John Grisham Books In Order – The Complete List of Books

Last Updated on July 21, 2023

John Grisham is a New York Times bestselling author of popular and well-read legal thrillers such as The Firm, A Time To Kill, and The Client, many of which have been brought to the big screen.

Here are all the John Grisham books in order of reading, as well as in the order of publication. Most of his works are standalone books, so they can be easily read in any order you choose; however, if you are like me (and other ‘reading in order’ lovers), you will find this list quite helpful.

I put the list together a while ago and kept updating it in a Word document on my computer, as the author has written so many books, I really didn’t want to miss out on any of them.

New John Grisham Books

Theodore Boone Books in Publication Order

The Theodore Boone series features Theodore Boone, a so-called young lawyer of age 13 who spends more time in courtrooms than anywhere else. While he is not a real lawyer, he loves advising anyone who is asking.

  1. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer,  2010
  2. Theodore Boone: The Abduction, 2011
  3. Theodore Boone: The Accused,  2012
  4. Theodore Boone: The Activist, 2013
  5. Theodore Boone: The Fugitive, 2015
  6. Theodore Boone: The Scandal, 2016
  7. Theodore Boone: The Accomplice, 2019

Lacy Stoltz / The Whistler Books in Publication Order

  1. Witness to a Trial (#0.5), 2016
  2. The Whistler (#1), 2016
  3. The Judge’s List (#2), 2021

Camino Island Books in Publication Order

  1. Camino Island, 2017
  2. Camino Winds, 2020

Jake Brigance Books in Publication Order

featuring Carl Lee Hailey

  1. A Time To Kill, 1989
  2. Sycamore Row, 2013
  3. A Time for Mercy, 2020

The Firm Books / Mitch McDeere Books in Publication Order

  1. The Firm, 1991
  2. The Exchange, 2023

Rogue Lawyer Books in Publication Order

  1. Rogue Lawyer, 2015
  2. Partners, 2016 (short story)

John Grisham Storycuts in Publication Order

Short Stories / Novellas in Publication Order

Short Story Collections in Publication Order

John Grisham Anthologies in Publication Order

John Grisham Standalone Novels in Publication Order

Non-Fiction John Grisham Books in Publication Order

  • The Innocent Man, 2006 – a nonfiction book about a wrongly convicted baseball player

All John Grisham Books in Order by Year / Publication Order

  1. A Time to Kill, 1989
  2. The Pelican Brief, 1992
  3. The Client, 1993
  4. The Chamber, 1994
  5. The Rainmaker, 1995
  6. The Runaway Jury, 1996
  7. The Partner, 1997
  8. The Street Lawyer, 1998
  9. The Testament, 1999
  10. The Brethren, 2000
  11. A Painted House, 2001
  12. Skipping Christmas, 2001
  13. The Summons, 2002
  14. The King of Torts, 2003
  15. Bleachers, 2003
  16. The Last Juror, 2004
  17. The Broker, 2005
  18. The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, 2006
  19. Playing for Pizza, 2007
  20. The Appeal, 2008
  21. The Associate, 2009
  22. Ford County, 2009
  23. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, 2010
  24. The Confession, 2010
  25. Theodore Boone: The Abduction, 2011
  26. The Litigators, 2011
  27. Theodore Boone: The Accused, 2012
  28. Calico Joe, 2012
  29. The Racketeer, 2012
  30. Theodore Boone: The Activist, 2013
  31. Sycamore Row, 2013
  32. Gray Mountain, 2014
  33. Theodore Boone: The Fugitive, 2015
  34. Rogue Lawyer, 2015
  35. Partners, a Rogue Lawyer short story, 2016
  36. Theodore Boone: The Scandal, 2016
  37. The Whistler, 2016
  38. The Tumor, 2016
  39. Camino Island, 2017
  40. The Rooster Bar, 2017
  41. The Reckoning, 2018
  42. The Guardians, 2019
  43. Theodore Boone: The Accomplice, 2019
  44. Camino Winds, 2020
  45. A Time for Mercy, 2020
  46. Sooley, 2021
  47. The Judge’s List, 2021
  48. The Boys from Biloxi, 2022
  49. Sparring Partners, 2022
  50. The Exchange, 2023
  51. Fourteen Days, 2024

John Grisham Biography – About the Author

John Grisham

New York Times bestselling author John Grisham was born in 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. After graduating from Mississippi State University, he attended the University of Mississippi School of Law, a prestigious law school, after which he worked as a criminal lawyer in a law firm. Between 1984-1990, he served in the House of  Representatives in  Mississippi.

Having been a criminal lawyer with his legal practice for a decade, the author has plenty of knowledge to infuse his books with, and this shows greatly.

No wonder so many of his books have been adapted into movies, as they are chilling, suspenseful, and very realistic.

Along with Tom Clancy and J.K. Rowlings, John Grisham is one of the few authors who has sold 2 million copies of the first printed books.

Before becoming one of the top legal mystery and thriller authors, John Grisham was working in a small law firm as a criminal defense attorney, trying to make time to write his debut novel.

As a formal lawyer, John Grisham’s first novel, A Time To Kill, published in 1989, 4 years after he started writing it, has an interesting genesis. Having been a lawyer for so many years, one day he heard a young girl telling her story to the court, and he got so interested that went to listen to the whole case. And so his first idea for a book came to life.

As he mentioned on his website:

I seriously doubt I would ever have written the first story had I not been a lawyer. I never dreamed of being a writer. I wrote only after witnessing a trial.

As soon as he finished writing A Time To Kill, he was already working on his second novel, The Firm – which ended up being pretty much the book that propelled him into instant fame. Even if you’ve never read The Firm, I’m sure you’ve at least watched the same-titled movie with Tom Cruise.

Until 1996 the author got a serious writing fever and wrote a novel a year. In 1996 he took a small break from writing to go back to being a lawyer with a case that he won.

However, his main career nowadays is still writing books (“thank God for that” say all his loyal followers). So how many books has John Grisham written so far? He has written over 50 books to date, with a latest collaboration, Fourteen Days, being published in 2024.

One of my favorite of John Grisham books is The Guardians, a standalone legal thriller novel. It features the Guardians, a group similar to Project Innocence, which takes on the case of Quincy Miller, a young black man who was framed for killing Keith Russo, his lawyer. Cullen Post, who founded the Guardians, is its sole investigator, so he takes on the case and starts checking the facts.

However, here he might have gotten more than he bargained for when some powerful people are ready to kill again to keep their secret hidden.

So far, from his first novel, A Time to Kill, the author John Grisham has written around one to two novels a year, most of which became instant bestsellers, or at least crept up to the bestseller year very good. His books cover genres such as sports, adult thrillers, crime fiction, legal novels, and young action/thrillers. So far nine of his books have been turned into popular movies. I have read all his books except for his non-fiction works, and I patienty wait every year for new releases.

John Grisham’s Early Works: The Formative Novels

The early John Grisham books established his immensely successful career as a bestselling author. During his formative years as a writer, Grisham crafted novels that predominantly revolved around legal themes, drawing from his own experiences as a lawyer.

These early works showcased his talent for storytelling and introduced readers to the captivating world of legal thrillers, a genre that would become synonymous with his name.

A Time to Kill

John Grisham’s debut novel, A Time to Kill, initially struggled to find a publisher but eventually became a sleeper hit. This gripping courtroom drama centers on the trial of a young black man who seeks revenge after his daughter is brutally assaulted. Examining the novel’s themes, character development, and the public’s response, can readers understand how this early success set the stage for Grisham’s future works.

The Firm

As one of Grisham’s most iconic novels, The Firm marked a turning point in his career. This legal thriller follows the story of a young attorney who is recruited by a prestigious law firm with a dark secret. It is interesting to follow how the success of this novel catapulted Grisham to international fame and solidified his reputation as a master of the legal thriller genre.

The Pelican Brief

Continuing on Grisham’s path of legal intrigue, the novel is another critically acclaimed work that captivated readers with its blend of legal drama and political conspiracy. The plot’s complexities, the portrayal of the legal system, all have an impact of this thrilling tale on both literary and cinematic platforms.

The Client

In this novel, Grisham expertly weaves a gripping narrative about an eleven-year-old boy who becomes the target of dangerous forces after witnessing a lawyer’s suicide. Readers can see how Grisham’s storytelling evolved and matured in this early career phase by unraveling the story’s nuances and its young protagonist.

The Chamber

As Grisham continued to explore moral dilemmas and social issues through legal fiction, The Chamber tackled the sensitive topic of racial tensions and the death penalty. It is interesting to follow the novel’s impact on public discourse, its reception by critics, and its place within Grisham’s expanding body of work.

The Runaway Jury

John Grisham delves into jury manipulation and high-stakes courtroom battles in this legal thriller. The author skillfully navigated the intricacies of the judicial system, providing readers with an enthralling and thought-provoking experience.

Through a comprehensive exploration of these early works, readers can gain valuable insights into the evolution of John Grisham’s writing style, the recurring themes that shaped his narratives, and the manner in which these novels paved the way for the remarkable literary career that followed.

Ultimately, these formative novels laid the groundwork for Grisham’s enduring popularity as one of the most celebrated authors of our time.

The Thriller Shift: John Grisham’s Departure from Legal Themes

In the literary world, John Grisham’s name has long been synonymous with legal thrillers, a genre he dominated with great success. However, as an author constantly seeking new challenges and creative avenues, Grisham eventually embarked on a thrilling shift in his writing.

The Testament: An Adventure in the Amazon Rainforest

In The Testament, Grisham skillfully moves away from legal settings and dives headfirst into the world of adventure and mystery. The novel follows the journey of a billionaire’s legal heirs and a missionary deep into the Amazon rainforest, where a hidden fortune awaits.

John Grisham adapted his storytelling prowess to weave a compelling tale of survival, self-discovery, and personal redemption.

The Summons: Unraveling Family Secrets

Departing from legal intricacies, The Summons takes readers into the life of a law professor who discovers an unimaginable treasure in his late father’s home. The novel includes themes of family, trust, and the repercussions of secrets, and it shows how Grisham’s transition to thrillers allowed him to explore complex human relationships from a fresh perspective.

The Bleachers: A Journey into Sports Fiction

With The Bleachers, Grisham ventures into sports fiction, focusing on the impact of a high school football coach on a small town and its residents. This departure from legal themes showcases Grisham’s versatility as a writer and demonstrates his ability to craft compelling narratives in diverse genres.

The Broker: Espionage and International Intrigue

In this international thriller, Grisham takes readers on a riveting journey through the world of espionage and high-stakes international politics.

The Innocent Man: Non-Fiction and True Crime

As part of his departure from fiction, Grisham authored this work that delves into a real-life case of wrongful conviction and death row. John Grisham’s legal background enriched this true crime narrative, resonating with his existing fan base and a new audience interested in criminal justice issues.

Playing for Pizza: A Heartwarming Sports Novel

In this charming departure from the legal and thriller genres, Grisham tells the story of a struggling American football player finding redemption and love in Italy.

Camino Island: A Thriller in the World of Books

Camino Island marks Grisham’s foray into the literary world as he crafts a suspenseful tale about the theft of rare manuscripts. John Grisham’s own experiences as an author influenced this work, in which he skillfully wove together elements of mystery, crime, and the love of books.

The Reckoning: A Historical Thriller

Departing from contemporary settings, The Reckoning takes readers to post-World War II America and follows the trial of a war hero accused of a heinous crime. Grisham has a unique approach to historical fiction in the way he combined it with the suspenseful elements that made his legal thrillers so popular.

Sooley: A Sports Novel of a Different Kind

In Sooley, John Grisham goes back to the them of sports, however, he puts a different spin on it: it goes into a young man’s fierce determination to change his life and the life of his family left back in South Sudan.

What is the Best John Grisham Book To Date?

John Grisham has written over 50 novels, out of which at least 28 have become number one bestselling fiction books. If you ask 10 different people, each will have their own favorites. Nevertheless, most John Grisham book readers do agree that The Firm, the author’s second book, featuring Mitch McDeere is probably the most-read one, the best-known, and one that people who are new to this author should start with.

The Firm has sold over seven million copies, which makes it a favorite in the genre, overall.

Published in 1991, The Firm marked a turning point in Grisham’s career and became an instant classic. The novel revolves around Mitchell McDeere, a brilliant young attorney offered a dream job at a prestigious law firm in Memphis.

At first, it seems like a lifetime opportunity, with a lavish salary, luxurious perks, and a promising future. However, as McDeere delves deeper into the firm’s inner workings, he uncovers a web of corruption and danger that puts his life on the line.

What makes The Firm the standout among Grisham’s impressive repertoire is the perfect fusion of a taut legal thriller with elements of espionage and suspense. Grisham’s masterful storytelling takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of intrigue and deception, keeping them on the edge of their seats from start to finish.

The characters are intricately crafted and realistic, drawing readers into their world and making them emotionally invested in their fates. Mitchell McDeere, in particular, is a relatable protagonist with whom readers can empathize as he navigates the treacherous waters of corporate law and personal ethics.

Moreover, Grisham’s impeccable research and attention to detail shine through in the novel.” The legal aspects are meticulously portrayed, and the depiction of the inner workings of a high-stakes law firm adds depth and authenticity to the narrative.

Another aspect that sets the story apart is its protagonist’s moral dilemma. McDeere’s struggle to reconcile his desire for success with the knowledge of the firm’s illegal activities raises thought-provoking questions about ethics, ambition, and the price of success.

The book also received critical acclaim and commercial success, cementing John Grisham’s position as a literary force to be reckoned with. It became a bestseller and was later adapted into a successful film, further enhancing its cultural impact.

While all John Grisham books have their own merits, The Firm stands tall as the best one to date. With its gripping plot, well-developed characters, and thought-provoking themes, this legal thriller remains a testament to Grisham’s unparalleled storytelling prowess.

Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to the Grisham books, it is a must-read that will leave you spellbound and eagerly anticipating the next chapter in this celebrated author’s illustrious career.

And if you’ve read it, don’t forget to pick up the sequel, The Exchange.

The John Grisham Novels Turned Into Movies

  • A Time to Kill, 1989, adapted into a movie in 1996 starring Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland, Ashley Judd
  • The Firm, 1991, adapted into a movie in 1993 starring Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, Holly Hunter, and Jeanne Tripplehorn and a TV series running between 2011-2012
  • The Pelican Brief, 1992, adapted into a movie in 1993 starring Julia Roberts as Darby Shaw, Denzel Washington
  • The Client, 1993, adapted into a movie in 1994 starring Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones, and a TV show running between 1995-1996
  • The Chamber, 1994, adapted into a movie in 1996 starring  Chris O’Donnell, Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway
  • The Rainmaker, 1995, adapted into a movie in 1997 starring Matt Damon as Rudy Baylor, Danny DeVito
  • The Runaway Jury, 1996, adapted into a movie in 2003 starring John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman
  • A Painted House, 2001, adapted into a TV film in 2003 starring Robert Sean Leonard, Logan Lerman
  • Skipping Christmas, 2002, adapted into a movie called Christmas With The Kranks in 2004 starring Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd
  • The Innocent Man, his true-crime story, has been made into a Netflix documentary.
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  1. My summer author during the pandemic Hope there are enough books to list me they the crisis.I really am enjoying JG books and now hav husband reading them too.Thanks to great authors for your
    Wonderful treats.Oh yes books are my addiction!!!

  2. I just received the ebook through Libby of Camino Winds, and I am
    enjoying how you have refreshed my mind of Camino Island in a few short chapters. Before I ordered the ebook I made sure that I
    still had my copy of the Camino Island on the shelf in case I had to
    make a reference to it.

    I would like to thank you for making your books available through
    Libby. I have read The Brethren and The Guardians through Libby
    because I had to have the middle lobe of my right lung removed with
    Robot Surgery. With the ebook I can read without worrying about staying awake to turn the lamp off and getting up to do it.

  3. The Rooster Bar should be classified as a standalone book as it has nothing to do with The Whistler series whatsoever.

  4. I have just finished reading my first book by Mr. Grisham. The Partner. This book keeps you anxious to the very end. The ending was not a fairy tale. However, it does reveal true grieving, love, and that life goes on. It is very clear to me Mr. Grisham is gifted in writing. I look toward to reading other books he has written.

  5. My first Grisham was The Street Lawyer also with his Michael Brock character!! I have been hooked ever since! The Chamber is one of my all time faves! John is such an amazing author; I hope he continues writing for many years to come!

  6. The very first book I read of yours, was The Street Lawyer. It was such a good book, I couldn’t put it down. I guess I could say I was addicted! I’ve read most of your books. I’m a fan for sure.

  7. I haven’t read but your first half dozen novels, but I just finished reading The Confession and I must say that it’s one of the better written novels I’ve read over the years! Such a heartfelt story that I literally couldn’t put down! I guess I’ll have to start buying all the rest of your books now!

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