Lisa Black Books In Order – Complete List of Books

Last Updated on July 6, 2023

Lisa Black is an American forensic scientist and crime fiction author of three popular crime thriller series, Theresa MacLean, Gardiner & Renner, and her latest series, Locard Institute. She also writes books under her real name Elizabeth Becka and her other pen name, Beth Cheylan. Reading the Lisa Black books in order involves picking up all her series and standalone novels.

Here are the Lisa Black Books in order for her series, along with the books published under her various pen names.

New Lisa Black Books

What Harms You
What Harms You (Locard Institute #2), 2023

Writing as Lisa Black

Locard Institute Books in Order

  1. Red Flags, 2022
  2. What Harms You, 2023
  3. The Deepest Kill, 2024

Theresa MacLean Books in Order

  1. Takeover, 2008
  2. Evidence of Murder, 2009
  3. Trail of Blood, 2010
  4. Defensive Wounds, 2011
  5. Blunt Impact, 2013
  6. The Price of Innocence, 2013
  7. Close to the Bone, 2014

Gardiner and Renner Books in Order

  1. That Darkness, 2016
  2. Unpunished, 2017
  3. Perish, 2018
  4. Suffer the Children, 2018
  5. Let Justice Descend, 2019
  6. Every Kind of Wicked, 2020

Writing As Elizabeth Becka

Evelyn James Series in Order

  1. Trace Evidence, 2005
  2. Unknown Means, 2008

Writing As Beth Cheylan

Lisa Black author

About the Gardiner & Renner Series

Maggie Gardiner, a forensic investigator for the Cleveland Police Department, finds herself entangled with Jack Renner, a vigilante killer with a unique perspective on justice. While Maggie is committed to upholding the law and solving crimes, Jack takes matters into his own hands by hunting down criminals who have evaded the legal system and eliminating them.

Initially, Maggie and Jack Renner only only occasionally cross paths in their professional capacities as forensic specialist and police detective, respectively. However, their relationship takes a more substantial turn when Maggie discovers Jack’s secret activities as a vigilante. Armed with her forensic skills, she uncovers evidence of his illicit acts, revealing a side of Jack that challenges her moral compass.

Although Maggie is a law-abiding individual who believes in due process, circumstances prevent her from immediately turning Jack in without jeopardizing her own safety. Thus, a delicate dance ensues between the two characters as they continue to fulfill their roles within the Cleveland Police Department while being aware of each other’s actions.

Throughout the series, Maggie and Jack find themselves caught between their duty to protect the citizens of Cleveland and their conflicting ideologies on justice. This tension creates a compelling narrative that explores the complex dynamics of morality, law enforcement, and personal ethics. As the story unfolds, Maggie and Jack navigate their shared world, each grappling with their own motivations and struggling to reconcile their contrasting approaches to achieving a safer society.

The series offers readers a unique blend of forensic investigation, crime-solving, and moral dilemmas. It delves into the intricate relationship between two characters who are united in their commitment to safeguarding the community they serve despite being on opposite sides of the law.

About the Theresa MacLean Series

The series revolves around the life of Theresa MacLean, a forensic investigator working with the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner in Cleveland, Ohio. Theresa is a divorced woman with a teenage daughter named Rachael. Initially, she was engaged to Paul Cleary, a homicide detective. However, their relationship took a tragic turn when Paul was taken hostage and injured during a takeover of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

In a courageous act, Theresa volunteered to become an exchange hostage for Paul, setting the stage for the unfolding story. Unfortunately, Paul’s life was cut short early in the series, leaving Theresa to navigate the challenges and investigations without him. Throughout the series, Theresa’s relationships with other characters are portrayed as weak or non-existent, with the exception of her daughter Rachael and her cousin Frank Patrick, who is a homicide detective and frequently collaborates with Theresa on cases.

Character development for Theresa MacLean remains relatively limited throughout the series, with her primary focus being her work and her bond with her daughter. However, in a later installment of series, Theresa finally begins to develop a social life outside her professional sphere.

The Theresa MacLean series primarily explores the intriguing world of forensic investigation, delving into the complexities of solving crimes and unraveling mysteries. While Theresa’s personal life and relationships take a backseat, her dedication to her work and her strong connection with her daughter are guiding forces throughout the series.

About the Locard Institute

The series takes readers into the world of the fictional Locard, a cutting-edge forensic research center located in Washington, D.C. where experts from across the globe converge at this state-of-the-art facility to tackle the most perplexing and challenging crimes the world has ever witnessed.

The institute is a beacon of innovation and expertise, named after the renowned French criminologist Edmond Locard, whose contact tracing theory revolutionized forensic science. Locard’s theory, which posits that every interaction between two objects leaves behind trace evidence like fibers or oils, is the institute’s investigation’s guiding principle.

Ellie Carr, a dedicated FBI agent, is at the heart of the series. When a distress call arrives regarding the disappearance of a 4-month-old baby, Ellie is called to a grand mansion overlooking the Potomac. To her astonishment, she discovers that the mansion belongs to her long-lost cousin, Becca, whom she hasn’t seen in over five years. Even more surprising is that the missing baby is Becca’s son, Mason.

With the series penned by Lisa Black, a crime scene analyst with real-life scientific expertise, readers can expect an authentic and intricate portrayal of forensic investigations. The author Lisa Black’s skill in crafting dynamic female characters shines through as Ellie Carr and her colleague, Dr. Rachael Davies, a Washington, D.C. forensic scientist, team up to unravel the deadliest and most cunning crimes.

The series offers readers a thrilling and immersive experience as they delve into the complexities of forensic science and the tenacious pursuit of justice. Against the backdrop of the state-of-the-art facility, Ellie and Rachael combine their skills, knowledge, and determination to solve intricate mysteries and bring perpetrators to justice. As the series unfolds, readers will be captivated by the intricate plots, compelling characters, and the exploration of cutting-edge forensic techniques that push crime-solving boundaries.

Lisa Black Biography – About the Author

The author Lisa Black was born in 1963 in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from high school, she started working as a secretary, a job which she held for 10 years. She then decided to continue her studies and went back to school to get her bachelor’s degree in biology from Cleveland State University.

Her next job cemented her career as a forensic specialist / forensic scientist, a career which she still pursues when not writing books. Working at the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office, in the fashion of the real CSIs she analyzed gunshot residue on hands and clothing, hairs, paint, DNA, fibers, glass, blood and pretty much anything else that can be considered trace evidence to help put criminals behind bars.

When her husband decided to leave Cleveland and move to sunny Florida, Lisa Black moved with him and took a job with the Cape Coral, Florida police department where she works as a latent print examiner, dealing with fingerprints and crime scenes.

When not processing crime scenes, the author Lisa black is writing books about crime scenes, drawing heavily from her experience, knowledge, and passion for her job. The Lisa Black books reflect that strongly, along with a slight homesickness, since her series deal with her homeplace, Cleveland.

The author Lisa Black is a member of numerous book clubs and associations, including the Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. As a forensic expert, Lisa Black is a member of several organizations related to her work, including the American Academy of Forensic Scientists, the International Association for Identification, the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts.

Theresa MacLean is a forensic scientist in Cleveland, Ohio, while the second series, Gardiner and Renner deals with Maggie Gardiner, a forensic investigator for the Cleveland PD and Jack Renner, a homicide detective with a strange passion by side. He is a vigilante when he believes that justice is not well served.

Lisa Black’s latest series focuses on forensic analysts and investigators working at the Locard Forensic Institute, named after the French criminologist who inspired that particular profession.

Like these books


  1. Actually I liked all the books but liked the Renner/Gardner series better. after reading one I had to order the set. are any more coming? I sure hope so

  2. Does Lisa plan in continuing her Theresa MacLean series? I just finished the last book in that series.

    1. I also would love to see Theresa and her Brother back again.
      Liked her stories better than the Maggie Gardiner series
      Just found two older ones by Elizabeth Becka aka Lisa Black.
      Hoping they are more the style of the Maclean series.

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