J.D. Robb’s In Death series is a lengthy and prolific thriller/suspense that will have you burning the midnight oil. No doubt you’ve read at least one of her books, and now you’re looking for a full list of J.D. Robb books in order.
Before we jump into the list, let’s take a moment to talk about who J.D. Robb is. The answer might surprise you.
Who is J.D. Robb?
J.D. Robb is the pseudonym of one of the world’s most phenomenally successful and prolific writers, Nora Roberts.
She has more than 230 books to her credit, with more than 400 million copies in print. Having written mostly in the romance genre, the futuristic In Death suspense series made an interesting new departure for her, and gained her a whole new and devoted readership.
It wasn’t until the twelfth book, Betrayal in Death, however, that J.D. Robb was revealed to be one and the same as powerhouse author, Nora Roberts. If you are looking for a list of all her books, check out our dedicated Nora Roberts books in order article.
The first J.D. Robb book, Naked in Death, was published in 1995. It takes place in 2058, and features the compelling Eve Dallas as the main protagonist. Dallas is a tough, no-nonsense, passionately committed cop with a dark, traumatic past. Her unlikely love interest, Roarke, comes from equally murky beginnings, but together they form an extremely effective team.
What is the In Death Series?
The In Death books abound with other interesting characters. To mention but a few, there is Summerset, Roarke’s enigmatic butler that Eve loves to hate; Detective Delia Peabody, Eve’s sidekick; Captain Ryan Feeney; Commander Jack Whitney; and Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Li Morris.
Beyond-cool, indeed totally frosty, Ian McNab, is a computer whizz and Delia’s love interest. Charlotte Mira is a psychologist; Mavis Freestone is a fashion icon and universally famous rock star; and Leonardo, her husband, an acclaimed fashion designer.
And, of course, last but definitely not least — Galahad, a large gray cat with one green and one gold eye and an imperturbable attitude…
The series quickly gained acclaim and enthusiastic reviews with a myriad of loyal and devoted readers. Since Loyalty in Death, the ninth in the series, every In Death title has been a New York Times bestseller.
With 55 titles in the series so far, and a number of short stories and novellas as well, the books offer readers a wealth of high-quality reading matter and a compelling journey to participate in. It’s no wonder that you’ll need a list of J.D. Robb books in order to help you make sense of what to read next.
Upcoming J.D. Robb Book Releases
J.D. Robb Books in Order – In Death Series
This list of J.D. Robb books in order covers only the In Death series in publication order. We’ll highlight the short stories and novellas below.
- Naked in Death (1995)
- Glory in Death (1995)
- Immortal in Death (1996)
- Rapture in Death (1996)
- Ceremony in Death (1997)
- Vengeance in Death (1997)
- Holiday in Death (1998)
- Conspiracy in Death (1999)
- Loyalty in Death (1999)
- Witness in Death (2000)
- Judgment in Death (2000)
- Betrayal in Death (2001)
- Seduction in Death (2001)
- Reunion in Death (2002)
- Purity in Death (2002)
- Portrait in Death (2003)
- Imitation in Death (2003)
- Divided in Death (2004)
- Visions in Death (2004)
- Survivor In Death (2005)
- Origin in Death (2005)
- Memory in Death (2006)
- Born in Death (2006)
- Innocent in Death (2007)
- Creation in Death (2007)
- Strangers in Death (2008)
- Salvation in Death (2008)
- Promises in Death (2009)
- Kindred in Death (2009)
- Fantasy in Death (2010)
- Indulgence in Death (2010)
- Treachery in Death (2011)
- New York to Dallas (in Death) (2011)
- Celebrity in Death (2012)
- Delusion in Death (2012)
- Calculated in Death (2013)
- Thankless in Death (2013)
- Concealed in Death (2014)
- Festive in Death (2014)
- Obsession in Death (2015)
- Devoted in Death (2015)
- Brotherhood in Death (2016)
- Apprentice in Death (2016)
- Echoes in Death (2017)
- Secrets in Death (2017)
- Dark in Death (2018)
- Leverage in Death (2018)
- Connections in Death (2019)
- Vendetta in Death (2019)
- Golden in Death (2020)
- Shadows in Death (2020)
- Faithless in Death (2021)
- Forgotten in Death (2021)
- Abandoned in Death (2022)
- Desperation in Death (Expected: September 6, 2022)
- Encore in Death (Expected: February 7, 2023)
J.D. Robb Books in Order – Short Stories & Novellas
This list of J.D. Robb books in order covers only the short stories and novellas. All but one of them (Remember When…) take place in the In Death world.
- Midnight in Death (1998)
- Remember When… (2003)
- Haunted in Death (2006)
- Interlude in Death (2006)
- Eternity in Death (2007)
- Ritual In Death (2008)
- Missing in Death (2009)
- Big Jack (2010)
- Possession in Death (2010)
- Chaos in Death (2011)
- Taken in Death (2013)
- Wonderment Death (2015)
J.D. Robb Anthologies
- Silent Night (1998)
- Naked Came the Phoenix (2001)
- Out of this World (2001)
- Bump in the Night (in Death) (2006)
- Dead of Night (2007)
- The Lost (in Death) (2008)
- Suite 606 (in Death) (2008)
- The Other Side (in Death) (2010)
- The Unquiet (in Death) (2011)
- Mirror, Mirror (2013)
- Down the Rabbit Hole (2015)
Do I need to read J.D. Robb Books in Order?
As is often the case with mystery or thriller series, you can read the J.D. Robb books as standalones. So do you really need to read the J.D. Robb books in order?
This is indeed the case with the In Death books, but (and it’s a big BUT) in view of the intricate character and relationship developments, you will have a much greater experience by reading the J.D. Robb books in order. Many of the interpersonal relationships can be difficult to follow if you read the books randomly.
Another aspect that argues strongly for reading the J.D. Robb books in order is how you come to know more about each character in a piecemeal fashion. Each revelation, and the insights it provides, are clearly extremely relevant to the reader’s understanding of the characters, their histories, and their respective journeys as book follows book. So I would definitely recommend reading the J.D. Robb books in order if at all possible.
Who are Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke?
Eve Dallas is the main protagonist of the In Death series, and a character of compelling force, depth, and interest. She is described as “one of the best heroines to come our way in a long, long time” by RT Book Reviews. She is an outstanding policewoman and highly skilled in defensive and combat skills.
Dallas’s harrowing early history is told in piecemeal fashion throughout the books, mostly through terrible nightmares that often haunt her sleep. First, she was found in an alley in Dallas, Texas at about 8 years old. She was covered in blood, had a broken arm, and remembered nothing.
The little girl had also clearly been extensively abused both physically and sexually, over a long period of time. She was named Eve Dallas, because she is a girl, and she was found in Dallas. She entered the foster care system as a ward of the state and spent 10 years moving from one foster home to another.
Then in 2046, at the age of 18, she entered the NYPSD (New York City Police and Security Department) police academy and graduated at the top of her class. Eve then became an outstanding police officer. At the start of the series, she is the lieutenant in charge of the Homicide squad at NYPSD’s Cop Central.
In the first book Roarke is the lead suspect in Eve’s murder investigation. She fights her attraction to him as the case develops, but Roarke becomes a recurring character throughout the series.
An immigrant from Dublin, Ireland, he also had an abusive childhood which enables him to completely empathise with Dallas. He now owns a magnificent old mansion off Central Park that he remodeled to high-spec and high-tech specifications.
J.D. Robb’s In Death Books in Order
I’ll conclude by giving you some interesting and tantalising glimpses into the first 20 books of the J.D. Robb books in order. In Death is an intriguing, highly readable and — I have to be honest — downright addicting series.
If you have never read the series proceed with caution as these book summaries will reveal spoilers for previous books.
1. Naked in Death
We meet New York homicide detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas and the ultra-rich, drop-dead gorgeous Roarke for the first time. It is the year 2058, in a techno-centric world, but passion still rules some hearts. When haughty Senator DeBlass’s granddaughter is viciously murdered with a long-outlawed gun, her life of prostitution as a licensed companion comes under the spotlight.
Lieutenant Eve Dallas’ investigations take her into the upper echelons of Washington society and power politics. But how can Eve reconcile her search for justice and the truth with her growing attraction to Roarke, one of the lead suspects in the investigation?
Then another beautiful, very recently qualified licensed companion is murdered in the same brutal fashion. The note left with the carefully posed body now reads “Two of six.” Is Roarke’s outrage that Eve could even think that he could do that to a woman genuine?
2. Glory in Death
It is 2058 in New York City, in a world where genetic testing usually removes violent hereditary traits before birth. However, murder still happens.
The first victim, Prosecuting Attorney Cicely Towers, lies on a pavement in the rain bizarrely missing her stylish purple umbrella. Then the second, famous actress Yvonne Metcalf, is murdered on the patio outside her apartment. Also bizarrely, one of her shoes is missing.
With both victims being beautiful, successful, high-profile women, they have connections to a long list of rich and powerful men — including Eve’s own lover, rich, powerful, enigmatic Roarke. Then Eve decides to set herself up as bait…
3. Immortal in Death
Homicide Lieutenant Eve Dallas should be getting ready for her wedding to Roarke. Instead, she has to investigate the murder of top model, Pandora. Was Pandora killed in a fatal love triangle with Mavis and Leonardo? She is well-known as a ruthless woman who would stop at nothing to fulfill her desires…
Eve’s investigation takes her into the glitzy world of high fashion, and the dark underworld to the alleged glamor. You can purchase any drug for the right price, but how do Immortal Blossoms, grown off-world on the Eden Colony, fit into the storyline?
Eve’s career may even be at stake, because the prime suspect, Mavis Freestone, is a close friend of hers. The dead bodies proliferate as the plot becomes ever more complex. Will Roarke and Eve’s wedding plans ever come to fruition?
4. Rapture in Death
In the world of 2058, many mood-altering drugs have been legalised, prostitution is a legal and licensed career, and virtual-reality games have supplanted TV as entertainment. Meanwhile in August, Lieutenant Eve Dallas returns to Cop Central after her 3-week honeymoon off-planet with Roarke at his stunning Olympus Resort.
She has a puzzling case to solve, because brilliant space tech Drew Mathias, notorious lawyer ST Fitshugh, and tendentious Senator Pearly all seem to have committed suicide. But none of them had an apparent reason to kill themselves, and they all seemed to have died in a state of bliss.
But Eve doesn’t believe the deaths were suicides. Her instincts are spot-on when their autopsies all reveal small burns on their brains. Did they all bizarrely have the same genetic abnormality, or were they victims of high-tech murders? Were they, in fact, induced to kill themselves by a lethal subliminal message in a VR toy? A VR toy that Roarke markets?
5. Ceremony in Death
When Lieutenant Eve Dallas has to conduct a secret investigation into the death of fellow police officer Frank Wojinski, she finds herself on thin ice.
Why does a solid cop like Frank have a granddaughter who is into witchcraft? How does Selina Cross, a leader of a branch of the Church of Satan, fit into the picture? And who has left a black droid cat that tries to claw Eve next to her car?
Then the dead body of Lobar, one of Selina’s followers and lover, is left naked and strapped to an upside-down pentagram against a wall on her property. Is this a personal warning to Eve? Regardless, she must embark on what is quite possibly her most dangerous case yet.
6. Vengeance in Death
The killer is a madman, a genius, an expert in technology, and a sadist. He taunts the police with cryptic riddles about the crimes he is going to perpetrate, and every victim has a connection to Roarke and his past in Ireland.
Firstly, Thomas Brennen is found disemboweled in the penthouse of Luxury Towers. Then, Shawn Conroy, an old friend of Roarke’s from Ireland, bleeds to death in an empty rental property belonging to Roarke. The third victim is Jennie O’Leary, from Wexford, Ireland, who was a friend and lover of Roarke when they were both 16.
Surely Summerset, Roarke’s butler, is being set up to look like the murderer? Surely he would not have killed Brennen and Conroy? As the scene shifts between Ireland and New York, things get ever more confusing…
7. Holiday in Death
It is the lead-up to Christmas with all the hype, generosity, and good cheer associated with it.
Personally Yours is New York’s poshest dating service, intent to bring lonely hearts together for the holidays, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas has made a disturbing discovery. All the victims of a ritualistic serial killer can be traced back to Personally Yours.
The first victim, Marianna Hawley, is found naked and dead in bed. Sarabeth Greenbalm is the next victim. Then Brent Holloway follows. Each victim also has some symbol of Christmas on their body.
As the murders continue, Eve enters the glitzy and romantic world of people looking for love. However, in a deadly reversal of everything Christmas stands for, a killer is exploiting this same world to find his next victim.
8. Conspiracy in Death
Eve has seen so much of the world’s inhumanity that it takes a lot to shock her, but this case is unique. A serial killer is preying on the most vulnerable of New York during a frigid winter.
The first victim is homeless Samuel Petrinsky, who makes pretty paper flowers to earn money. No sign of a struggle, just a fist-sized hole where his heart should be. When Dallas arrives, the scene isn’t properly secured, so she dresses down the two officers concerned: Ellen Bowers and Troy Trueheart. Bowers, a serial complainer and trouble maker, subsequently files a complaint against Eve.
Many questions arise: Is the killer a doctor with a God complex? Or does the case have connections to the organ replacement industry? Is the case linked to that of Erin Spindler, whose kidneys were taken, or that of another sidewalk sleeper in Paris whose liver was missing?
Then Bowers is murdered, and Dallas is suspended as she becomes the subject of an internal investigation. Eve’s struggle to hunt down a murderer stalls as she has to fight to save her career.
9. Loyalty in Death
An unknown bomber is taunting Eve Dallas with letters threatening to unleash mass terror and destruction on New York City. Is there a link between this bombed and a radical group called Apollo that killed over 8,000 people by blowing up the Pentagon in Arlington during the Urban Wars?
And what is the link to Fixer, who had apparently been building bombs for a group of people? It comes to light that Fixer is retired Colonel Howard Bassi, whose wife Nancy and their children, aged 6 and 8, were killed in that Pentagon explosion.
A further message arrives demanding the release of certain prisoners or the destruction of a New York landmark. Then the target is identified as Radio City, which Roarke owns. Now, in a race against a ticking clock, Eve must make the pieces fit before the city falls.
10. Witness in Death
Rourke’s opening night of the revival of Agatha Christie’s famous Witness for the Prosecution at New York’s New Globe Theater promises to be a glittering affair. However, this goes seriously wrong as the stage becomes a crime scene. The leading man, Richard Draco, is stabbed to death on centre stage, when the harmless prop knife is mysteriously replaced with a sharp kitchen knife.
Now Lieutenant Eve Dallas has a celebrity homicide to contend with. But she’s not only the primary detective, she’s also a witness to the stabbing. A full-blown media storm takes place when the press discovers that her husband, Roarke, owns the theater.
So Eve has to move fast to question everything and everybody. The problem is, Richard Draco, a thorough-going cad in every sense of the old-fashioned word, is hated and disliked by many of the cast members. And when you’re dealing with a talented bunch of actors, it’s not always easy to tell the difference between what is the truth and what amounts to just really fine acting…
11. Judgment in Death
In an upmarket nightclub somewhat prophetically called Purgatory, Lieutenant Eve Dallas finds Detective Taj Kohli brutally bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat. A murder of a second cop takes place soon thereafter.
It seems that both cops were corrupt and linked to slippery criminal Max Ricker. During Dallas’s investigation, crime and police corruption are exposed which puts both her life and her reputation at risk.
Matters are complicated further by the fact that her billionaire husband, Roarke, owns Purgatory. Even worse, Roarke used to be a business associate of Max Ricker before Roarke turned legitimate and moved away from his criminal past. Further murders occur, and every time 30 coins are left at the scene.
12. Betrayal in Death
In the spring of 2059, Roarke’s upmarket Palace Hotel is the scene of a brutal and grisly murder. Darlene French, a young maid, is dead in one of the rooms — beaten, raped, and garroted with a thin silver wire.
But bizarrely, the killer didn’t even try to cover his tracks. He booked the room under his own name: Sylvester Yost. He is a professional hitman with a long history and dozens of murders to his credit, but finding Yost proves extremely difficult.
Then a second murder victim turns up bearing Yost’s definitive trademarks. Yet again Roarke is the common denominator. This man worked for a publishing company owned by Roarke.
Fearing that Roarke is the killer’s target, Eve ramps up her investigation to stop Yost before he claims another victim.
13. Seduction in Death
After a cyberspace romance of several weeks, Dante meets his victim in person. A brief few hours later, 23-year-old Bryna Bankhead is dead. The building’s security disc shows Bryna entering the building accompanied by a man. The same man leaves the building some time later, shaken, sweating, and obviously fraught.
The scene in Bryna’s apartment suggests a romantic encounter: Candles, music, wine, rose petals on the bed… And the murder weapon? Two ounces of the eye-wateringly expensive date-rape drug, Whore, and another date-rape drug called White Rabbit. It was the combination of the two drugs that killed her.
But Lieutenant Eve Dallas suspects that the man didn’t intend to kill Bryna. However, now that he has, what is he going to do? Is he going to hole up? Or is he going to start hunting again?
14. Reunion in Death
A surprise birthday celebration for Walter Pettibone sets the scene for a reunion with a killer from Lieutenant Eve Dallas’s past. During the convivial get-together, emerald-eyed and red-haired Julie Dockport hands him a glass of champagne. One sip and then he’s dead.
Nobody at the party knows Julie Dockport, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas does. Dallas is the reason for Dockport’s incarceration nearly 10 years before. But let out on good behavior, it appears that Dockport’s intentions are questionable to say the very least. She wants to meet Dallas again — in a reunion that neither will forget.
15. Purity in Death
After three days alone in his apartment sat in front of a computer screen, his head pounding with the worst and ever-worsening headache of his life, Louie Cogburn was at the end of his tether. So when someone knocked at his door, it was more than he could bear.
Louie Cogborn picked up a baseball bat, opened his door, and simply started swinging. The first cop who arrived on the scene fired his stunner twice and Louie was dead on the spot.
Lieutenant Eve Dallas takes over the investigation, but she is mystified. There’s simply nothing that will provide a logical explanation for Louie’s rage or death. Least of all the inexplicable message on his computer screen: Absolute Purity Achieved.
Then a second man dies in almost exactly the same bizarre circumstances, and Eve has to start facing what is surely wildly improbable. Is somebody deploying a computer virus that can spread from a machine to human beings?
16. Portrait in Death
Top cop, Lieutenant Eve Dallas, finds a young woman’s body in a Delancey Street recycle bin after a tip from reporter Nadine Furst. Some hours before Nadine had been sent a portfolio of seemingly professional and carefully posed portraits of the woman.
But in a sinister twist, these portraits were taken after the young woman was dead. Included with the portfolio is a note clearly indicating that she is only the first of the killer’s victims.
So now Eve is on the trail of a killer who’s both an obsessive perfectionist and an artist. He’s on his own fearsome mission to capture beautiful young women’s youth, beauty, and vitality in perfect and fateful photographic portraits. And while Eve’s case is unfolding, Roarke’s world rocking with the discover of a new portrait of his mother from all those years ago in Ireland…
17. Imitation in Death
In the summer of 2059, in a bizarre revisiting of the Jack the Ripper mystery, a man in a top hat and cape accosts Jacie Wooten on a dark New York City street. Minutes later, Jacie is dead and a letter for Lieutenant Eve Dallas is left at the scene. In the letter, “Jack” invites Eve to play along with him in order to uncover his identity.
Soon Eve finds herself in pursuit of a murderer who has immersed himself in the history of serial killers. He knows everything about the most vicious killings in history and has set himself a goal. In this notorious fraternity, he wants to establish his own place.
He already has his ultimate victim lined up — committed upholder of the law, tireless seeker after justice, New York’s top cop, Lieutenant Eve Dallas. Because what could be more apt, fitting, and thrilling?
18. Divided in Death
Lieutenant Eve Dallas is a tough and unflinching upholder of truth and justice, but she loves enigmatic Irish billionaire, Roarke. So when Reva Ewing, a former member of the Secret Service and currently a security specialist of Roarke Enterprises is the lead suspect in a double-homicide case, Roarke looks to Eve for help.
Reva was found standing over the dead bodies of her best friend and her husband, famous artist Blair Bissel. But Eve quickly comes to believe there is more to the killing. The murder scene is far too carefully staged and all Bissel’s computer files have been deliberately corrupted.
Meanwhile, Roarke believes that the computer attack is the real threat. That’s because he and Reva had been working on a code-red government mandate to develop a computer program to defend against techno-terrorists. As Eve and Roarke attempt to infiltrate a deeply covert and corrupt government agency, it becomes a race against time to prevent the virus from spreading across the whole country.
19. Visions in Death
On a hot summer night, Lieutenant Eve Dallas arrives to a nightmare in Central Park where a dead woman is lying on the rocks next to the dark water of the lake. She turns out to be a young mother raped, strangled, and naked with only a red ribbon around her neck. Her hands are posed in a mockery of prayer, and her eyes have been removed with surgical precision.
As Eve’s investigation gets underway, she gets an unlikely offer of help. Psychic Celina Sanchez says she is having visions of the killer. She certainly knows shockingly precise details about the case — details that aren’t public knowledge.
As more bodies turn up in the same fashion, and Eve becomes frantic for answers, she accepts the help from the psychic, against her own instincts. But the questions around the case proliferate. Is there a twisted religious ritual at play here? Are the eyes some perverted symbol, or merely killer’s souvenirs?
20. Survivor In Death
The Swisher case has Eve baffled. She can uncover no affairs, criminal connections, DNA, or clues. This is despite Eve being arguably the best cop in the city, and having Roarke and his impressive resources at her disposal.
An entire family is murdered in their beds with heartless military precision, despite state-of-the-art security. An entire family, apart from one terrified 9-year-old girl hiding in the dark kitchen…
Eve Dallas needs to solve this case, for several reasons. Firstly, it is her job to see that justice is done as she stands for the dead and the living. Secondly, she made a promise to bereft and grief-stricken Nixie. Finally, she also has to lay to rest, in as far as it is possible, some of her own darkest memories and soul-deep fears. Lieutenant Eve Dallas relentlessly runs down the unspeakable shadows that ripped a little girl’s life apart.
Are you now also considering filling in the application form to become a committed member of the In Death fellowship and a true aficionado? Go for it — the millions of readers worldwide that love this series and impatiently await each new Dallas and Roarke do so for very cogent and solid reasons.
Looking for more books in order?
If you’ve finished up with J.D. Robb books in order, perhaps you might like to discover a new thriller series. Check out this list of Jack Reacher Books in Order.