Thrilling and calculated, Alan Furst’s novels will send you on a journey you won’t forget. Here are all of his suspenseful and historical stories in the best reading order.
About Alan Furst
Alan Furst was born in New York City, growing up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In 1962 he got a B.A. from Oberlin College, and in 1967 he received an M.A. from Penn State University.
Alan Furst wrote his first novel in 1976 titled Your Day in the Barrel. That novel along with his other earlier novels didn’t have much success, but Furst’s writing career took off when he published Night Soldiers in 1988. Since then, he’s published many other books in the series with lots of success.
Furst lived in Paris for many years of his life and now resides in Long Island.
All Alan Furst Books In Order
Roger Levin Books
Your Day in the Barrel (1976)
Your Day in the Barrel is a story set in the late 1960s, following a young businessman as he grows his client base. But this man isn’t into the kind of business you’d think…he deals drugs at several different colleges in Pennsylvania, making tons of cash doing so.
We hear the story of the hippy businessman who gets mixed up in all kinds of trouble in this thrilling and fast-paced novel.
The Paris Drop (1980)
Our businessman is back in The Paris Drop, now an ex-drug dealer who is taking money from a New York Temple to a pro-Israeli outfit in Paris. The plot is just as surreal and strange as the first book, and it will have you constantly wondering what could happen next.
Other Roger Levin Books:
- The Caribbean Account (1981)
Night Soldiers Books
Night Soldiers (1988)
Night Soldiers takes place in 1934 Bulgaria, where Khristo Stoianev’s brother has just been murdered by local fascists. But Khristo has no time to grieve, because suddenly he is recruited into the Soviet secret intelligence service and sent to fight a civil war in Spain.
When Khristo learns that he is in danger as Stalin is staging another purge, he quickly flees to Paris in an attempt to find safety.
Dark Star (1991)
It’s 1937 and war is already beginning in Europe. Dark Star follows André Szara, a foreign correspondent for Pravda who has just become a spy in Paris for the Soviet secret intelligence service. He is the deputy director of a Paris network, and he’s survived many wars in his time.
Szara recruits an agent in Berlin who proves to be very beneficial as their dangerous operation continues.
The Polish Officer (1995)
In The Polish Officer, it is 1939 and Warsaw is falling under Hitler’s army. Captain Alexander de Milja is hired by the intelligence service of the Polish underground, brought on for a dangerous mission. He is meant to bring the national gold reserve to a safe place via a refugee train on its way to Bucharest.
When he arrives, de Milja knows it will be a dangerous mission. There are constant bombings and attacks, but de Milja is a fighter, determined to follow through with what he’s set out to do.
The World At Night (1996)
It’s 1940 in The World At Night, and the Germans have infiltrated Paris. Jean Casson is a wealthy and privileged film producer whose life has been changed by this infiltration, but luckily he has money on his side. With the right amount of bargaining, Jean Casson learns that he can get whatever he wants.
When Casson is given the opportunity to help the British Secret Service with an operation, he can’t say no to such an idealistic mission. But when the plan goes wrong, Casson quickly learns that everything he has is now on the line, and he’s not sure if it’s worth the gamble.
Red Gold (1999)
The story starts in a run-down hotel in Clichy, 1941. Germans are on their way to Moscow, and Stalin has issued a decree stating that partisan operatives are to strike behind enemy lines. Jean Casson is an upper-class film producer who is now being targeted by the Gestapo, and his life has completely changed.
Red Gold follows Casson on yet another mission as the stakes get higher. This time, he must combat units of the French Communist Party, finally starting a real resistance and hoping that things will change.
Kingdom of Shadows (2000)
It’s 1938 and Europe is on the brink of war. A former cavalry officer named Nicholas Morath now owns an advertising agency, but his Uncle has recently recruited him to help operate against Hitler. Morath is suddenly brought into a world of clandestine work, moving carefully and dangerously through networks.
Kingdom of Shadows follows Morath through a deep and intricate plot as he goes against German officers and desperately fights to win.
Blood of Victory (2002)
Blood of Victory takes place in 1940, when a Russian Journalist called Serebin is recruited for a secret operation. He is meant to stop the Germans from importing Romanian Oil, which is one of their last chances to stop Hitler’s infiltration of Europe.
Serebin is led all over, frantically following paths that will lead him to the oil barges and help him put a stop to the operation.
Dark Voyage (2004)
It’s May 1941, and a train arrives in Lisbon at 4 in the morning. The train flies the flag of Spain, appearing to be carrying cork oak, sardines, and cooking oil. But looks aren’t everything, and this train has a secret.
The train is actually a Dutch freighter on a secret operation. Captain Eric DeHaan controls the train, leading it to the Swedish coast to carry detective equipment for the plan.
Dark Voyage follows the Captain as he leads a daring battle and one of the last fights against Nazi Germany.
The Foreign Correspondent (2006)
It’s a cold winter night in 1938 Paris when a murder/suicide takes place in a hotel. But this is the work of a bigger scheme. Mussolini’s fascist secret police wanted the editor of a clandestine newspaper dead, so they staged the scene.
Now, Carlo Weisz is the new editor of the newspaper. When he returns to Paris from Spain, Weisz is suddenly under attack by agents of the OVRA, the French Sûreté, and the British Secret Intelligence Service.
The Foreign Correspondent follows Weisz as he gets involved in a dangerous game, soon becoming a pawn for all of these different groups.
The Spies of Warsaw (2008)
The Spies of Warsaw takes place in 1937 when a German engineer begins working at a railway station in Warsaw. He plans to meet with the military attaché from the French embassy to exchange information and money.
Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier is a hero of the 1914 war and is now involved in a menacing scheme. He must work in secret, with a tight-knit team of people, to pull off the suspenseful and dangerous operation.
Spies of the Balkans (2010)
Spies of the Balkans brings us to 1940 Greece, where things are getting tense on the political front. Hitler is planning an invasion in the Balkans, and spies are showing up left and right. A senior police official named Costa Zannis is left to deal with the spies, and soon he is deeper into the situation than he ever expected.
Zannis works to provide a safe escape route for fugitives from Nazi Berlin while also dealing with matters with the local ballet, a woman from the Salonika society, and a shipping magnate’s wife.
Mission to Paris (2012)
Mission to Paris takes place in 1938 when Hollywood star Frederic Stahl arrives in Paris to shoot a new movie. The Nazis know that Stahl is coming and they think he will be the perfect influence, but they aren’t aware of Stahl’s perspective.
Stahl is horrified by the Nazis, and he is part of an American embassy spy service. He is determined to help take down the Nazis, and this book follows him on his mission.
Midnight in Europe (2014)
It’s 1938 and war is becoming more prevalent in Europe. Christián Ferrar is a lawyer from Spain who now works for a prestigious international law firm in Paris. When the embassy of the Spanish Republic asks Ferrar to join a clandestine operation in an attempt to supply weapons to the Republic’s army, Ferrar accepts.
Midnight in Europe follows Ferrar on this journey as he puts his life and everything he knows at risk. It is a suspenseful story of the heroes who fought back in a time of peril, risking everything for what they believed.
A Hero of France (2016)
A Hero of France takes place in 1941, when people in Paris are conspiring to take down Adolf Hitler once and for all. Mathieu is a leader of the French Resistance, and he is helping the British airmen make their way back to England without getting caught.
Mathieu has help from a seventeen-year-old student, an arms dealer/nightclub owner, a confident woman, a Jewish teacher, an aristocrat from France, and a woman who is falling in love with Mathieu. Together, this team works to take down the German military, even as they face new dangerous risks in their operations.
Under Occupation (2019)
Under Occupation brings us to 1942, when Paris is now ruled by German security services. A man who is being hunted down by the Gestapo hands Paul Ricard a drawing, only to die quickly after. Ricard soon realizes that the drawing must be an important piece of information.
Ricard is part of the French Resistance, and his assignments become increasingly dangerous as he works to figure out what this drawing means and how he can put it to use.
T.J. & Blake Books
The Big Tip (2014)
The Big Tip introduces us to T.J. and Blake, a pair who have just started a business together. Mildred Russell, their first-ever client, found them through a flier at the grocery store. Mildred has a letter from Private Bernie Winslow that was written in 1951, stating that he had something of great value that he hid for her to find upon the event of his death.
The letter has some sort of code, and although Mildred contains the key to figuring it out, she is completely lost. So she’s enlisted the help of T.J. and Blake, and together they work to solve the mystery before someone else swoops in to steal the loot.
Kofi’s Plot (2019)
Kofi’s Plot follows T.J. and Blake on a new mission when they discover something odd in a farmer’s field.
Dr. Simpson and his family have just arrived in Ghana on a humanitarian medical mission. Dr. Simpson is helping build a clinic for the local community, and he has been given some land to do so. Kofi Adofo is a farmer who has been forced to give part of his land to this foreign group, and he feels disrespected.
As T.J. and Blake investigate what is going on around the farm, they realize just how much Kofi will do to protect his way of life and get back to how things were.
Shadow Trade (1984)
Guyer was once an intelligence officer, but he was dismissed by the Central Intelligence Agency long ago and now owns his own business. He becomes enthralled in covert operations, loving how powerful and ruthless he can be.
Shadow Trade is a suspenseful story set in 1980s New York that follows Guyer on his secret journeys, forming complex plots along the way.
Give Peas a Chance (2014)
Give Peas a Chance is a fun story meant for kids in late elementary to early middle school. It features four short stories all revolving around peas, full of colorful illustrations and exciting twists and turns.
Do I need to read Alan Furst books in order?
It’s not required to read Alan Furst’s novels in order, but doing so does give you more understanding and insight into the characters’ lives and growth.
Is Alan Furst still writing?
Alan Furst’s most recent book was published in 2019, but it’s unconfirmed whether he is planning to write any more or not.
- All Holly Jackson Books In Order (Thrilling Mysteries) - June 8, 2023
- All Jane Harper Books In Order (Crime Mysteries & Thrillers) - June 8, 2023
- All Pamela Kelley Books In Order – Reading Guide - June 5, 2023