Women’s Murder Club Books in Order: How to read James Patterson’s series?

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This is a James Patterson mystery series (the author of the Alex Cross series), a best-seller machine. Set in San Francisco, the Women’s Murder Club series follows a group of women from different professions relating to investigating crimes as they work together to solve murders.

The stories are about their personal and professional issues. The main characters were originally Lindsay Boxer, a homicide detective; Cindy Thomas, a crime desk reporter; Claire Washburn, the Chief Medical Examiner; and Jill Bernhardt, assistant district attorney.

How to Read the Women’s Murder Club Series in Order?

All the novels in the Women’s Murder Club book series offer standalone stories but Lindsay, Cindy, Claire, and Jill’s lives are developed a little more in each novel.

  1. 1st to Die – A police detective, an assistant DA, a reporter, and a medical examiner join forces as they sidestep their bosses to track down criminals. Known as the Women’s Murder Club, they are pursuing a murderer whose twisted imagination has stunned an entire city. Their chief suspect is a socially prominent writer, but the men in charge won’t touch him.
  2. 2nd Chance – A brutal madman sprays bullets into a crowd of children leaving a San Francisco church. Miraculously, only one person dies. Then an elderly black woman is hung. Lindsay Boxer senses a connection and together with medical examiner Claire, assistant D. A. Jill, and Chronicle reporter Cindy, find a link that sends a chill through the entire nation.
  3. 3rd Degree – Plunging into a burning townhouse, Lindsay Boxer discovers three dead bodies … and a mysterious message at the scene. When more corpses turn up, Lindsay asks the Women’s Murder Club to help her find a murderer who vows to kill every three days.
  1. 4th of July – In a deadly late-night showdown, Lindsay Boxer fires her weapon and sets off a dramatic chain of events that leaves a police force disgraced, a family destroyed, and Lindsay herself at the mercy of twelve jurors. During a break in the trial, she retreats to a picturesque town that is reeling from a string of grisly murders-crimes that bear a link to a haunting, unsolved case from her rookie years. Now, with her friends in the Women’s Murder Club, Lindsay must battle for her life on two fronts.
  2. The 5th Horseman – It is a wild race against time as Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer and the newest member of the Women’s Murder Club, attorney Yuki Castellano, lead an investigation into a string of mysterious patient deaths – and reveal a hospital administration determined to shield its reputation at all costs. And while the hospital wages an explosive court battle that grips the entire nation, the Women’s Murder Club hunts for a merciless killer among its esteemed medical staff.
  3. The 6th Target – When a horrifying attack leaves one of the four members of the Women’s Murder Club struggling for her life, the others fight to keep a madman behind bars before anyone else is hurt.
  1. 7th Heaven – The Women’s Murder Club faces not one but two terrifying cases that may tear it apart. The teenage son of California’s ex-governor has mysteriously vanished-and the pressure on Detective Lindsay Boxer to find him is overwhelming. At the same time, Lindsay must investigate mysterious fires that are destroying some of San Francisco’s most beautiful homes–and leaving their owners dead in the debris.
  2. The 8th Confession – At the party of the year, San Francisco’s most glamorous couple is targeted by a killer – and it’s the perfect murder. While Detective Lindsay Boxer investigates the high-profile killings, a saintly street preacher is brutally executed. Reporter Cindy Thomas inquires into this neglected case and discovers the victim may have had very dark secrets.
  3. The 9th Judgment – During an intimate dinner party, a cat burglar breaks into the home of A-list actor Marcus Dowling. When his wife walks in on the thief, the situation quickly teeters out of control, leaving an empty safe and a lifeless body. The same night, a woman and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down in an abandoned garage. The killer hasn’t left a shred of evidence, except for a foreboding and cryptic message: WCF, the letters written in blood-red letters.
  1. 10th Anniversary – For every secret Lindsay Boxer’s long-awaited wedding celebration becomes a distant memory when she is called to investigate a horrendous crime: a badly injured teenage girl is left for dead, and her newborn baby is nowhere to be found. Lindsay discovers that not only is there no trace of the criminals – but that the victim may be keeping secrets as well.
  2. 11th Hour – When millionaire Chaz Smith is mercilessly gunned down, Lindsay Boxer discovers that the murder weapon is linked to the deaths of four of San Francisco’s most untouchable criminals. And it was taken from her own department’s evidence locker. Anyone could be the killer – even her closest friends.
  3. 12th of Never – A rising star football player for the San Francisco 49ers is the prime suspect in a grisly murder. At the same time, Lindsay Boxer is confronted with the strangest story she’s ever heard: An eccentric English professor has been having vivid nightmares about a violent murder and he’s convinced it is real. Lindsay doesn’t believe him, but then a shooting is called in-and it fits the professor’s description to the last detail.
  1. Unlucky 13 – The FBI sends Lindsay a photo of a killer from her past, and her happy world is shattered. The picture captures a beautiful woman at a stoplight. But all Lindsay Boxer sees is the psychopath behind those seductive eyes: Mackie Morales, the most deranged and dangerous mind the Women’s Murder Club has ever encountered.
  2. 14th Deadly Sin – The Women’s Murder Club gathers to celebrate San Francisco Medical Examiner Claire Washburn’s birthday. But the party is cut short when Lindsay Boxer is called to a gruesome crime scene, where a woman has been murdered in broad daylight. As she investigates, shocking video footage of another crime surfaces.
  3. 15th Affair – Lindsay Boxer has never been happier–until a brutal murder in a hotel and the disappearance of a blonde woman from the scene intrude upon Lindsay’s own life. She can’t ignore the disturbing clues that hit too close to home. When an explosive tragedy plunges San Francisco into chaos, Lindsay again finds herself following signs that lead to her own front door.
  1. 16th Seduction – Lindsay Boxer is learning to love again. After the picture-perfect world, she shared with her husband, Joe, and their beautiful young daughter shattered under the weight of Joe’s double life, Lindsay is determined to put the pieces back together. But before she can welcome Joe back, San Francisco faces a threat unlike any the city has ever seen.
  2. The 17th Suspect – A series of shootings exposes San Francisco to a methodical yet unpredictable killer, and a reluctant woman decides to put her trust in Sergeant Lindsay Boxer. The confidential informant’s tip leads Lindsay to disturbing conclusions. The hunt for the killer lures Lindsay out of her jurisdiction and gets inside Lindsay in dangerous ways.
  3. The 18th Abduction – For a trio of colleagues, an innocent night out after class ends in a deadly torture session. They vanish without a clue – until a body turns up. With the safety of San Francisco’s entire school system at stake, Lindsay has never been under more pressure. As the chief of police and the press clamor for an arrest in the “school night” case, Lindsay turns to her best friend, Cindy Thomas. Together, they take a new approach to the case, and unexpected facts about the victims leave them stunned.
  1. The 19th Christmas – As the holidays approach, Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends in the Women’s Murder Club have much to celebrate. Crime is down. The medical examiner’s office is quiet. And the news cycle is slow. Then a fearsome criminal known only as “Loman” seizes control of the headlines. He is planning a deadly surprise for Christmas morning. And he has commissioned dozens of criminal colleagues to take actions that will mask his plans. All that Lindsay and the SFPD can figure out is that Loman’s greed – for riches, for bloodshed, for attention – is limitless.
  2. The 20th Victim – Three victims, three bullets, three cities. The shooters’ aim is as fearsomely precise as their target selection. When Lindsay realizes that the fallen men and women excel in a lucrative, criminal activity, she leads the charge in the manhunt for the killers. As the casualty list expands, fear and fascination with this suspicious shooting gallery galvanize the country. The victims were no angels, but are the shooters villains . . . or heroes?
  3. 21st Birthday – When a distraught mother pleads with San Francisco Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas to investigate the disappearance of her daughter Tara and baby granddaughter Lorrie, Cindy immediately loops in SFPD Sergeant Lindsay Boxer. The prime suspect is Tara’s schoolteacher husband, Lucas Burke, but he tells a conflicting story that paints Tara as a wayward wife, not a missing person.
  1. 22 Seconds – SFPD Sergeant Boxer has guns on her mind. There’s buzz of a last-ditch shipment of drugs and weapons crossing the Mexican border ahead of new restrictive gun laws. Before Lindsay can act, her top informant tips her to a case that hits disturbingly close to home. Former cops. Professional hits. All with the same warning scrawled on their bodies. You talk, you die.
  2. 23rd Midnight – Detective Lindsay Boxer put serial killer Evan Burke in jail. Reporter Cindy Thomas wrote a book that put him on the bestseller list. An obsessed maniac has turned Burke’s true-crime story into a playbook. And is embellishing it with gruesome touches all his own. Now Lindsay’s tracking an elusive suspect, and the entire Murder Club is facing destruction.
  3. 23 1/2 Lies (Short Stories) – Lindsay Boxer’s estranged father is gunned down execution-style, and her investigation uncovers life-altering truths. (plus 2 more stories)

If you like our article about the Women’s Murder Club reading order, don’t forget to bookmark it! If you like Women’s Murder Club, you may also want to see our Rizzoli & Isles reading order or our guide to the Stephanie Plum series.

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  1. How do the titles relate to the story contained in each book of the series. I cannot find a correlation. For example : Unlucky 13 and the 17th Suspect?

    1. It’s a better experience, for me, to read them in order since the books follow the personal lives of the main characters.

    1. I’m also wondering if you need to read them in order or if the book just won’t make any sense if I read the 19th Christmas without reading the first 18.

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