The writer behind the Alex Delaware series and husband of Faye Kellerman, Jonathan Kellerman is an American psychologist and Edgar Award-winning author published since 1985. He used to be a practicing psychologist but he quits his private practice in 1990 to write full-time. Since then, he produced more than 50 novels, most of them are crime books featuring Alex Delaware of course, but also LAPD detective Jacob Lev, deputy coroner Clay Edison, and LAPD homicide detective Petra Connor.
Jonathan Kellerman’s books are known for their complex characters, psychological insight, and intricate plots, and they have been widely popular with readers and critics alike. Kellerman has also written several non-fiction books on psychology, including “With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Puppet Therapy” and “The Contemporary Psychotherapist.”
How to read Jonathan Kellerman’s Books in Order?
Reading The Alex Delaware Series in Order
Alex Delaware mostly assists LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis in his investigations, but he also cares for his patients whom he sometimes reconnects with when they are adults… and dead. For more details, visit our page dedicated to the Alex Delaware books.
- When the Bough Breaks (1985)
- Blood Test (1986)
- Over the Edge (1987)
- Silent Partner (1989)
- Time Bomb (1990)
- Private Eyes (1992)
- Devil’s Waltz (1993)
- Bad Love (1994)
- Self-Defense (1995)
- The Web (1996)
- The Clinic (1997)
- Survival of the Fittest (1997) – Feat. Daniel Shalom Sharavi of The Butcher’s Theater (1988)
- Monster (1999)
- Dr. Death (2000)
- Flesh and Blood (2001)
- The Murder Book (2002)
- A Cold Heart (2003) – Feat. Petra Connor.
- Therapy (2004)
- Rage (2005)
- Gone (2006)
- Obsession (2007)
- Compulsion (2008)
- Bones (2008) – Feat Moses and Aaron who are back after this book in True Detectives.
- Evidence (2009)
- Deception (2010)
- Mystery (2011)
- Victims (2012)
- Guilt (2013)
- Killer (2014)
- Motive (2015)
- Breakdown (2016)
- Heartbreak Hotel (2017)
- Night Moves (2018)
- The Wedding Guest (2019)
- The Museum of Desire (2020)
- Serpentine (2021)
- City of the Dead (2022)
- Unnatural History (2023)
Reading the Detective Jacob Lev Books in Order
Written by Jonathan Kellerman with Jesse Kellerman, the Detective Jacob Lev series offers a mix of mystery and the supernatural.
- The Golem of Hollywood (2014) – Detective Jacob Lev has awakened dazed and confused: it appears he picked up a woman the night before, but can’t remember anything about it. And then suddenly, she’s gone. Not long after, he’s dispatched to a murder scene in a house in the Hollywood hills. There is no body, only a head. And seared into a kitchen counter is a message: the Hebrew word for justice.
- The Golem of Paris (2015) – It’s been more than a year since LAPD detective Jacob Lev learned the remarkable truth about his family, and he’s not coping well. He’s back to drinking, the LAPD Special Projects Department continues to shadow him, and the memory of a woman named Mai haunts him. And while Jacob has tried to build a bridge to his mother, she remains imprisoned inside her own tattered mind. Then he comes across the file for a gruesome unsolved murder that brings the two halves of his life into startling collision. Finding the killer will take him halfway around the world, to Paris. It’s a dangerous search for truth that plunges him into the past. And for Jacob Lev, there is no place more frightening.
Reading The Deputy Coroner Clay Edison Series
Another series written by Jonathan with Jesse Kellerman, this series is about former star basketball player Clay Edison who’s now working as deputy coroner.
- Crime Scene (2017) – Natural causes or foul play? That’s the question Clay Edison must answer each time he examines a body. Figuring out motives and chasing down suspects aren’t part of his beat-not until a seemingly open-and-shut case proves to be more than meets his highly trained eye.
- A Measure of Darkness (2018) – Former star basketball player Clay Edison is busy. He’s solved a decades-old crime and redeemed an innocent man, earning himself a suspension in the process. Things are getting serious with his girlfriend. Plus his brother’s fresh out of prison, bringing with him a whole new set of complications.
- Half Moon Bay (2020) – When infant remains are found by developers demolishing a local park, a devastating cold case is brought back to light. Clay has barely begun to investigate when he receives a call from a man who thinks the remains could belong to his sister – who went missing fifty years ago. Now Clay is locked in a relentless search that will unearth a web of violence, secrets and betrayal.
- The Burning (2021) – A raging wildfire. A massive blackout. A wealthy man shot to death in his palatial hilltop home. For Clay Edison, it’s all in a day’s work. As a deputy coroner, caring for the dead, he speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves. He prides himself on an unflinching commitment to the truth. Even when it gets him into trouble.
- The Lost Coast (2023) – It’s been almost a year since Clay Edison was forced out of his job at the coroner’s bureau. Now he’s on his own, working as a private eye. When a client brings him a fraud case, Clay dives into a decades-old scheme targeting the vulnerable. His investigation leads him to a bizarre town buried in the remote California wilderness. The residents don’t care much for outsiders. They certainly don’t like Clay asking questions. And they’ll do just about anything to shut him up.
Reading The Detective Petra Connor Series in Order
Written by Jonathan Kellerman alone, the Petra Connor series follows an LAPD homicide detective.
- Billy Straight (1998) – A resourceful runaway alone in the wilds of Los Angeles, twelve-year-old Billy Straight suddenly witnesses a brutal stabbing in Griffith Park. Fleeing into the night, Billy cannot shake the horrific memory of the savage violence, nor the pursuit of a cold-blooded killer. For wherever Billy turns-from Hollywood Boulevard to the boardwalks of Venice-he is haunted by the chuck, chuck sound of a knife sinking into flesh. As LAPD homicide detective Petra Connor desperately searches for the murderer, as the media swarms mercilessly around the story, the vicious madman stalks closer to his prey. Only Petra can save Billy.
- A Cold Heart – a team up with Alex Delaware
- Twisted (2004) – With her energies focused on a baffling, vicious gang slaying and her personal life in shambles, Hollywood homicide detective Petra Connor has a full plate. The last thing she needs is a whiz-kid grad student claiming to have stumbled upon a bizarre connection between several unsolved murders.
Reading Stand-alone fiction novels by Jonathan Kellerman
- The Butcher’s Theater (1988) – From the sacred Wailing Wall to monasteries where dark secrets are cloistered, from black-clad Bedouin enclaves to labyrinthine midnight alleys, veteran police inspector Daniel Sharavi and his crack team plunge deep into a city simmering with religious and political passions to hunt for a murderer whose insatiable taste for bloodshed could destroy the delicate balance on which Jerusalem’s very survival depends. Daniel Shalom Sharavi is also featured in Survival of the Fittest with Alex Delaware.
- The Conspiracy Club (2003) – When his passionate romance with nurse Jocelyn Banks is cut short by her kidnapping and brutal murder, young psychologist Jeremy Carrier is left emotionally devastated, haunted by his lover’s grisly demise-and eyed warily by police still seeking a prime suspect in the slaying.
- Double Homicide (2005) – Written with Faye Kellerman. Printed as a reversible volume with two different covers, this book contains two stories featuring different detectives solving crimes in different cities, one in Boston, one in Santa Fe.
- Capital Crimes (2007) Written with Faye Kellerman. Printed as a reversible volume with two different covers, this book contains two stories featuring different detectives solving crimes in different cities, one in Berkeley, one in Nashville.
- True Detectives (2009) – A sequel to Bones. Moses is a no-frills LAPD detective. Aaron is an ex-cop turned high-end private eye. Usually they go their separate ways. But the disappearance of Caitlin Frostig isn’t usual. For Moses, it’s an ice-cold mystery he just can’t outrun, even with the help of psychologist Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis. For Aaron, it’s a billable-hours bonanza from his most lucrative client. Like it or not, Moses and Aaron are in this one together–and the rivalry that rules them won’t let either man quit till the case is cracked.
- The Right Thing to Do (2015) (eBook Short Story) – It’s the summer of 1965, and Malcolm Bluestone, fresh out of Harvard and bound for law school, is taking a break to soak in the sun and sights of California. Free from his doting parents, he’s enjoying a whirlwind tour of his older brother Steve’s glamorous movie-star lifestyle. Yet all the excitement only seems to leave Malcolm feeling haunted by the sheltered, studious life he leads–and trapped by the secure but predictable future that awaits him. It is a future he has the power to change, if he’s brave enough to dare and wise enough, like his brother, to listen to his heart. But it will take a shocking incident on a movie set to finally spur Malcolm to action.
- The Murderer’s Daughter (2015) – A brilliant, deeply dedicated psychologist, Grace Blades has a gift for treating troubled souls and tormented psyches. Both Grace and her newest patient are stunned when they recognize each other from a recent encounter. Haunted by his bleak past, mild-mannered Andrew Toner is desperate for Grace’s renowned therapeutic expertise and more than willing to ignore their connection. And while Grace is tempted to explore his case, which seems to eerily echo her grim early years, she refuses–a decision she regrets when a homicide detective appears on her doorstep.
Stand-alone nonfiction novels by Jonathan Kellerman
- Psychological Aspects of Childhood Cancer (1980)
- Helping the Fearful Child (1981)
- Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children (1999)
- The Best American Crime Reporting (2008) (with Thomas H. Cook and Otto Penzler)
- With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars (2008)