Faye Kellerman has been writing crime thrillers since the 1980s, which has resulted in more than 30 books to her name. Most of which are part of her Decker and Lazarus series. So if you’re looking for all the Faye Kellerman books in order, keep reading to find out where you should begin.
Who is Faye Kellerman?
Faye Kellerman is the author of the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series and she has also written multiple standalone novels. She has 20 million copies of her works in print. Kellerman has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award by Strand Magazine.
She was born in St. Louis, Missouri but grew up in Sherman Oaks, California. Before she became an author she earned a doctorate in dentistry, however she has never practiced. Her first novel, The Ritual Bath, was published in 1986.
Kellerman’s family also includes a host of authors. She has co-authored books with her husband, Jonathan Kellerman. Her works with her husband include Double Homicide which was a New York Times bestseller.
Kellerman has also written a YA novel, Prism, with her daughter Aliza Kellerman. She has two other daughters, Rachel and Ilana, and a son. Her son, Jesse Kellerman, is an author as well, although she has not written a book with him.
Something she has become known is for is how Kellerman writes Jewish themes and characters into her traditional mystery novels. Her Orthodox Jewish religion features heavily in the Decker and Lazarus series.
When she is not writing Kellerman loves to garden. She current resides with her family in Los Angeles and Santa Fe.
Who are Decker and Lazarus?
As previously mentioned, Kellerman is most well-known for her Decker and Lazarus series. The series has 27 published novels, with the next installment expected to be released in August 2022.
The series follows LAPD detective Peter Decker as he investigates horrific crimes. The first book introduces him, and readers, to the deeply religious Rina Lazarus. The pair meet while Decker is investigating a brutal rape in Lazarus’s sheltered yeshiva community.
The series plays off the themes of a hard-nosed cop and the religious woman who he comes to know and love. Decker was raised a Southern Baptist, but after marrying Lazarus he returns to his Jewish roots. After that, they work together to solve mysteries and become a captivating husband-and-wife detective duo.
This first novel in this series was Kellerman’s debut and it won the Macavity Award for the Best First Novel in 1987.
Faye Kellerman Books in Order
Now let’s take a closer look at the various lists of Faye Kellerman books in order. We’re divide them all by series or type.
Decker and Lazarus Series
Like many mystery series, each book listed could work as a standalone novel. That is because each book contains a mystery that reaches a satisfying conclusion by its end. However, to experience the most from these novels, it is a good idea to read the books in order of publication.
In reading the books in this order you will get to experience the progression of our main characters: Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. Seeing as they meet for the first time at the beginning of the series, watching their relationship develop in chronological order will be beneficial.
- The Ritual Bath (1986)
- Sacred and Profane (1987)
- Milk and Honey (1990)
- Day of Atonement (1991)
- False Prophet (1992)
- Grievous Sin (1993)
- Sanctuary (1994)
- Justice (1995)
- Prayers for the Dead (1996)
- Serpent’s Tooth (1997)
- Jupiter’s Bones (1999)
- Stalker (2000)
- The Forgotten (2001)
- Stone Kiss (2002)
- Street Dreams (2003)
- The Burnt House (2007)
- The Mercedes Coffin (2008)
- Blindman’s Bluff (2009)
- Hangman (2010)
- Gun Games (2012)
- The Beast (2013)
- Murder 101 (2014)
- The Theory of Death (2015)
- Bone Box (2017)
- Walking Shadows (2018)
- The Lost Boys (2021)
- The Hunt (2022)
Faye Kellerman Standalone Books
If you have read Faye Kellerman’s Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series and fell in love with her writing, you will be happy to learn she has also written several standalone novels. Here are her standalone novels in order of publication.
- The Quality of Mercy (1989)
- Moon Music (1998)
- Double Homicide (2004) (With Jonathan Kellerman)
- Straight Into Darkness (2005)
- The Garden of Eden and Other Criminal Delights (2006) (Short Story Collection)
- Capital Crimes (2006) (With Jonathan Kellerman)
- Prism (2009) (With Aliza Kellerman)
- Killing Season (2016)
- The Voiceless (2016) (Short Story)
Summary of Faye Kellerman Books in Order
Decker and Lazarus Series
If you’re looking to get starting on reading the Faye Kellerman books in order, then continuing reading to discover the summaries to the first 15 books in her Decker and Lazarus series.
1. The Ritual Bath
Detective Peter Decker of the LAPD is stunned when he gets the report. Someone has ruined the peace of a remote yeshiva community in the California hills with a horrific crime. One of the women was brutally raped as she returned from the mikvah, the bathhouse where the cleansing ritual is performed.
The crime was called in by Rina Lazarus, and Decker is relieved to discover that she is a calm and intelligent witness. She is also the only one in the sheltered community willing to speak of this unspeakable violation. As Rina tries to steer Decker through the maze of religious laws, the two grow closer.
But before they get to the bottom of the horrendous crime, revelations come to light. It threatens to come between the hard-nosed cop and the deeply religious woman with whom he has become irrevocably linked.
2. Sacred and Profane
LAPD detective Peter Decker has grown very close to Rina’s young sons, Sammy and Jake, just as he had to their mother. Now he was looking forward to spending a day of his vacation camping with the boys. A nice reprieve from the grueling work of a homicide cop – that is until Sammy stumbles upon a gruesome sight.
Two human skeletons, charred beyond recognition, are identified by a forensic dentist as teenage girls. Which means for Decker, the father of a sixteen-year-old daughter, that vacation time is over.
Throwing himself professionally and emotionally into the murder case, he launches a very personal investigation. It is a quest that pulls him deep into the crack dens of Hollywood Boulevard. As well as painfully close to the children of the streets and a nightmare world he must make his own.
3. Milk and Honey
LAPD detective Peter Decker is alone and missing his love Rina Lazarus, because she is three thousand miles away in New York. But then, in the silent pre-dawn city hours, he finds a small child, abandoned and covered in blood that is not hers.
It is a sobering discovery, and a perplexing one, for nobody steps forward to claim the little girl. Decker becomes deeply obsessed by this case than he imagined possible, and he is determined to follow the scant clues to an answer.
But his trail is leading him to a killing ground where four bodies lie still and lifeless. And by the time Rina returns, Peter Decker is already held fast in a sticky mass of hatred, passion, and murder. All in a world where intense sweetness is accompanied by a deadly sting.
4. Day of Atonement
Peter Decker never dreamed he’d be spending his honeymoon with his new wife, Rina Lazarus, in an Orthodox Jewish enclave in Brooklyn, New York. He also never imagine that a terrible event would end it so abruptly.
But a boy has vanished from the midst of this close-knit religious community. Noam was a troubled youth fleeing the tight bonds and strictures he felt were strangling him. But worse is that the runaway is not traveling alone.
A killer has taken him under his wing to introduce Noam to a savage world of blood and terror. And now Decker must find them both somewhere in America. He must do so before a psychopath ends the life of a confused and frightened youngster whose only sin was to want something more.
5. False Prophet
Even to case-hardened Detective Sergeant Pete Decker the brutal rape of Lilah Brecht is a disturbing act of violence. The only leads are provided by Lilah herself, who is the daughter of an aged Hollywood movie queen. However, Lilah’s credibility falters when it emerges that she didn’t physically see her rapist.
It was only her gift of second sight that let her picture her attacker. She claims that Decker is the only policeman who can truly understand and catch her attacker. An attacker who, she says, is still threatening her.
However, Decker is not so sure and is anxious to protect his heavily pregnant wife Rina from Lilah’s alternately seductive and hysterical phone calls. But when Decker himself sees Lilah almost killed in a freak accident, he begins to think he may have judged her too harshly…
6. Grievous Sin
Peter and Rina are ecstatic to welcome their newborn baby girl into the world, but the scene at the L.A. hospital is a nightmare. Budget cutbacks and staff shortages so compromise security that Peter, the ever-anxious cop, worries about his family’s safety.
Then a baby is kidnapped and a respected nurse vanishes along with her. So now, Peter must investigate with the help of his tough-talking partner Marge and his eager older daughter Cindy. It will lead them down a twisted path of hospital politics, misplaced passions, and tortuous mind games of guilt and redemption that bring them face-to-face with the most grievous sin.
A diamond dealer and his entire family have mysteriously disappeared from their sprawling Los Angeles manor, leaving the estate undisturbed and their valuables untouched. Investigating detective Decker is at a loss. He is facing a perplexing case riddled with dead ends.
Then a second dealer is found murdered in Manhattan. This catapults Decker and his wife, Rina, into a heart-stopping maze of murder and intrigue that spans the globe. Only to touch down dangerously in their own backyard.
The cruel and bizarre slaying of a beautiful teen leads Detective Decker into the dark heart of an exotic subculture. The seamy, sometimes violent world of Southern California’s rootless, affluent youth.
But even the confession of a disturbed kid with cold “killer eyes” cannot soothe Decker’s inner torment. For he knows in his gut this crime goes much deeper and higher than anyone expects. And he knows that true justice, brutal and complete, still lurks.
9. Prayers for the Dead
The brutal murder of Dr. Azor Sparks in an alley behind a restaurant is greeted with public outrage and a demand for swift, sure justice. But the investigation into the well-known surgeon’s death is raising too many questions and providing too few answers for homicide detective Lieutenant Peter Decker.
Why, for example, would the family of a man so beloved respond to his slaying with more surprise than grief? And what linked a celebrated doctor with strict fundamentalist beliefs to a gang of outlaw bikers? But the most unsettling connection of all is the one that ties the tormented Sparks family to Peter Decker’s own.
And the secrets shared by a renegade Catholic priest and Decker’s wife, Rina Lazarus.
10. Serpent’s Tooth
A man walks into a trendy Los Angeles restaurant. He is a disgruntled ex-employee with an automatic weapon. Then seconds later, thirteen people are dead and thirty-two more have been wounded.
It is a heinous act of mass slaughter that haunts Homicide Detective Peter Decker.
But, though eyewitnesses saw only the lone gunman, evidence suggests more than one weapon was fired. But the gunman apparently took his life after the heinous crime.
It is a disturbing inconsistency that sends Decker racing headlong into a sordid, labyrinthine world of Southern California money and power. It is an investigation that threatens to destroy his reputation, as well as his career.
11. Jupiter’s Bones
Dr. Emil Ganz, a world-renowned astrophysicist, seems to have vanished into thin air. For ten years, no one knew of his whereabouts until he suddenly reappeared as “Father Jupiter.” Now he is the founder of a pseudoscientific cult: The Order of the Rings of God.
But, suddenly, Ganz is dead. LAPD Lieutenant Peter Decker and his team of homicide detectives pose official questions. Because is Ganz’s death an accident, a suicide, or even a homicide?
L.A. Homicide Detective Peter Decker never wanted the perils of his job to touch his family. But now his two worlds have collided.
A first year rookie with the LAPD’s Hollywood Division, Cynthia Decker became a cop against her father, Peter Decker’s, wishes. But police work is in her blood, and she’s determined to make it on her own. Even now, when her razor sharp instincts for danger are telling her that something is very wrong…
The signs are impossible to ignore: Things being moved around in her apartment, and the destruction of personal effects. But it’s a harrowing trip down a dark canyon road that confirms Cindy’s worst fears.
Someone fiendishly relentless, and with decidedly evil intentions, is stalking her. And with Peter Decker isolated from her troubles by his own investigation into a disturbing series of car-jackings, it’s up to Cindy alone. She must find out who in her personal and/or professional life wants her frightened or harmed…or dead.
13. The Forgotten
Rina Lazarus and her husband, LAPD Homicide Lt. Peter Decker, are shocked by an outrage that cuts close to the spiritual heart of their family. Rina’s small storefront synagogue has been desecrated with anti-Semitic graffiti and grisly Nazi death camp photographs.
The alleged perpetrator is seventeen-year-old Ernesto Golding, a rich kid obsessed with haunting suspicions about the origins of his Polish paternal grandfather. Then Ernesto is found brutally murdered, along with his therapist, Dr. Mervin Baldwin, at an exclusive nature camp that caters to moneyed, troubled children.
For Decker and his wife, unraveling the truth behind Ernesto’s violent death becomes more terrifying with each sinister twist. For lethal secrets with roots in the horrors of a past generation are coming to the surface. It is propelling Peter and Rina into a ghastly world of ruthless parents and damaged youth – as well as toward a dark evil and its ultimate retribution.
14. Stone Kiss
Rina Lazarus has some shocking news for her husband, LAPD Lieutenant Peter Decker. A horrible murder has occurred in the family of his half-brother, Rabbi Jonathan Levin.
The rabbi’s brother-in-law was found slain in a seedy hotel room in upper Manhattan. The victim’s 15-year-old niece, with whom he was spending the day, is also missing. Therefore, Decker, with Rina at his side, immediately heads out to New York to assist in the investigation.
But what starts out as simple inquiries soon evolves into a twisted and perilous journey – from the darkened slums of New Jersey and the deserted industrial streets of New York to the recesses of sexual perversity and the hidden meeting places of Hasidic outcasts.
Thrust into a deadly maze of deceit, lies, and danger, the couple can no longer trust anyone. For example, not friends or family. And when salvation is finally within Decker’s grasp, it can only be delivered by a depraved lone wolf, who is hell-bent on his own personal vengeance.
15. Street Dreams
On one side: Decker and Decker, a brilliant but combative pair. But on the other: A vicious killer ready to strike again.
While on routine patrol, LAPD officer Cindy Decker rescues a newborn abandoned in an alley dumpster. Cindy searches for the mother in inner-city Hollywood, following a treacherous trail filled with drug lords. But with each new lead, the twisted journey gets darker and is endangering her very life.
When Decker and Decker join forces, can this edgy duo put personal issues aside to catch a vicious culprit before he strikes again?
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