List of James Patterson Books In Order

Last Updated on August 11, 2022 Reading the James Patterson books in order means delighting in his popular detective 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. This might change with a newer James Patterson series, Ali Cross, featuring the adventures of Alex’s son, Ali.

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.

New James Patterson Books


Shattered (Michael Bennett #14), 2022


Escape (Billy Harley #3), 2022








Alex Cross Miscellaneous Books In Order Of Publication – About the Alex Cross Series

The Alex Cross books are among the most popular mystery series written to date, many of which have been made into acclaimed movies, including Kiss The Girls with Morgan Freeman (playing Alex Cross) and Ashley Judd. Currently, there are 28 main books in the series, with the latest one, The People vs. Alex Cross, published in 2017.

I’ve read every single Alex Cross novel, which I always looked forward to getting after reading the first book in the Alex Cross series, Along Came A Spider, first published back in 1992. I remember loving everything about the first book: the writing style, the main character, the action, the hidden clues, pretty much everything.

Alex Cross, better-called dr. Alex Cross is a forensic psychology specialist and a psychologist who started out working as a detective at the Washington DC police department, eventually transitioning after to the FBI as a senior agent.

Initially, he was working as a psychologist, but after his wife got murdered, his life changed full direction with him focusing, from then on, on tracking killers and bringing them to justice.

I remember reading the first few books and loving the titles, which were used from lines from popular kids nursery rhymes. At some point, however, he started giving this book titles names based on the main character of the series, Alex Cross. After Mary, Mary, the next book, Cross, is the first that adopts the new title style. From then on every single new novel has his name somewhere within the title.

What really drew me in from the very first book are the writing style and the short chapters which can satisfy even those with the shortest attention span ever. By the time you start reading, the chapter is already over. And even more so, none of the chapters are boring. You find yourself flipping the pages and zipping through the story just to see what comes next.

The Alex Cross books are really some of my most favorite mystery novels ever. Each book follows Alex Cross battling with an evil psychopath and serial killer, and throughout you’ll find yourself at the edge of your seat more times than you can count, at least that’s how I felt reading all his books. Some people say that at some point his novels got repetitive, but personally, I did feel a uniqueness in each book.

Sure, the main plot is about the same: Killer does his abducting and killing deeds, Alex Cross gets on the job of tracking down said serial killer, Alex Cross and killer finally meet and eventually one party (you can guess which) wins, often with serious battle scars.

In one of the latest Alex Cross story, The People vs. Alex Cross, we’ll find the table turned on Alex. He is on trial for killing two people and severely injuring a third one. Despite him claiming that he’s innocent, that he was framed, and that the people had guns pointing at him, the prosecution wants to make an example of him and put him away for good.

Of course, you’ll need to read the new Alex Cross book to see if and how get can regain his freedom and his good name, but knowing how most Alex Cross novels end, you should have no troubles figuring out the end. However, as many people say, the journey is more interesting than the destination.

Here is the chronological order of the James Patterson Alex Cross books with the publication date of each book at the end of the book just after the series reading order.

Alex Cross Books in Order of Reading and Publication

  1. Along Came A Spider (Alex Cross #1), 1992
  2. Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross #2), 1995
  3. Jack & Jill (Alex Cross #3), 1996
  4. Cat and Mouse (Alex Cross #4), 1997
  5. Pop Goes the Weasel (Alex Cross #5), 1999
  6. Roses are Red (Alex Cross #6), 2000
  7. Violets are Blue (Alex Cross #7), 2001
  8. Four Blind Mice (Alex Cross #8), 2002
  9. The Big Bad Wolf (Alex Cross #9), 2003
  10. London Bridges (Alex Cross #10), 2004
  11. Mary, Mary (Alex Cross #11), 2005
  12. Cross (Alex Cross #12), 2006
  13. Double Cross (Alex Cross #13), 2007
  14. Cross Country (Alex Cross #14), 2008
  15. Alex Cross’s Trial (Alex Cross #15), 2009
  16. I, Alex Cross (Alex Cross #16), 2009
  17. Cross Fire (Alex Cross #17), 2009
  18. Kill Alex Cross (Alex Cross #18), 2011
  19. Merry Christmas, Alex Cross (Alex Cross #19), 2012
  20. Alex Cross, Run (Alex Cross #20), 2011
  21. Cross My Heart (Alex Cross #21), 2013
  22. Hope to Die (Alex Cross #22), 2014
  23. Cross Justice (Alex Cross #23), 2015
  24. Cross Kill (Alex Cross #23.5), 2016
  25. Cross the Line (Alex Cross #24), 2016
  26. Detective Cross (Alex Cross #24.5), 2017
  27. The People vs. Alex Cross (Alex Cross #25), 2017
  28. Target: Alex Cross (Alex Cross #26), 2018
  29. Criss Cross (Alex Cross #27), 2019
  30. Deadly Cross (Alex Cross #28), 2020
  31. Fear No Evil (Alex Cross #29), 2021
  32. Tripple Cross (Alex Cross #30), 2022

Should we read the James Patterson Alex Cross books in order?

This is one mystery series that I can say, without even thinking about it, that yes, you should read them in order, despite the fact that pretty much all novels start and end with a separate story from other books in the series.

One reason for it is that you’ll get to know Alex Cross in a much deeper way than otherwise. You’ll learn about his transitioning careers over the years, and you’ll learn his quirks and way of thinking that is so popular among so many mystery readers.

There are many different events that occur in his personal life, and reading the books out of order might prove to be confusing at times. Most books reference previous novels and without having read those earlier stories first, it might feel a bit strange, as when peeking in through the curtains to a house that you don’t belong to.

You’ll see the main characters develop over time in front of your eyes, and honestly, whenever you talk to a James Patterson fan who loves the Alex Cross series, you’ll notice that they’re (including me) almost OCD at times about reading the series in order. So do yourself a favor and start the Alex Cross series in order, from the very first book. You will not be disappointed.

Ali Cross Series

featuring Ali, the son of Alex Cross

  1. Ali Cross (Ali Cross #1), 2019
  2. Like Father, Like Son (Ali Cross #2), 2021

Billy Harney Series

with David Ellis

  1. The Coldest Case, 2021 (audiobook novella)
  2. The Black Book, 2017 (Billy Harney #1)
  3. The Red Book, 2021 (Billy Harney #2)
  4. Escape, 2022 (Billy Harney #3)

Tom Moon Series

  1. Lost (Tom Moon #1), 2019

Instinct Series

co-authored with Howard Roughan

  1. Instinct / Murder Games (Instinct #1), 2017
  2. Killer Instinct (Instinct #2), 2019
  3. Steal (Instinct #3), 2022

Invisible Series

co-authored with David Ellis

  1. Invisible (Invisible #1), 2014
  2. Unsolved (Invisible #2), 2019

Women’s Murder Club Series

Co-authored with Maxine Paetro

  1. 1st to Die (Women’s Murder Club series #1), 2000
  2. 2nd Chance (Women’s Murder Club series #2), 2002
  3. 3rd Degree (Women’s Murder Club series #3), 2004
  4. 4th of July (Women’s Murder Club series #4), 2005
  5. The 5th Horseman (Women’s Murder Club series #5), 2006
  6. The 6th Target (Women’s Murder Club series #6), 2007
  7. 7th Heaven (Women’s Murder Club series #7), 2008
  8. The 8th Confession (Women’s Murder Club series #8), 2009
  9. The 9th Judgement (Women’s Murder Club series #9), 2009
  10. 10th Anniversary (Women’s Murder Club series #10), 2011
  11. 11th Hour (Women’s Murder Club series #11), 2012
  12. 12th of Never (Women’s Murder Club series #12), 2013
  13. Unlucky 13 (Women’s Murder Club series #13), 2014
  14. 14th Deadly Sin (Women’s Murder Club series #14), 2015
  15. 15th Affair (Women’s Murder Club series #15) 2016
  16. The Trial (Women’s Murder Club series #15.5) 2016
  17. 16th Seduction (Women’s Murder Club series #16) 2017
  18. 17th Suspect (Women’s Murder Club series #17), 2018
  19. 18th Abduction (Women’s Murder Club series #18), 2019
  20. 19th Christmas (Women’s Murder Club series #19), 2019
  21. 20th Victim (Women’s Murder Club series #20), 2020
  22. 21st Birthday (Women’s Murder Club series #21), 2021
  23. 22 Seconds (Women’s Murder Club series #22), 2022

Michael Bennett Series

Co-authored with Michael Ledwidge

  1. Step on a Crack (Michael Bennett #1), 2007
  2. Run For Your Life (Michael Bennett #2), 2009
  3. Worst Case (Michael Bennett #3), 2009
  4. Tick Tock (Michael Bennett #4), 2010
  5. I, Michael Bennett (Michael Bennett #5), 2012
  6. Gone (Michael Bennett #6), 2013
  7. Burn (Michael Bennett #7), 2014
  8. Alert (Michael Bennett #8), 2015
  9. Bullseye (Michael Bennett #9), 2016
  10. Haunted (Michael Bennett #10), 2017
  11. Manhunt (Michael Bennett #10.5), 2017
  12. Ambush (Michael Bennett #11), 2018
  13. Blindside (Michael Bennett #12), 2020
  14. The Russian (Michael Bennett #13), 2021
  15. Shattered (Michael Bennett #14), 2022

Private Series

Co-authored with Michael White

  1. Private (Private #1), 2010
  2. Private London (Private #2), 2011
  3. Private Games (Private #3), 2012
  4. Private: No. 1 Suspect (Private #4), 2012
  5. Private Berlin (Private #5), 2012
  6. Private Down Under (Private #6), 2012
  7. Private L.A (Private #7), 2014
  8. Private India (Private #8), 2014
  9. Private Vegas (Private #9), 2015
  10. Private Sydney (Private #10), 2015
  11. Private Paris (Private #11), 2016
  12. The Games (Private #12), 2016 (also called Private Rio)
  13. Private Royals (Private #12.5), 2016
  14. Private Delhi (Private #13), 2017
  15. Private Gold (Private #13.5), 2017
  16. Private Princess (Private #14), 2017


Co-authored with Marshall Karp

  1. NYPD Red (NYPD RED #1), 2012
  2. NYPD Red 2 (NYPD RED #2), 2014
  3. NYPD Red 3 (NYPD RED #3), 2015
  4. NYPD Red 4 (NYPD RED #4), 2016
  5. NYPD Red 5 (NYPD RED #5), 2018
  6. NYPD Red 6 (NYPD RED #6), 2020

Detective Luc Moncrief Series

  1. The French Kiss (Luc Moncrief #1), 2016
  2. The Christmas Mystery (Luc Moncrief #2), 2016
  3. French Twist (Luc Moncrief #3), 2017

Detective Harriet Blue Series

  1. Black & Blue (Harriet Blue #0.5), 2016
  2. Never Never (Harriet Blue #1), 2016
  3. Fifty Fifty (Harriet Blue #2), 2018
  4. Liar Liar (Harriet Blue #3), 2018
  5. Hush Hush (Harriet Blue #4), 2019

Murder is Forever Non-Fiction Series

  1. Murder, Interrupted (Murder is Forever #1), 2018
  2. Home Sweet Murder (Murder is Forever #2), 2018
  3. Murder Beyond Grave (Murder is Forever #3), 2018
  4. Murder Thy Neighbour (Murder is Forever #4), 2020

Rory Yates Series

(co-authored with Andrew Bourelle)

Standalone James Patterson Books

What Are the Best James Patterson Books?

I’m certain that everyone has their own list of what they consider the best books by James Patterson, but there are a few that I have noticed lots of readers (including me) love above all.

I think Along Came a Spider, the first book in the Alex Cross series, is a favorite overall for many. Also, First to Die, the first book in the Women’s Murder Club is usually in the top 5 books of most Patterson book lovers.

James Patterson himself considers his book The Black Book, one of his best by far. In an interview in 2017, he mentioned that “it is the best work I’ve done in twenty years.”

Kiss the Girls, the second Alex Cross book, is pretty darn good too. I remember reading it back in the day, and it was one of the books that got me hooked on this crime mystery author.

On Goodreads, some readers consider The Angel Experiment (the first book in the Maximum Ride graphic novels series) as one of the top choices to start reading the author’s books with.

My personal 5 favorites in any reading order you choose are:

  1. Along Came a Spider
  2. Kiss the Girls,
  3. When the Wind Blows,
  4. 1st to Die
  5. Craddle and All

Which ones are your favorites?

James Patterson Biography

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.

James Patterson authorWhile 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.

The first book 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.

It was also 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 wrote a new thriller with the title The President is Missing, a book which was co-authored with ex-president Bill Clinton.The book was 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.

Then he wrote with Candice Fox the fourth book, Hush Hush, in the Detective Harriet Blue books – his other popular crime mystery series. He is continuing the Women’s Murder Club books, and in 2019 he wrote another standalone novel, Out of Sight.

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.

Also, beginning in January 2018, Patterson started a new non-fiction series in collaboration with ID (Discovery).

The James Patterson Middle School series is one for the young adult readers. The novels in the series are currently up to 12 starting from Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life.  These books can be read by the entire family from children to adults, as they are quite funny, and the people involved in the stories are mostly young students, teachers, and families. There are lots of secrets and a treasure or two to discover as well.

The author’s FBI series titled Invisible became a series only recently with the second book published in 2019. The first book was released back in 2014. The fans of the Alex Cross series can now enjoy more adventures with Ali Cross, Alex’s son who has his own series now as of 2019. The original Alex Cross series is not dead, however, as new stories are still coming in every year.

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10 Responses to “List of James Patterson Books In Order”

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  1. Lynda Charnock says:

    I collect James patterson books and came by one called ‘out of sight’ and have no idea where to put it in my collection, does anyone know which books it was released in between

  2. Ouida says:

    I am looking for another book from the Invisible series.

  3. Adam says:

    First Case was a terrific novel. I look forward to further books with Angela Hoot as lead.

  4. Pam Leadbetter says:

    Is there going to be a follow on book to 1st case

  5. Lamoine Dionne says:

    I CA NOT think of what the title of one of his books written in mid to late 70s. It was about a husband and wife living on a remote island, unable to get off. The husband is in a wheel chair and a stranger comes to rescue them but all hell breaks loose. I have reviewed so many and simply am going blind from my searching. Help anyone please??

  6. Bob Burgh says:

    I am looking forward to the next Harriet Blue adventure. Is it coming to Australia soon??

  7. Brenda McCarver says:

    I cannot find the last two books of the Harriet Blue Series: Hush Hush & Black & Blue. Where can I find these two books?

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