J.D. Robb’s ‘In Death’ Series Reading Order: All 68 Books

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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 2023.

Editor’s Note: This reading order was updated in November 2023 with the latest release ‘Payback in Death.’

J.D. Robb’s ‘In Death’ book series reading order (At a glance)

There are 68 books in the ‘In Death’ book series (69th is one 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:

  1. Naked in Death, July 1995 (In Death #1)
  2. Glory in Death, December 1995 (In Death #2)
  3. Immortal in Death, July 1996 (In Death #3)
  4. Rapture in Death, October 1996 (In Death #4)
  5. Ceremony in Death, May 1997 (In Death #5)
  6. Vengeance in Death, October 1997 (In Death #6)
  7. Holiday in Death, June 1998 (In Death #7)
  8. Novella: “Midnight in Death,” from the book Silent Night, November 1998 (In Death #7.5)
  9. Conspiracy in Death, April 1999 (In Death #8)
  10. Loyalty in Death, October 1999 (In Death #9)
  11. Witness in Death, March 2000 (In Death #10)
  12. Judgment in Death, September 2000 (In Death #11)
  13. Betrayal in Death, March 2001 (In Death #12)
  14. Novella: “Interlude in Death,” from the book Out of This World, August 2001 (In Death #12.5)
  15. Seduction in Death, September 2001 (In Death #13)
  16. Reunion in Death, March 2002 (In Death #14)
  17. Purity in Death, September 2002 (In Death #15)
  18. Portrait in Death, March 2003 (In Death #16)
  19. Imitation in Death, August 2003 (In Death #17)
  20. Remember When (a Nora Roberts story with a JD Robb sequel), September 2003 (In Death #17.5)
  21. Divided in Death, January 2004 (In Death #18)
  22. Visions in Death, August 2004 (In Death #19)
  23. Survivor in Death, February 2005 (In Death #20)
  24. Origin in Death, July 2005 (In Death #21)
  25. Memory in Death, January 2006 (In Death #22)
  26. Novella: “Haunted in Death,” from the book Bump in the Night, April 2006 (In Death #22.5)
  27. Born in Death, November 2006 (In Death #23)
  28. Innocent in Death, February 2007 (In Death #24)
  29. Creation in Death, November 2007 (In Death #25)
  30. Novella: “Eternity in Death,” from the book Dead of Night, November 2007 (In Death #25.5)
  31. Strangers in Death, February 2008 (In Death #26)
  32. Salvation in Death, November 2008 (In Death #27)
  33. Novella: “Ritual in Death,” from the book Suite 606, November 2008 (In Death #27.5)
  34. Promises in Death, February 2009 (In Death #28
  35. Kindred in Death, November 2009 (In Death #29)
  36. Novella: “Missing in Death,” from the book The Lost, December 2009 (In Death #29.5)
  37. Fantasy in Death, February 2010 (In Death #30)
  38. Indulgence in Death, November 2010 (In Death #21)
  39. Novella: “Possession in Death” from the book The Other Side, December 2010 (In Death #31.5)
  40. Treachery in Death, February 2011 (In Death #32)
  41. New York to Dallas, September 2011 (In Death #33)
  42. Novella: “Chaos in Death,” from the book The Unquiet, October 2011 (In Death #33.5)
  43. Celebrity in Death, February 2012 (In Death #34)
  44. Delusion in Death, September 2012 (In Death #35)
  45. Calculated in Death, February 2013 (In Death #36)
  46. Thankless in Death, September 2013 (In Death #37)
  47. Novella: “Taken in Death,” from the book Mirror, Mirror, October 2013 (In Death #37.5)
  48. Concealed in Death, February 2014 (In Death #38)
  49. Festive in Death, September 2014 (In Death #39)
  50. Obsession in Death, February 2015 (In Death #40)
  51. Devoted in Death, September 2015 (In Death #41)
  52. Novella: “Wonderment in Death,” from the book Down the Rabbit Hole, November 2015 (In Death #41.5)
  53. Brotherhood in Death, February 2016 (In Death #42)
  54. Apprentice in Death, September 2016 (In Death #43)
  55. Echoes in Death, February 2017 (In Death #44)
  56. Secrets in Death, September 2017 (In Death #45)
  57. Dark in Death, January 2018 (In Death #46)
  58. Leverage in Death, September 2018 (In Death #47)
  59. Connections in Death, February 2019 (In Death #48)
  60. Vendetta in Death, September 2019 (In Death #49)
  61. Golden in Death, February 2020 (In Death #50)
  62. Shadows in Death, September 2020 (In Death #51)
  63. Faithless in Death, February 2021 (In Death #52)
  64. Forgotten in Death, September 2021 (In Death #53)
  65. Abandoned in Death, February 2022 (In Death #54)
  66. Desperation in Death, September 2022 (In Death #55)
  67. Encore in Death, February 2023 (In Death #56)
  68. Payback in Death September 2023 (In Death #57)
  69. Random in Death, January 2024 (In Death #58)

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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

death naked

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.

In the year 2058, Detective Eve Dallas navigates a world dominated by technology, yet human passion remains a powerful force. When a senator’s daughter is murdered, exposing her secret life, Eve is drawn into the elite realms of Washington politics. The investigation becomes more complex as Eve grapples with her growing attraction to Roarke, a wealthy and influential man who is also the prime suspect in the case.

In Death Book #2: Glory in Death, December 1995

death glory

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.

In the year 2058, in New York City, Detective Eve Dallas faces a world where technology reveals dark secrets, but crimes of passion still find a place to hide. Despite advanced genetic testing, murder persists, with two victims, both successful and glamorous women, sparking Eve’s investigation. As she delves into their lives filled with power and wealth, including her own lover Roarke as a suspect, the case unveils a complex web of connections.

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In Death #7.5: “Midnight in Death,” novella from the book Silent Night, November 1998

death midnight

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.

Detective Eve Dallas finds herself on a Christmas list for capturing a serial killer, and when the madman escapes, he targets her for revenge. With her husband Roarke by her side, Eve must prevent the bloodthirsty killer from carrying out his vengeance or face the deadly consequences.

In Death #16: Portrait In Death, March 2003

death portrait

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.

Detective Eve Dallas discovers the body of a young woman in a dumpster, following a tip from a reporter who received professional portraits of the victim just hours earlier. The killer is revealed to be a perfectionist and artist who meticulously observes and records his victims before murdering them. His disturbing mission is to possess the innocence and capture the youth and vitality of every beautiful young woman in a single, fatal photograph.

In Death #24: Innocent In Death, February 2007

death innocent

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.

When history teacher Craig Foster is found dead, his family and friends are devastated, and the students who discovered his body may be scarred for life. Meanwhile, Magdalena Percell, an old flame of Roarke, Eve’s billionaire husband, arrives in New York with manipulative intentions that Roarke appears oblivious to. Despite potential heartbreak, Eve must set aside her personal concerns as another man is found dead, leading her to a new investigation.

In Death #27.5: “Ritual in Death,” novella from the book Suite 606, November 2008

death ritual

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.

During a high-society party, a naked, blood-covered man claims he may have committed murder, leading Detective Eve Dallas to investigate the crime and its perpetrators. While the evidence points towards Satanic ritual, Eve remains skeptical about the involvement of devil worship in the case.

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In Death #33: New York to Dallas, September 2011

death new york to dallas

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.

Twelve years after encountering Isaac McQueen, a murderous pedophile, during her early years as a rookie cop, Lieutenant Eve Dallas discovers that he has escaped from jail. Seeking revenge against Eve and driven to punish more victims, McQueen heads to Dallas, Texas, where Eve was found as a child and where she killed her abusive assailant at the age of eight. As Eve and her husband Roarke pursue McQueen, long-buried secrets from Eve’s past are on the verge of being unveiled.

In Death #41.5: “Wonderment in Death,” novella from the book Down the Rabbit Hole, November 2015

death wonderment

Description: The last In Death novella outside of the main series so far. It was incredibly intriguing – short but very well-paced.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas investigates a murder/suicide case that takes a mysterious turn when friends of the victims, Darlene and Marcus Fitzwilliams, insist Darlene would never harm her brother. Delving deeper, Eve discovers Darlene’s attempts to contact her deceased parents through psychics and paranormal studies. As clues reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland surface, Eve must navigate a surreal rabbit hole to unravel the case and prevent a madman’s deadly tea party.

In Death #43: Apprentice in Death, September 2016)

death apprentice

Description: Lieutenant Eve Dallas returns in a fast-paced new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author J. D. Robb. First published in 2016, now available in 32 editions.

A sniper executes three seemingly unrelated victims at Central Park’s ice skating rink. Lieutenant Eve Dallas investigates and discovers the killer’s skill with a tactical laser rifle and the unsettling revelation that there are two snipers—one older, one younger. As the city faces more sniper attacks, Eve, aided by her husband Roarke’s resources, delves into a world where killers are trained, revealing a chilling agenda that goes beyond Central Park.

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In Death #49: Vendetta in Death, September 2019

death vendetta

Description: The predator becomes the prey in this amazing thriller in the #1 New York Times bestselling series featuring homicide detective Eve Dallas.

In “Forgotten in Death,” a vigilante named Lady Justice targets wealthy businessman Nigel McEnroy, revealing his dark secrets and delivering a brutal form of justice. As Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke investigate, they delve into McEnroy’s hidden life, using his own recordings to uncover suspects. With Lady Justice’s escalating spree and the resistance from McEnroy’s widow, Eve faces the challenge of stopping the vigilante before more blood is spilled.

In Death #55: Desperation in Death, September 2022

death desperation

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…

Lieutenant Eve Dallas investigates the Pleasure Academy, a horrifying place where abducted girls are subjected to a life of servitude. After a daring escape by two girls, Dorian and Mina, the latter is found dead near the waterfront. Eve, determined to bring justice, uncovers connections to sex trafficking, and with her husband Roarke’s help, she delves into the world of the ultra-rich to dismantle the operation while wrestling with her own rage.

In Death #56: Encore in Death, February 2023

death encore

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.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas investigates a high-profile murder at a glittering event hosted by celebrity couple Eliza Lane and Brant Fitzhugh. Fitzhugh is poisoned during the party, and as Eve delves into the glamorous world of the stars, she faces the challenge of unraveling the web of motives and rivalries. With the spotlight on her, Eve strives to uncover the truth and distinguish between genuine innocence and calculated acts in the midst of a high-profile media circus.

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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.

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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