If you are a crime mystery book lover, I strongly recommend (if you haven’t already done so) the following series: Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, Michael Bennett and Private, NYPD Red and even Maximum Ride, which is a dystopian, sci-fi young adult thriller series. His latest series is evolving around Luc Moncrief, a French detective who joined NYPD. These are series that will keep you reading for ages.
So what is the new James Patterson book? There are several, actually. He is in the process of writing a new thriller with the title The President is Missing, a book which will be co-authored with ex-president Bill Clinton.The book will be published in June 2018, and Showtime has already bought its TV rights. The date for the TV series is yet unknown. The story is about a sitting US president who goes missing, and it will have great details about the presidency, which comes from Bill Clinton’s personal knowledge of the White House.
He is also working together with managers of Albert Einstein’s archives to create a new a series for kids inspired by the major discoveries by Albert Einstein.
In addition, the author James Patterson is regularly giving grants to independent booksellers across the US. At the end of 2017, he donated $350,000 in grants to over 300 booksellers, which is $100,000 more than the years before.
All this is part of the author’s Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program run through a partnership with the American Booksellers Association. The author is personally choosing the winners from independent bookstores all over America.
Here are all the James Patterson books in order for all his crime/mystery/thriller series, listed in chronological and reading order, with the year added for each book.
Also, beginning January 2018, Patterson started a new non-fiction series in collaboration with ID (Discovery), for which he wrote a book titled Home Sweet Murder.
Alex Cross Series In Order Of Publication
The Alex Cross series is so popular that I have dedicated a separate page only for this particular series, not only listing the books in order, but also discussing a bit about the books. Currently, there are 22 books in the series, with the latest coming out in November.
To not clutter the list on both pages, since the Alex Cross list of books is pretty long, I have added a separate page for it.
Women’s Murder Club Series
Co-authored with Maxine Paetro
- 1st to Die (Women’s Murder Club #1), 2000
- 2nd Chance (Women’s Murder Club #2), 2002
- 3rd Degree (Women’s Murder Club #3), 2004
- 4th of July (Women’s Murder Club #4), 2005
- The 5th Horseman (Women’s Murder Club #5), 2006
- The 6th Target (Women’s Murder Club #6), 2007
- 7th Heaven (Women’s Murder Club #7), 2008
- The 8th Confession (Women’s Murder Club #8), 2009
- The 9th Judgement (Women’s Murder Club #9), 2009
- 10th Anniversary (Women’s Murder Club #10), 2011
- 11th Hour (Women’s Murder Club #11), 2012
- 12th of Never (Women’s Murder Club #12), 2013
- Unlucky 13 (Women’s Murder Club #13), 2014
- 14th Deadly Sin (Women’s Murder Club #14), 2015
- 15th Affair (Women’s Murder Club #15) 2016
- The Trial (Women’s Murder Club #15.5) 2016
- 16th Seduction (Women’s Murder Club #16) 2017
- 17th Suspect (Women’s Murder Club #17), 18
Michael Bennett Series
Co-authored with Michael Ledwidge
- Step on a Crack (Michael Bennett #1), 2007
- Run For Your Life (Michael Bennett #2), 2009
- Worst Case (Michael Bennett #3), 2009
- Tick Tock (Michael Bennett #4), 2010
- I, Michael Bennett (Michael Bennett #5), 2012
- Gone (Michael Bennett #6), 2013
- Burn (Michael Bennett #7), 2014
- Alert (Michael Bennett #8), 2015
- Bullseye (Michael Bennett #9), 2016
- Haunted (Michael Bennett #10), 2017
- Manhunt (Michael Bennett #10.5), 2017
Co-authored with Michael White
- Private (Private #1), 2010
- Private London (Private #2), 2011
- Private Games (Private #3), 2012
- Private: No. 1 Suspect (Private #4), 2012
- Private Berlin (Private #5), 2012
- Private Down Under (Private #6), 2012
- Private L.A (Private #7), 2014
- Private India (Private #8), 2014
- Private Vegas (Private #9), 2015
- Private Sydney (Private #10), 2015
- Private Paris (Private #11), 2016
- The Games (Private #12), 2016 (also called Private Rio)
- Private Royals (Private #12.5), 2016
- Private Delhi (Private #13), 2017
- Private Gold (Private #13.5), 2017
- Count to Ten (Private #14), 2017
NYPD RED Series
Co-authored with Marshall Karp
- NYPD Red (NYPD RED #1), 2012
- NYPD Red 2 (NYPD RED #2), 2014
- NYPD Red 3 (NYPD RED #3), 2015
- NYPD Red 4 (NYPD RED #4), 2016
- NYPD Red 5 (NYPD RED #5), 2018
Detective Luc Moncrief Series
- The French Kiss (Luc Moncrief #1), 2016
- The Christmas Mystery (Luc Moncrief #2), 2016
- French Twist (Luc Moncrief #3), 2017
Detective Harriet Blue Series
- Black & Blue (Harriet Blue #0.5), 2016
- Never Never (Harriet Blue #1), 2016
- Fifty Fifty (Harriet Blue #2), 2018
Murder is Forever Non-Fiction Series
- Murder, Interrupted (Murder is Forever #1), 2018
- Home Sweet Murder (Murder is Forever #2), 2018
- Murder Beyond Grave (Murder is Forever #3), 2018
Standalone James Patterson Books
- The Thomas Berryman Number, 1976 (his first published novel)
- Season of the Machete, 1977
- See How They Run, 1979
- Cradle and All, 1980
- Black Friday, 1986 (first published as Black Market)
- The Midnight Club, 1988
- Hide & Seek, 1995
- Miracle on the 17th Green, 1996 (co-authored with Peter de Jonge)
- When the Wind Blows, 1998
- The Beach House, 2002 (co-authored with Peter de Jonge)
- The Jester, 2003 (co-authored with Andrew Gross)
- The Lake House, 2003
- Honeymoon, 2005 (co-authored with Howard Roughan)
- Lifeguard, 2005 (co-authored with Andrew Gross)
- Beach Road, 2006 (co-authored with Peter de Jonge)
- Judge & Jury, 2006 (co-authored with Andrew Gross)
- The Quickie, 2007 (co-authored with Michael Ledwidge)
- You’ve Been Warned, 2007 (co-authored with Howard Roughan)
- Sail, 2008 (co-authored with Howard Roughan)
- Swimsuit, 2009 (co-authored with Maxine Paetro)
- The Postcard Killers, 2010 (co-authored with Liza Marklund)
- Don’t Blink, 2010 (co-authored with Howard Roughan)
- Toys, 2011 (co-authored with Neil McMahon)
- Now You See Her, 2011 (co-authored with Michael Ledwidge)
- Kill Me If You Can, 2011 (co-authored with Marshall Karp)
- Guilty Wives, 2012 (co-authored with David Ellis)
- Zoo, 2012 (co-authored with Michael Ledwidge)
- Second Honeymoon, 2013 (co-authored with Howard Roughan)
- Mistress, 2013 (co-authored with David Ellis)
- Invisible, 2014 (co-authored with David Ellis)
- Miracle at Augusta, 2015 (co-authored with Peter de Jonge)
- Truth or Die, 2015 (co-authored with Howard Roughan
- The Murder House, 2015 (co-authored with David Ellis)
- Woman Of God, 2016 (co-authored with Maxine Paetro)
- Murder Games, 2017 (co-authored with Howard Roughan)
- The Black Book, 2017 (co-authored with David Ellis)