Pendergast Novels In Order

Last Updated on August 25, 2021 When it comes to reading the Pendergast novels in order, having read the whole series so far, I suggest you do read the Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child Pendergast books in order of publication, starting with Relic. The reason is that, while most of the stories can stand on their own, there is a continuity involving the characters (especially surrounding the FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast) that you don’t want to miss.

Here are the Pendergast novels in order by the authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

New Pendergast Book


Bloodless  (Pendergast #20), 2021

List of the Pendergast Series in Order

  1. Relic (Pendergast #1), 1995
  2. Reliquary (Pendergast #2), 1997
  3. The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast #3), 2002
  4. Still Life with Crows (Pendergast #4), 2003
  5. Brimstone, (Pendergast #5, Diogenes #1) 2004
  6. Dance of Death (Pendergast #6, Diogenes #2), 2005
  7. The Book of the Dead (Pendergast #7, Diogenes #3), 2007
  8. The Wheel of Darkness (Pendergast #8), 2008
  9. Cemetery Dance (Pendergast #9), 2009
  10. Fever Dream (Pendergast #10), 2010
  11. Cold Vengeance (Pendergast #11), 2011
  12. Two Graves (Pendergast #12), 2012
  13. Extraction (Pendergast #12.5), 2012
  14. White Fire (Pendergast #13), 2013
  15. Blue Labyrinth (Pendergast #14), 2014
  16. Crimson Shore (Pendergast #15), 2015
  17. The Obsidian Chamber (Pendergast #16), 2016
  18. City of Endless Night (Pendergast #17), 2018
  19. Verses for the Dead (Pendergast #18), 2018
  20. Crooked River (Pendergast #19), 2020
  21. Bloodless (Pendergast #20), 2021

The first 3 books in the series, Relic, Reliquary and Cabinet of Curiosities could be included in the New York series due to the fact that they all take place in New York (around the museum) and the characters are also present in each, including one of my favorite earlier characters, William Smithback.

Should we Read the Pendergast Novels in Order?

In the first few books of the Pendergast series, I had the feeling that the authors wanted to make the novels standalone stories, to allow us to read them separately from the rest. However, as various new characters got added in each new book – most of which would feature in subsequent novels as well, it became quite difficult to not want to read the next book in the series just to see what happened with x, y or z character next.

For example, once Constance is thrown in the mix, you will want to know about her (very odd) history, her age, her relationship with Aloysius and his brother, and what is she doing there anyway. In the latest Pendergast books, Constance’s character will be really fleshed-out and well defined.

Crimson ShoreThe more books you read where Constance is included or just mentioned, the easier it will become to learn more about this very interesting and exquisite person and the easier it becomes to feel attached to her and feel compassion for her. She really grew on me over the years. Thankfully Crimson Shore, the 15th Pendergast novel, is all about Constance. And our favorite FBI agent. And did I mention…her? Yay!

Diogenes, his brother, is another of those characters that as evil as he might be, he is nevertheless a very interesting participant in the whole family story. And let’s not forget about Helen, who appears in some later novels, and her story simply continues from there on, even long after she…but I won’t spoil it for you more.

It’s not only about the characters’ backgrounds, but also the relationship that develops and grows over time, where seemingly unrelated small events in the lives of some characters will produce major ripples over time in the lives of others.

Each book reveals a bit more about Aloysius, about Constance, about Diogenes and even about his wife, Helen. While some of the main protagonists might appear in a few books only, they are always there, in the background, with the author revealing bits and pieces about them, allowing us to put a larger puzzle together.

So yes, reading the Pendergast books in order is something I’m glad I did right from the first book I have read many years ago, called Relic. It was the book that got me hooked on the entire series, making it for me one of the most anticipated mystery series every single year.

RelicSo, all in all, I highly recommend you read the series in order from the very first one, Relic, and go through the list as shown above. You will be privy to some information and clues that those who read the books out of order will likely miss, along with a lot of back-stories that makes this world as rich and interesting as it is.

Each book flows seamlessly into the next without any interruption and if you read them out of order you might feel the whole story disjointed and let’s face it, much less fascinating.

One of my favorite books in the series is City of Endless Night, available from early 2018. For those who want to start reading this wonderful and addictive thriller series, above is the order of each book to get you started with. The numbering after the book titles denotes the order of the novels.

City of Endless Night starts with the search for Grace Ozmian, the missing daughter of a billionaire who owns DigiFlood in the tech sector. Initially, it is supposed that she simply took off the way she often does, but when a decapitated body is found, things go from bad to much, much worse.

Out beloved Vincent D’Agosta takes the case, and when Aloysius wants to help, Vincent is more than happy with the additional support, especially since diabolical forces are at work here, and probably regular police work will not suffice in solving this case.

This book goes back to the traditional style of Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, which I enjoy so much. There are not many recurring characters in this book, however, except for Aloysius and Vincent. Constance and Vincent’s wife only appear briefly.

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83 Responses to “Pendergast Novels In Order”

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  1. Will says:

    Benedict Cumberbatch with dyed hair would be my pick to play Pendergast. Would love to see a television series or a string of movies like that

  2. Ruth says:

    Hmmmmmm, tv series or movie with Alan Cumming as Pendergast. I too read Book of the Dead a long time ago and have rediscovered Agent Pendergast.

  3. Jacquie says:

    Where in the series is Thunderhead? Which book comes before it and which book comes afterwards?

  4. MaryAnn Bakowski says:

    The first time I read a Pendergast novel was Book of the Dead. A friend gave it to me because of how much I enjoy Ancient Egypt. From that point on I was hooked. I read all the books prior to Book of the Dead and I have not missed a single one Additionally, I have read all the Crew novels and now Nora Kelly.
    Of course, I eagerly await the next Pendergast always. I have to say my least favorite character is Cori Swanson. Thanks to the authors for these wonderful and interesting books.

  5. Jean Luc says:

    What is Agent Pendergast favorite drink that included simple syrup and bitters?

  6. Terri D Fallis says:

    I have been a fan since the movie Relic came out. I read the book after the movie. I love the writing style of this pair and to date I have read every Pendergast novel, in order as written. At times there are past referrals to previous tales. You have lots of online book stores to acquire the novels. I would not pass up a Preston or Child’s separate novel written individually. They are a little different but quite good reading as well. And do sign up for the Pendergast email brief. Tales of future surprises. Enjoy! I have with each and every novel!

  7. Chris says:

    So love this series, on the edge of my seat every time, always wanting more.

  8. Sarah says:

    Does anyone know the correct reading order for the Pendergast series including the side stories (i.e. Thunderhead before Cabinet if Curiosities)?
    I had started CoC and realized Smithback was in a relationship with Kelley. I was like did I miss something, then started researching and realized I needed to read Thunderhead before CoC. Glad I did since it delved into how their relationship blossomed.

  9. Diane Helen Blocher says:

    Absolutely enjoy these books in order. Relic was my first Pendergast experience and I thirst for more and more each year. In the last few years I have become hooked on audio books relatively early in the Pendergast series and it is so enjoyable to be able to have Agent Pendergast by my side as I carry on thru the day. Each regular character is expertly fleshed out so that one really feels the relationship between them and our favorite Special Agent. At times I have found myself offended by any person in the storyline who underestimated our hero. These novels are entertainment at its best.

  10. Gib G. says:

    Crooked River. Another GREAT read. Thanks 🙂

  11. Sheila sikora says:

    Good Lord!! I am relatively new to this Pendergast series. I am blown out of the water by how absolutely engrossing and captivating they are. Wonderful characters, wonderful setting, like wow it makes you want to travel where ever Pendergast goes! Thank you for the great books!

  12. Mystery Sequels says:

    @Christi Clark I’m reading it now as well (will review it shortly) and it’s so engrossing, and what I especially like – Constance has a prominent place in this book as well (no spoilers).

  13. Christi Clark says:

    Thank you thank you for the new Pendergast novel!!! Crooked River has me thoroughly hooked, and keeps me hoping you continue writing Pendergast novels long long into the future. I love the intellectual engagement as well as the richly engaging, “can’t put it down” intrigue of these stories. More please!

  14. Linda says:

    Thank you for a simple list format!

  15. Envy4it says:

    In response to Mystery Sequels:

    In addition to the Pendergast series, of which I absolutely LOVE, I stumbled across a book that ended up being a series. You have to read the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo! By Steig Larsson who wrote the 1st three novels in the series. He passed away and subsequently the remaining novels are written by David Lagercrantz who is equally as good as Larsson in my opinion. I believe there are 5 in what they call the Millennium series. Don’t let the title fool you as it did for me. I thoroughly enjoyed them all. Waiting on the next one.

    Also waiting on the latest Pendergast book : Crooked River which is due out in February 2020.

  16. Anna Marie says:

    I love the Pendergast series. Please write more
    I listen to audiobooks to and from work, a 45 minute drive.

  17. virginia karl says:

    Just finished last pendergast book my library had. They all kept me up at night because I kept saying “one more chapter, one more chapter. greeeeeeaaaaaaat stories.

  18. Janet Musshafen says:

    I love the audio books with special agent A. Pendergast. Rene Auberjonois makes the character come alive you can visualize him with his black clothes, white hair and thin built.

    The last book I read had him chained to a wall in a brick old castle. How did he escape? I am glad to see the series put in order

  19. Ann Whetten says:

    I absolutely love, love,love these novels

  20. Sue Walters says:

    What happened with the plans to make a mini series for TV?? I have read the entire Pendergast series, and loved each and every book. These have the makings for an incredible series!! Waiting anxiously!!

  21. Mia Ashdown says:

    Read Relic two weeks ago and was hoping it was part of a series ! I am sooooo happy ,I’ve got another 15 books to read I am hooked!

  22. James J. Lubinskas says:

    I read the 1st 8 Pendergast novels (except for “Crows”) during the last few weeks and all I can say is Wow Wow Wow and Wow. I’m looking forward to the next 7 books. How good is this series. It would make a fine TV show that could run for several seasons. Keep it up guys; now we expect one new book per year.

  23. Camille Clausen says:

    I have enjoyed these novels so very much. Adjectives have not been created as of yet to describe them. Agent Pendergast is quite the enigma. I have read every one and I will read them from the beginning once again. Agent Pendergast’s brother was so brilliantly insane, (I use the term “was” loosely) I feel that he is not dead yet or perhaps his spawn will rear it’s half ugly head to create a new breed of terror and havoc. I can’t get enough of these books and I hope you will keep these amazing characters around for a long time to come. Thanks for the chills, thrills and jaw-drops!

  24. Steve Laskey says:

    The back story of nora kelly and smithback in Thunderhead is a must read. I think it is one of the best books these guys have written and would make an awesome base for a movie

  25. KarrieKatherine Clark says:

    I read my first Preston and Child novels while vacationing at Lake Powell 2 weeks of heaven.I hadn’t been a novel reader not really having the time too busy studying Medical Articles and Journals Text Books etc.
    I had even forgotten how to read for pure enjoyment.
    I friend had brought Still life With Crows and suggested I read it.He hadn’t a chance to read it yet so he told me to hurry.
    I’m a fast reader so I said no problem.
    I started reading and couldn’t stop…these books are so well written and intelligent.I was hooked.If you choose to read their books you will not be sorry but be warned they are extremely compelling and you will become addicted…but oh what a lovely addiction !

  26. Carol says:

    I just finished Crimson Shore. Please tell me that this is not the last of Pendergast. I hated the ending. He must be backed. Totally unaccepted that Pendergast is gone forwever. Please Please tell me I am wrong

    • Mystery Sequels says:

      Nop, it’s not the last one, don’t worry. A new one comes bit later on this year 🙂

  27. MaryAnn says:

    When is the next Pendergast book coming out?

    • Patricia McKown says:

      What Pendergast mystery will follow The Obsidian Chamber? The excerpt of the next Pendergast story doesn’t show a title. Has a title been named yet?
      Pat M. August 8, 2017

  28. Debbie O'Brien says:

    I have read 7 of the books in order. I can’t wait to get the rest so I can continue the story. Great read.

  29. avid reader says:

    I started w still life of crow by accident…I didn’t know what it was after that I was hooked my sister and I are now hooked and have bought every book in the series just so we could start from the beginning. Love these books best series I’ve found in years.

  30. Diane says:

    This series has caused many a sleepless night!! VERY hard to put down once you’ve started.

  31. Janette Mehl says:

    Pendergast is the quintessential Southern gentleman; a true Renaissance with the manners and erudition of an earlier era but the modern skills and savvy of the modern man. What makes it so fascinating is he intertwines both aspects of his personality, not dropping one in favor of the other. I’m on my second reading of the series.

  32. jack Boyd says:

    i love the lincoln and child i like the pendergast series besy i like the chalange of their books as i love working out what the end will be and it is great if i am wrong plus the beauty of the read always make it as if you are walking the streets and travelling with them
    i write poetry and the best thing i like is when you feel the emotion in the righter

  33. Mary Bartels says:

    Love these novels! Interesting and exciting. The characters are so real, I find myself thinking about them often. Can’t wait for more! Thank you!

  34. anne says:

    I missed Helen being pregnant with the twins. Where dud that story go

  35. anne says:

    I would like to know what happened to Pendergasts wife helen as their sons suddenly appeared

  36. marie hinklin says:

    I would just like to thank the authors. Your work is loved by many. I am absolutely delighted every time I get a new book written by the both of you.

    I hope one day to see The Cabinet of curiosities made into a movie.

    Thank you again for giving me hours of enjoyment.

  37. iraina says:

    When is book 15 due to be released.

  38. Jay farella says:

    Merely as a change of pace from non-fiction I started reading Cabinet of Curiosities. The historical research is great

    and dovetails with non-fiction history I usually read. Yeah, I`m hooked too.


    • Michele Silver says:

      Hi Jay: I am so hooked on these books it is not even funny. I’ve read all 14 of them and can’t wait until the next one comes out the end of the year. No. 15.

  39. Demola says:

    I think I read my first book when I was 12 or so. Can’t remember which one it was but the name “Pendergast” stuck with and I vowed one day to read it again (I didn’t know it was in series!). Now I’m 27 and I just decided to google the name and guess what?! I found y’all.

  40. Cygnux says:

    Great series so far. I’ve learned on very important life lesson though…….avoid working at or attending near closing hours, the Museum of Natural History. lol

  41. Linda C says:

    While I have just recently discovered the Preston/Child “Pendergast” series, I regret to say that I did not have the good fortune…to begin at the beginning! However I enjoy reading reading these engrossing mystery novels immensely! My introduction began with “Brimstone”, and I have just completed ” Cold Vengeance”. Question: what happened to the character Corrinne Swanson? We were left hanging – after she gained entrance to the house at 428 East End Ave., ending up in the attic – where she is met by the man with ‘the strongly accented voice’ wielding a gun. “Auf Wiedersehen”, he said. End of chpt. 80. ???

    • Veronique d says:

      Cold vengeance is the book n*2 of the trilogy starting by fever dream and ending by two graves. So you absolutely need to read them in order to understand what is going on. But as you have read brimstone you started the diogenes trilogy which you have to read as well. The cabinet of curiosities is a key book in the list so no choice buy them all and enjoy them in the proper order! I did the same mistake by ignorance when i discovered those authors… Now i m totally addicted…

  42. Darrell Best says:

    Read all of them except the last two. Best read ever. Also check out the Gideon novels.

  43. Tom Miller says:

    Please, both of you, never die or, at least, not before I do! Keep those A.P. novels coming! I am a devoted fan as is my daughter! Thanks ever so much for many, many hours of fine reading as we’ve read all of your novels!

  44. Thomas says:

    I have only read Cemetery Dance, but I did read Tyrannosaur Canyon by Preston first, which led me to books written by both authors. I can’t wait to read all the books in the Pendergast series if they are of the same caliber.

    • Mystery Sequels says:

      Oh yes, and I think you will find that the Pendergast series is one of the best ones around, and they’re much better than the books written separately by each author.

    • Link says:

      It is funny you should mention Tyrannosaur Canyon as the first Preston book you read because I had the same experience. I cannot remember which of the Pendergast novels I read first following Tyrannosaur Canyon but I have since read them all. Sadly I did not think to read them in order so the first five I read were whatever the local library had in stock. As I just finished Blue Labyrinth I plan on rereading the series but this time in order as I have since purchased them all in digital format. Thank you Mystery Sequel for posting the list with reasons why they should be read in order. I hope others do the research before getting too out of sequence in the series. These books truly keep me on the edge of my seat and wanting more.

      On a different note, are there any other series out there by different authors that come anywhere close to what Preston and Child provide?

      • Cyndie says:

        I don’t believe that the series are on par with the Pendergast novels, but they are entertaining.

        James Patterson’s Alex Cross novels are decent. The films “Along Came a Spider” and “Kiss The Girls” were based on two of his novels (same name), both with the same antagonist (character called Casanova) and hero figure (Alex Cross played by Morgan Freeman) . . . The movies were nearly parallel to the books. Still entertaining in spite of the minor deviations.

        Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series are also quite engaging. The film “Sahara” was based on his book (also of the same name). Book was WAY better!! He has several books that are MUCH better than “Sahara” that would have made FAR more entertaining movies. . . But c’est la vie . . .

        I hope you enjoy these suggestions. I know I do. ☺

      • Jackie says:

        I’ve enjoyed the historic fictional series featuring a character named Matthew Corbett written by Robert McCammon. Waiting on the 6th book in the series to come out in 2016. It takes place in the mid 1700’s in early New York City and at first the Carolinas. Matthew is a young man who was an orphan, raised in a boys work house who became well educated then was selected to be the ward and scribe for a magistrate when he is 17. He travels with the magistrate like a servant. Naturally curious he has a knack for investigation. It’s packed with adventure and mystery. It’s written so well you feel you are in it. Without spoiling it, in future books he becomes a private detective always on the search for a particular villian who in turn is hunting him. A must read series if you like the characters and twist turns of then Pendergast series!

  45. Susan Powell says:

    I’m a huge fan of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and agree that their Pendergast series is one of the greatest ever in the history of thriller novels. They involve a cadre of complex characters. I tried to explain to a friend recently this great series of books featuring an albino FBI agent, his 100+ year old ward who appears to be in her early 20s, a goth teen turned sleuth….and you guessed it, she thought I was crazy. The amazing thing about this duo is that the novels continue to evolve, where most long running characters either fade over time, or repeat themselves. WELL DONE!

  46. Karen Kraemer says:

    I picked up Wheel of Darkness at a used book store, never had read any of Preston and Child books before – LOVED it talked to my mom about it and she said her and dad had read ALL the Pendergast books and they were all very good. I had her pick them up at the used book stores that her and my dad frequent. I now buy them new when they are released as I have read them all. It was so wonderful to find such great intelligent writers, they have created a really GREAT series with Pendergast, I just love him. They always keep me guessing and I love that you can’t figure out what is going to happen next, that is the BEST. It was nice to find such exhilarating books after reading The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo Series – I thought I would never find anything as good. I have gotten a few people here at work hooked on the series, it is fun to hear their excitement as they are reading the books for the first time, makes me laugh as I remember going through the same emotions. Great website ;o)

  47. Pendergast Fan says:

    Best stand alone book in the series…. “Still Life With Crows”. I have hooked four others on the series by loaning them my dog eared copy…. It sits between the “NY series” and what I call the “Family ties saga”. The best thing…. we meet Corrie!

    • martin says:

      I think I’ve read all the Pendergast novels, up to White Fire, which I’m currently reading. Except Extraction.
      I just finished Two Graves, and was wondering when Corrie Swanson first appeared. From your post, I guess it was Still Life With Crows. I think I remember the gist of it — cave, etc. But I don’t remember Corrie.

  48. I just finished Blue Labyrinth. As usual it was an exciting thriller. My only problem with it was it ended and I wanted it to go on and on etc. Is there another sequel next Nov?

    • Mystery Sequels says:

      I really hope there is a sequel next year – afterall Blue Labyrinth just went back on the series’ original course after many books that were just meh. I loved it, almost as much as the Relic and Reliquary.

  49. Dolores Pilla says:

    I read one of their novels out of order and upon looking up the rest of the series I read the rest. These novels certainly quench my thirst for mystery, the supernatural, and great character development. Thanks to the authors.

  50. Brenda Schulteis says:

    Hi all,
    I just want to say that as a voracious reader of mysteries and historical fiction, I have set my own reader’s bar pretty high, but Preston and Child are so addictive that I grab any books of theirs as soon as they are available. If you have read any reviews that describe their Pendergast novels as strange, over-the-top and suspenseful and thought they were just exaggerating, I want you to know they are not! I am an addict and proud to be! When the movies finally come out I want Benedict Cumberbatch (of Sherlock fame) to be our hero.
    Thanks to Preston and Child for a hell of a good read! Each and every one!

    • Mystery Sequels says:

      Hey Brenda,

      From one Pendergast addict to another – I fully agree with your sentiments. I feel about their books exactly the same way!

      • Sharlene Unternahrer says:

        These books are some of the best; just finished Blue Labyrinth and I could not put it down!! I can hardly wait for the next one to come out. THANK YOU, S. Unternahrer

      • Elinor Wilcox says:

        Just read “Crimson Shore”. It is an understatement that they left us hanging! Surely they will put out at least one more. Please. Also, Constance is hard for me to understand even after all these books!

  51. Johnny Amburn says:

    I really enjoy these novels and the characters. Highly recommended!

  52. Annie says:

    I read a Pendergast novel earlier before I started keeping a list.
    I don’t recall any of the titles listed. Are there earlier or later titles that are not listed?
    These 2 authors are fast becoming a favorite.. They have made it to the shortlist after 2 books! Wheeee!

    • Mystery Sequels says:

      These are all the Pendergast books so far. The authors have written separately books of their own as well, but these are their common works only – the Pendergast series.

    • Pat Asher says:

      Preston & Child have collaborated on other novels besides the Pendergast Series.
      Those works include Mount Dragon, Riptide, Thunderhead (while not a Pendergast novel, it does provide background for two Pendergast characters and is a good read itself), and The Ice Limit.
      Then there is the Gideon Series, which includes: Gideon’s Sword, Gideon’s Corpse, The Lost Island, (you will really want to read The Ice Limit before reading it’s sequel) Beyond The Ice Limit.

      Perhaps one of these novels will ring a bell with you. Every one is well worth the monetary and time investment.

      • Mystery Sequels says:

        Yes they have, and a click through the links on their names will take you to their respective pages where the rest of the books (written in collaboration or alone) have been listed.

  53. Pam says:

    I have read several of these books. They can be read alone but it is best to read these in order since I missed some of the plot from not having read the background novels.

  54. Steph says:

    How fun to have a really good solid book series to delve into. I shared on FB and Twitter! Maybe will find some other fans out there!

  55. Monica says:

    I’ve never read this author – the collection sounds riveting! I also appreciate the recommendation of reading the books in order.

    • Vicky says:

      The series is a must to read. Once you have read one, then you will want to read them all. I loved them and my husband loved them also. Enjoy.

    • Sher says:

      You haven’t lived til you have read this series. It will grab you and hold you and you will not want to let go through each book. When you get to the end, you can only pray that Pendergast is moving into a new adventure which will hit on paper in a book as quickly as is possible. It’s like a drug.

      • Trollificus says:

        I read Relic and Cabinet, and may have read Reliquary, LONG ago, and surely out of order, and somehow did not realize they were part of a series centered on the Holmesian FBI Agent Pendergast.

        So, finding the serendipitous circumstance of an Xmas B&N gift card and the more recent “Blue Labyrinth” on sale, I find I’ve missed out on something that would seem to be right up my alley! (exceptional sleuths and heroes, as I imagined I myself just might become, appealed from early adolescence-Holmes, Doc Savage, even Jack Vance’s fantastic Kirth Gersen (check the Demon Princes series), etc)

        Now I can’t just read BL without catching up on the history of Agent Pendergast, but wonder if I recall the first three well enough to skip them. I may just start with “Crows” and hope there’s enough revisiting and background to get me up to speed. ?? Maybe?

      • Veronica says:

        Mrs. Sher you could not have said it better. I feel like i need to ask them to dinner but fear ill have the wrong wine. Haha. I cant get enough.


    • Elinor Wilcox says:

      I have enjoyed every one of thee author’s books!

    • Francie says:

      The audiobooks are great.

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