Robert Bailey Books In Order – Complete List

Robert Bailey is the author of the McMurtrie and Drake legal thrillers series, the Bocephus Haynes series, and the Jason Rich series, followed by a standalone novel titled Golfer’s Carol.

Here are the Robert Bailey books in order of publication and reading order for all his legal thrillers as well as any standalone novels he has published. The book list is regularly updated.

New Robert Bailey Books

Rich Waters
Rich Waters, (Jason Rich #2) 2023

McMurtrie and Drake Legal Thrillers Books in Publication Order

  1. The Professor, 2014
  2. Between Black and White, 2016
  3. The Last Trial, 2018
  4. The Final Reckoning, 2019

Bocephus Haynes Books in Publication Order

  1. Legacy of Lies, 2020
  2. The Wrong Side, 2021

Jason Rich Books in Publication Order

  1. Rich Blood, 2022
  2. Rich Waters, 2023
  3. Rich Justice, 2024

Standalone Novels in Publication Order

About the McMurtrie and Drake Series

We first meet Thomas Jackson McMurtrie in The Professor, the first book in Robert Bailey’s McMurtrie and Drake legal thrillers books. Tom is a 60 something retired professor who not only used to teach law, he was also the one who wrote the manual on evidence in the state of Alabama. He is also the former mentor of Rick Drake.

Due to some issues at work and because he was diagnosed with bladder cancer, he stopped working. Problem is, not only he left things with his student, Rick Drake in bad standing but he also doesn’t know what to do with himself anymore.

So when a truck accident leaves a family dead, he is asked to represent Ruth Ann Wilcox, the mother of a young woman who died in that fateful collision earlier. Even though the former mentor, Tom, and Rick are no longer in good terms, he does ask Rick to help him win the case against Jack Willistone and his trucking company.

The Robert Bailey debut novel is a fast-paced courtroom drama that borders on being a thriller with powerful villains and a race against time.

We meet McMurtrie again in the second book in the series, Between Black and White. This time, the black and white colors point to the skin colors of the people involved. Back in 1966, the father of Bocephus Haynes was lynched and found dead.

In the meantime, he studied law under his former mentor McMurtrie, got his license to practice law, and is now practicing in his hometown, Pulaski, Tennessee, where the lynching happened so many years before.

When Andy Walton, the man who was supposedly the head of the Ku-Klux-Klan group that killed Bo’s father, is found himself dead in the very spot that the earlier murder occurred, it is no big surprise that Bo himself is accused of the murder with the motive being revenge.

Except Bo didn’t do it, so now he asks McMurtrie for help in defending himself and finding the actual killer.

In the third McMurtrie and Drake novel, The Last Trial, we meet Tom McMurtrie again in probably his most difficult case so far. His old nemesis, Jack Willistone, is dead, killed and left on the shores of the Black Warrior River shortly after he was released from prison.

A woman, Wilma Newton, is accused of murdering him, so her 14-year-old daughter asks Tom for help. He does agree, but this time Rick Drake is not present, so he reaches out to his old friend Bo Haynes for help in solving this damning case.

Since there are a ton of people who would have gladly killed Willistone, it is not easy to find the real killer. But one thing Tom knows for sure is that Wilma didn’t kill that old monster.

In the fourth Tom McMurtrie book, The Final Reckoning, Robert Bailey brings back the gang once again while this time raising the stakes like never before. JimBone Wheeler is an evil killer who was imprisoned and put on death row at least in part due to Tom McMurtrie’s help. And JimBone is pissed as hell. And he has escaped.

Should We Read the Robert Bailey Books in Order?

Generally, the legal thrillers can be read on their own, however, for each series, the books are recommended to be read in order, to better experience the grown of the main characters and follow the strong dynamics and connections between the various sequence of events.

Robert Bailey Biography – About the Author

Robert Bailey author

Born in Huntsville, Alabama, Robert Bailey attended the Davidson College in North Carolina from where he received his Bachelor of Arts in History in 1996. He always loved reading and writing stories. In college he took a creative writing class, and this is where he started writing short stories.

After his BA degree, Robert Bailey went to law school at the University of Alabama, where he served on the law review while competing on the school’s trial team, which is an honor that is received only by those students who can write really well. While there, he attended pretty much every home footbal game he had access to. He graduated with a degree in JD (Juris Doctor) in 1999.

While in school, he once was daydreaming and the idea of the law Professor came to him at that time. He started thinking of a law professor who had to actually try a case.

Robert Bailey has been working as a civil defense trial lawyer in Huntsville with the law firm of Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne for the last 17 years. He is married to Dixie Bailey with whom he has three children, a girl, and two boys.

While he is still practicing law full time, he is now also an author of legal thrillers with several books published to date. His first book The Professor was published in 2014, and it received three major awards, including the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award for Legal Thriller of the Year, the 2014 National Indie Excellence Award finalist, legal thriller and the 2014 Great Southeast Book Festival, Honorable Mention for General Fiction.

It took Robert Bailey 8 years to finish his first novel and get it published, while he did three main full revisions to the book. One of the main characters, Rick Drake, draws a lot of parallels with the author’s years attending law school. 

After writing his debut novel, Robert Baily searched for an agent, opting for the traditional publishing rather than the self-publishing route. He found an agent after a year, and then the search for a good publisher began. It was no easy, as the age of the law professor is advanced (close to 70), but in 2014 The Professor was finally published by Exhibit A Books, which is part of Angry Robot. One year later, in 2015, it was reprinted by Thomas & Mercer.

The Robert Bailey books draw strongly from the author’s background and expertise with the law, where he was handling trucking litigation and civil cases in front of juries.

While each legal thriller in the series can be read as a standalone, it is recommended to read the Robert Bailey books in order not only because the main characters grow, develop, and get really complex as the stories evolve, but some books (such as the first one and the third one) are directly connected through various related characters (like Jack Willistone or  Bocephus Haynes) that keep appearing in several books of the series.

Like these books


  1. As a legal thriller reader I have read all of Grisham’s books then discovered author James Grippando and read all of his and fell into a funk not being able to connect with other legal thriller authors so I decided to scroll thru the internet and can upon your name ….. I took out three of your books and finished two now beginning the third. It’s difficult for me to put them down! The story lines are awesome keeping me on edge, the FAMILY LINE OF characters are superb and so REAL , HOPING TO SEE A CONTINUANCE in future novels ! Once finished with your novels it will be hard to find another author like you. Please KEEP WRITING!!!!!

  2. Read the first book with my book club LOVED IT! Robert writes about Alabama. I’m a transplanted west Virginia girl. But have lived more years in Bana it’s home! His style reminds me of Greg Ilies’s books. I just finished Legacy of Lies. WOW didn’t see that one coming. Great Reading

  3. You have done again. Loved legacy of lies. Keep them coming
    A faithful reader
    .kay taylor

  4. I’m so glad I only just came across Robert Bailey as an author in the UK as I would not have been able to wait for books to be released. I have literally binged on the McMurtrie four books so its the only reason I’m happy to be in lockdown!! I’ve already pre ordered the Bocephus Haines book for June but hoping lock down finishes or I’m going to have to go ‘cold turkey’ waiting for some more releases! What a phenomenal set of books.

  5. Mr. Bailey:

    I have enjoyed all of your books. I’m on my third re-reading. Fantastic!! Keep writing!!!! You are another John Grisham. When will your next book be published?

  6. I got hooked on his first book, The Professor in audio format. I am now on his 3rd book. Absolutely love the books with interesting characters.

  7. @Rebecca, the new book comes out April 2020, and it features Bocephus Haynes, whom we met in a previous book. Honestly, I can’t wait.

    @Rick Meece I love them too. Just a few more months until the new Robert Bailey book is out in his new series!

  8. I absolutely LOVE his books, the stories and his writing style! Best new author I’ve found in quite some time!

  9. Providing my eyes hold out, I am about to open “The Last Trial”. Your books truly fit the category of ” can’t put them down until the last page” I have been struck by the fact that so many instances in “Between Black and White” are so relevant in todays world.. Sadly I might add! Your fictitious Thomas Jackson McMurtrie, is reminding me more and more of current legal genius Mr. Robert Mueller, that says a lot about Thomas Jackson McMurtrie.. Love the location of these novels, I have lived in southern areas and in that way I relate to the laid back, country atmosphere. It would have been best to read your books in order, however that has not interfered with my enjoyment.. I hope that you will continue to feature all of the current family of characters The Professor, Drake, Bo, etc in more of your work. Respectfully, Shirley Bailey..

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