Joy Ellis Books in Order (Nikki Galena, Jackman and Marie Evans, Matt Ballard)

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Joy Ellis is an English crime writer, known for being the author of the DI Nikki Galena series, the DI Jackman and DS Marie Evans series, and the Detective Matt Ballard series of crime thrillers. Ellis spent most of her adult life in London and Surrey where she first worked as an apprentice florist, before running a florist shop in Weybridge.

She later became a bookshop manager and participated in a writers’ workshop in Greece. Her tutor, Sue Townsend, encouraged her to write seriously and Joy Ellis published her first book, Crime on the Fens, in 2010-the first in the DI Nikki Galena series. Now, Joy Ellis has sold more than 2 million books. 

How to read Joy Ellis’ Book Series in Order?

The DI Nikki Galena series

DI Nikki Galena is a police detective who got a bit too tough on some criminals. As her career could come to a premature end, she has to work with a new sergeant, DS Joseph Easter, or she’s out. As the series progresses, she will have to face even more challenges. To know more about it, check out our guide to the DI Nikki Galena series.

  1. Crime on the Fens (2010) – previously known as Mask Wars.
  2. Shadow over the Fens (2011) – previously known as Shadowbreaker.
  3. Hunted on the Fens (2016)
  4. Killer on the Fens (2016)
  5. Stalker on the Fens (2016)
  6. Captive on the Fens (2017)
  7. Buried on the Fens (2017)
  8. Thieves on the Fens (2017)
  9. Fire on the Fens (2018)
  10. Darkness on the Fens (2019)
  11. Hidden On the Fens (2020)
  12. Secrets On the Fens (2021)
  13. Fear On the Fens (2021)
  14. Graves On the Fens (2022)

DI Rowan Jackman & DS Marie Evans series in order

This crime thriller series is taking us to the Lincolnshire Fens to follow DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans as they investigate–with their team–murder mysteries and track serial killers. For more information, check out our article about the DI Rowan Jackman & DS Marie Evans series.

  1. The Murderer’s Son (2016)
  2. Their Lost Daughters (2017)
  3. The Fourth Friend (2017)
  4. The Guilty Ones (2018)
  5. The Stolen Boys (2018)
  6. The Patient Man (2020)
  7. They Disappeared (2020)
  8. The Night Thief (2021)
  9. Solace House (2022)
  10. The River’s Edge (2023)

Reading The Detective Matt Ballard Series in Order

  1. Beware the Past (2017) – When Matt Ballard was starting out his career, three boys were murdered in the same area, the remote and bleak Gibbet Fen. When the main suspect was killed in a hit-and-run, the killings stopped. But Matt was not satisfied that the real murderer had been caught. Over 25 years later, Matt gets a photo in an unmarked envelope. It’s of the Gibbet Fen crime scene. And the picture was taken before the murder took place. Has the killer returned or is this just a sick copycat determined to ruin Matt’s life and reputation? Everyone around Matt is in danger as the killer plays mind games with the detective.
  2. Five Bloody Hearts (2019) – Grace Repton, a beautiful older woman, walks into the police station to tell Detective Matt Ballard she has information that could stop a murder. Her fiance, the infamous serial killer Jeremy Reader, has told her that he has a disciple who is going to kill using Reader’s horrific methods. Reader is safely imprisoned in a high-security prison, and claiming to be a reformed man who wants to help the police. But can Matt believe the serial killer or his peculiar wife-to-be? Can the love of a good woman really change a serial killer?
  3. The Dying Light (2020) – Detective Matt Ballard may have retired but there’s still plenty going on the fens to keep him busy. Someone trashes an old lady’s garden and daubs her isolated cottage with hateful graffiti. Emilia Swain seems to be totally harmless, so why is she being targeted? Matt’s best friend Will and his wife Kate moved to Holland House to put their past behind them. But Kate’s mental state is deteriorating and she’s obsessed with the tragic history of the house and an old doll she finds in the garden. Has the dreadful past come back to haunt the present owners? Former detectives Matt and Liz want to help their friends and neighbors. But how can you help people who don’t want to be helped?
  1. Marshlight (2021) – Liz’s cousin Christie comes to stay. She takes an immediate – and uncharacteristic – dislike to the local bookshop owner, Gina. Why does everyone put up with her awful behavior? Christie is convinced that Gina is manipulating everyone around her. Is she onto something dangerous or just pushing her new friends away? No one believes her suspicions until another friend goes missing late at night on the misty Fen marshes. Can Matt and Liz uncover the truth in time to save lives?
  2. Trick of the Night (2022) – Photography student Toby Unsworth has found the perfect location for a nighttime shoot. A cobbled street in the old part of Fenfleet. Later, when he looks at the images on his laptop, he thinks he sees a woman’s face in the window of an old, disused building. He asks his housemate Alex to come and take a look… Two days later, Toby and Alex are dead. Carbon monoxide poisoning. An unfortunate accident. But Alex’s mother doesn’t believe it. She hires Matt and Liz to find out the truth.
  3. The Bag of Secrets (2023) – Matt is intrigued when his partner Liz brings home an old carpet bag she found dumped in the local library. It contains a pile of mysterious handwritten notes. Liz is convinced the bag belongs to Old Molly, a local woman who lives on the streets. The following day, a body is discovered in a marshy lagoon. It’s Old Molly. Suffocated with an expensive men’s handkerchief. Molly knew something that got her killed. Liz believes she was trying to tell them something important. She calls on her nephew David to help decipher the carpet bag notes. Meanwhile, Matt is hired to find teenage runaway Liam Cooper. Liam has been missing for ten days now, and Matt has a very bad feeling about him.A few days later, a second body is discovered in an old barn out on the fens.

Reading The Ellie McEwan Series in Order

  1. An Aura of Mystery (2024) – Flower shop owner Ellie McEwan is driving home late one frosty November night when a shadowy figure leaps into the road out of nowhere. Ellie swerves to avoid him — and slams head-on into the crash barrier. Days later, Ellie wakes up in hospital — and notices there’s something different. Everyone she looks at — the doctor, the nurse, her friend Carole — is surrounded by a coloured aura. Her near-death experience seems to have given her a new ability. And now Ellie must use her new-found gift to catch a killer.
  2. The Colour of Mystery (2024) – It’s the night shift worker who finds them. Huddled in a hospital store cupboard is elderly Edith Higgins. Knifed to death. Sitting behind her is Staff Nurse Lily Frampton, a scalpel clasped in her blood-soaked hand. No one can understand why this kind-hearted, dedicated nurse would brutally murder a frail patient she’s spent months caring for. That same day, mild-mannered schoolteacher Rod Black is found surrounded by the battered bodies of his pupils. Why would a well-respected teacher beat five schoolboys to death? Once again, DCI Bob Foreman calls on Ellie McEwan for help. 

Other Joy Ellis Books in Order

  • Guide Star (2017) – Stella North, a rising star in the police, has her life torn apart by a gunman’s bullets. She has often faced danger, but these injuries mean she must give up the job she loves. Her grandmother Beth is her rock. And Beth is no ordinary woman. At seventy, she runs marathons and has a past that Stella knows very little about. Beth calls in her friend Michael to help with Stella’s recovery. But this man means a lot more to Beth than she reveals. And Stella’s ex-husband Edward and old police partner Robbie want to help, but Stella puts up emotional barriers, and they have problems of their own. Her old friends from her days of Urbex (exploring old abandoned buildings) offer a glimmer of hope for the future. Will Stella find the strength to overcome the challenges of her new life, and will her grandmother at last resolve the deep emotional turmoil of her past?

If you like our Joy Ellis Books in Order, you may also want to see our guide to the DI Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons, or our guide to Jane Casey’s Maeve Kerrigan series.

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4 Comments

  1. I have just recently started reading the DI Jackman And Rose series. I have fallen in love with them. After checking into the other books by Ms. Ellis, I am curious if they all link together in any way, or if they are all their own individual storyline?

  2. The Jackman and Evans series connects in some ways to the Ballard series. I haven’t read the Gallena series.

  3. While I walk, I listen to Joy Ellis on Audible. I enjoy her stories immensely. With a writers intent, these characters bring the story to everyday life.
    I’ve completed Jackman and Evans and now I’m working my way through Nikki Galena.
    The Fen is a way of life I would love to visit.

  4. I have read all of Joy Ellis’ books and can say she is the best writer of some of the most captivating stories I have read. Her way of bringing her characters out of the pages (or ethernet) and into the room with you is amazing. I have just purchased her latest book, ‘Trick of the Night’, and as soon as I have completed the novel I am currently reading I will be straight on to reading this one. Please keep them coming, we need more!

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