J.D. Robb is a pseudonym for the author Nora Roberts. She was already a well-established author as Roberts, so taking on a new pseudonym was a new challenge for Nora. And J.D. Robb became probably even more popular than Nora Roberts.
The In Death book series has been going on for almost three decades, and Robb has no intention of stopping the series any time soon. It follows a futuristic police couple, and although every book is a stand-alone piece, the characters grow throughout the 60-plus books J.D. Robb had written since 1995 when the series started.
So, without further ado, here’s a complete guide through J.D. Robb’s In Death book series, from the first novel to the last so far, published in 2022, we’re likewise going to mention two books set to be released in February and September 2023.
J.D. Robb’s In Death book series reading order (At a glance)
There are 66 pieces in the In Death book series (67th and 68th on the way), 56 of which are considered primary books. Some entries are novellas published in other J.D. Robb and Nora Roberts books, namely her story collection books. The entire In Death book series is as follows:
- Naked in Death, July 1995 (In Death #1)
- Glory in Death, December 1995 (In Death #2)
- Immortal in Death, July 1996 (In Death #3)
- Rapture in Death, October 1996 (In Death #4)
- Ceremony in Death, May 1997 (In Death #5)
- Vengeance in Death, October 1997 (In Death #6)
- Holiday in Death, June 1998 (In Death #7)
- Novella: “Midnight in Death,” from the book Silent Night, November 1998 (In Death #7.5)
- Conspiracy in Death, April 1999 (In Death #8)
- Loyalty in Death, October 1999 (In Death #9)
- Witness in Death, March 2000 (In Death #10)
- Judgment in Death, September 2000 (In Death #11)
- Betrayal in Death, March 2001 (In Death #12)
- Novella: “Interlude in Death,” from the book Out of This World, August 2001 (In Death #12.5)
- Seduction in Death, September 2001 (In Death #13)
- Reunion in Death, March 2002 (In Death #14)
- Purity in Death, September 2002 (In Death #15)
- Portrait in Death, March 2003 (In Death #16)
- Imitation in Death, August 2003 (In Death #17)
- Remember When (a Nora Roberts story with a JD Robb sequel), September 2003 (In Death #17.5)
- Divided in Death, January 2004 (In Death #18)
- Visions in Death, August 2004 (In Death #19)
- Survivor in Death, February 2005 (In Death #20)
- Origin in Death, July 2005 (In Death #21)
- Memory in Death, January 2006 (In Death #22)
- Novella: “Haunted in Death,” from the book Bump in the Night, April 2006 (In Death #22.5)
- Born in Death, November 2006 (In Death #23)
- Innocent in Death, February 2007 (In Death #24)
- Creation in Death, November 2007 (In Death #25)
- Novella: “Eternity in Death,” from the book Dead of Night, November 2007 (In Death #25.5)
- Strangers in Death, February 2008 (In Death #26)
- Salvation in Death, November 2008 (In Death #27)
- Novella: “Ritual in Death,” from the book Suite 606, November 2008 (In Death #27.5)
- Promises in Death, February 2009 (In Death #28
- Kindred in Death, November 2009 (In Death #29)
- Novella: “Missing in Death,” from the book The Lost, December 2009 (In Death #29.5)
- Fantasy in Death, February 2010 (In Death #30)
- Indulgence in Death, November 2010 (In Death #21)
- Novella: “Possession in Death” from the book The Other Side, December 2010 (In Death #31.5)
- Treachery in Death, February 2011 (In Death #32)
- New York to Dallas, September 2011 (In Death #33)
- Novella: “Chaos in Death,” from the book The Unquiet, October 2011 (In Death #33.5)
- Celebrity in Death, February 2012 (In Death #34)
- Delusion in Death, September 2012 (In Death #35)
- Calculated in Death, February 2013 (In Death #36)
- Thankless in Death, September 2013 (In Death #37)
- Novella: “Taken in Death,” from the book Mirror, Mirror, October 2013 (In Death #37.5)
- Concealed in Death, February 2014 (In Death #38)
- Festive in Death, September 2014 (In Death #39)
- Obsession in Death, February 2015 (In Death #40)
- Devoted in Death, September 2015 (In Death #41)
- Novella: “Wonderment in Death,” from the book Down the Rabbit Hole, November 2015 (In Death #41.5)
- Brotherhood in Death, February 2016 (In Death #42)
- Apprentice in Death, September 2016 (In Death #43)
- Echoes in Death, February 2017 (In Death #44)
- Secrets in Death, September 2017 (In Death #45)
- Dark in Death, January 2018 (In Death #46)
- Leverage in Death, September 2018 (In Death #47)
- Connections in Death, February 2019 (In Death #48)
- Vendetta in Death, September 2019 (In Death #49)
- Golden in Death, February 2020 (In Death #50)
- Shadows in Death, September 2020 (In Death #51)
- Faithless in Death, February 2021 (In Death #52)
- Forgotten in Death, September 2021 (In Death #53)
- Abandoned in Death, February 2022 (In Death #54)
- Desperation in Death, September 2022 (In Death #55)
- Encore in Death, February 2023 (In Death #56)
- Pacback in Death September 2023 (In Death #57)
J.D. Robb’s In Death book series reading order (In detail)
There are far too many In Death books to go into detail about every single one of them, so I’ve hand-picked some of the books that are the most popular, most important, or simply the most entertaining in the series. For the full list, check out the list above.
In Death Book #1: Naked in Death, July 1995
Description: Here is the novel that started it all – the first book in J.D. Robb’s number-one New York Times-bestselling In Death series, featuring New York homicide detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke.
Synopsis: “It is the year 2058, and technology now completely rules the world. But New York City Detective Eve Dallas knows that the irresistible impulses of the human heart are still ruled by just one thing: passion.
When a senator’s daughter is killed, the secret life of prostitution she’d been leading is revealed. The high-profile case takes Lieutenant Eve Dallas into the rarefied circles of Washington politics and society. Further complicating matters is Eve’s growing attraction to Roarke, who is one of the wealthiest and most influential men on the planet, devilishly handsome… and the leading suspect in the investigation.”
In Death Book #2: Glory in Death, December 1995
Description: The second book in the series, I believe just as important as the first. We learn a lot about the characters and the dynamics between them. If you read the first two books before anything else in the series, I believe the rest of the books will be much more pleasurable to read and provide with a better context of the characters’ relationships and actions.
Synopsis: “It is 2058, New York City. In a world where technology can reveal the darkest of secrets, there’s only one place to hide a crime of passion in the heart.
Even in the mid-twenty-first century, during a time when genetic testing usually weeds out any violent hereditary traits before they can take over, murder still happens. The first victim is found lying on a sidewalk in the rain. The second is murdered in her own apartment building. Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas has no problem finding connections between the two crimes.
Both victims were beautiful and highly successful women. Their glamorous lives and loves were the talk of the city. And their intimate relations with men of great power and wealth provide Eve with a long list of suspects — including her own lover, Roarke.“
In Death #7.5: “Midnight in Death,” novella from the book Silent Night, November 1998
Description: The first out of numerous novellas that spun from the In Death series. The number-one New York Times best-selling In Death series explodes with intrigue, passion, and suspense. Now, Nora Roberts, writing as J. D. Robb, propels you into the darkest night of Lieutenant Eve Dallas’ life – when a killer comes to call.
Synopsis: “Eve’s name has made a Christmas list, but it’s not for being naughty or nice. It’s for putting a serial killer behind bars. Now the escaped madman has her in his sights. With her husband, Roarke, at her side, Eve must stop the man from exacting his bloody vengeance – or die trying.”
In Death #16: Portrait In Death, March 2003
Description: Book #16 in the primary In Death book series, 18th entry overall. One of my favorite In Death books ever, first published in 2003 and now already available in 67 editions.
Synopsis: ”After a tip from a reporter, Eve Dallas finds the body of a young woman in a Delancey street dumpster. Just hours before, the news station had mysteriously received a portfolio of professional portraits of the woman. The photos seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary for any pretty young woman starting a modeling career. Except that she wasn’t a model. And that these photos were taken after she had been murdered.
Now Dallas is on the trail of a killer who’s a perfectionist and an artist. He carefully observes and records his victim’s every move. And he has a mission: to own every beautiful young woman’s innocence, to capture her youth and vitality—in one fateful shot…”
In Death #24: Innocent In Death, February 2007
Description: Innocent in Death is one of the best-rated, most read, and most-reviewed J.D. Robb In Death books, and an incredibly intriguing one. We learn how tough and dedicated Eve is – even when facing heartbreak, she puts her feelings aside and does what she does best.
Synopsis: “When history teacher Craig Foster is found dead in his classroom, his young wife is devastated, and his family, friends and colleagues all shocked. The two ten-year-old students who discovered his body may be traumatised for life.
Magdalena Percell, an old flame of Eve’s billionaire husband Roarke, has turned up in New York, and she’s anything but innocent. Unfortunately, Roarke seems blind to Magdalena’s manipulations, but not to her shapely figure and flirtatious ways. But Eve will have to put aside her potential heartbreak, for a while at least- because another man has just turned up dead…”
In Death #27.5: “Ritual in Death,” novella from the book Suite 606, November 2008
Description: Out of all the side novellas from the series, Ritual in Death was my favorite. Intriguing, suspenseful, and oddly eerie at times. I loved every letter.
Synopsis: When a high-society party is crashed by a naked, knife-wielding, blood-covered man who “thinks” he might have killed someone, Eve Dallas must track down the crime and the criminals. Everything points to Satanic ritual, but Eve doesn’t believe in devil worship…”
In Death #33: New York to Dallas, September 2011
Description: One of the rare books from the In Death series that doesn’t actually include “in Death” in the title. This one includes revenge, the past haunting Eve into the future, and so much more. Among the best pieces of the entire series. I highly recommend it, but one should read the books, including the character McQueen, first to learn why he hates Eve so much.
Synopsis: “Twelve years ago, Eve Dallas was just a rookie NY cop when her instincts led her to the apartment of Isaac McQueen, a man she discovered to be a sick murderer and pedophile, who was keeping young girls in cages.
Now a homicide Lieutenant, Eve is one of the most distinguished officers in the city—and then she learns that McQueen has escaped from jail. Bent on revenge against Eve and with a need to punish more “bad girls,” McQueen heads to Dallas, Texas—the place where Eve was found as a child, the place where she killed her own abusive monster when she was only eight years old.
With Eve and Roarke in pursuit of McQueen, everything is on the line and secrets from Eve’s past are about to be shockingly revealed.”
In Death #41.5: “Wonderment in Death,” novella from the book Down the Rabbit Hole, November 2015
Description: The last In Death novella outside of the main series so far. It was incredibly intriguing – short but very well-paced.
Synopsis: “Someone is hosting dangerous tea parties in 2061 New York…
Things aren’t what they seem when Lieutenant Eve Dallas investigates what appears to be a routine murder/suicide. When friends of Darlene and Marcus Fitzwilliams insist Darlene would never hurt her brother, Eve digs deeper.
Eve learns that Darlene sought help from sensitivities, psychics, and doctors of paranormal studies in an attempt to contact her dead parents. After clues mimicking Alice in Wonderland repeatedly turn up, the case gets curiouser and curiouser…
Racing against the clock, Eve must travel down the rabbit hole to stop a madman’s murderous tea party.”
In Death #43: Apprentice in Death, September 2016)
Description: Lieutenant Eve Dallas returns in a fast-paced new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author J. D. Robb. First published in 216, now available in 32 editions.
Synopsis: “Nature versus nurture…
The shots came quickly, silently, and with deadly accuracy. Within seconds, three people were dead at Central Park’s ice skating rink. The victims: a talented young skater, a doctor, and a teacher. As random as random can be.
Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD, but never one like this. After reviewing security videos, it becomes clear that the victims were killed by a sniper firing a tactical laser rifle, who could have been miles away when the trigger was pulled.
And though the locations where the shooter could have set up seem endless, the list of people with that particular skill set is finite: police, military, professional killer.
Eve’s husband, Roarke, has unlimited resources—and genius—at his disposal. And when his computer program leads Eve to the location of the sniper, she learns a shocking fact: There were two—one older, one younger.
Someone is being trained by an expert in the science of killing, and they have an agenda. Central Park was just a warm-up. And as another sniper attack shakes the city to its core, Eve realizes that though we’re all shaped by the people around us, there are those who are just born evil…”
In Death #49: Vendetta in Death, September 2019
Description: The predator becomes the prey in this amazing thriller in the #1 New York Times bestselling series featuring homicide detective Eve Dallas.
Synopsis: “She calls herself Lady Justice. And once she has chosen a man as her target, she turns herself into a tall blonde or a curvaceous redhead, makes herself as alluring and seductive as possible to them. Once they are in her grasp, they are powerless.
The first victim is wealthy businessman Nigel McEnroy. His company’s human resources department has already paid out settlements to a couple of his young victims—but they don’t know that his crimes go far beyond workplace harassment. Lady Justice knows. And in one shocking night of brutality, she makes him pay a much steeper price.
Now Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke, are combing through the evidence of McEnroy’s secret life. His compulsive need to record his misdeeds provides them with a wide range of suspects, but the true identity of Lady Justice remains elusive.
It’s a challenging case, made even more difficult by McEnroy’s widow, who reacts to the investigation with fury, denial, and threats. Meanwhile, Lady Justice’s criminal crusade is escalating rapidly, and if Eve can’t stop this vigilante, there’s no telling how much blood may be spilled…”
In Death #55: Desperation in Death, September 2022
Description: The final entry of the series so far, just recently published but already available in 13 editions. It won’t be the last book of the series, though. The #1 New York Times bestselling author presents a gripping new thriller that pits homicide detective Eve Dallas against a conspiracy of exploitation and evil…
Synopsis: “New York, 2061: The place called the Pleasure Academy is a living nightmare where abducted girls are trapped, trained for a life of abject service while their souls are slowly but surely destroyed.
Dorian, a thirteen-year-old runaway who’d been imprisoned there, might never have made it out if not for her fellow inmate Mina, who’d hatched the escape plan. Mina was the more daring of the two—but they’d been equally desperate.
Unfortunately, they didn’t get away fast enough. Now Dorian is injured, terrified, and wandering the streets of New York, and Mina lies dead near the waterfront while Lt. Eve Dallas looks over the scene.
Mina’s expensive, elegant clothes and beauty products convince Dallas that she was being groomed, literally and figuratively, for sex trafficking—and that whoever is investing in this high-overhead operation expects windfall profits. Her billionaire husband, Roarke, may be able to help, considering his ties to the city’s ultra-rich.
But Roarke is also worried about the effect this case is having on Dallas, as it brings a rage to the surface she can barely control. No matter what, she must keep her head clear–because above all, she is desperate for justice and to take down those who prey on and torment the innocent.”
In Death #56: Encore in Death, February 2023
Description: The next chapter of J.D. Robb’s In Death series, was announced for February 2023. The homicide cop with a passion for justice returns in the captivating crime thriller series by the #1 New York Times bestselling author.
Synopsis: “It was a glittering event full of A-listers, hosted by Eliza Lane and Brant Fitzhugh, the most glittering of all celebrity couples. Everyone had expected the party to be in the newspapers the next day but not because one of the hosts was murdered! As the crowd had gathered to watch Eliza sing, Fitzhugh had raised a final toast to his glamorous wife and fallen to the floor. Death by cyanide poisoning. It’s time for Lt. Eve Dallas to make her entrance.
From all accounts, Fitzhugh wasn’t the kind of star who made enemies. Eliza, on the other hand, had many rivals, and a few of them could class as enemies. Since the champagne cocktail that killed Brant was originally intended for Eliza, could it be that she was the real target?
With so many people at the party, Eve has her work cut out determining who could commit murder in the middle of a crowd. As one who’s not fond of the spotlight, she dreads the media circus surrounding a case like this. All she wants is to figure out who’s truly innocent, and who’s only acting that way…”
Do you need to read In Death books in order?
Each book in this series is a whole story with a beginning and an ending. However, there may be minor references to events that occurred earlier in the series. Therefore, with respect to the mystery alone, the books can be read out of order if desired.
However, like any long series that focuses on a core group of characters, there are various relationship changes that develop more naturally when the full-length novels are read in the order in which they were published.