Faye Kellerman was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1952 but grew up in California. She attended UCLA earning a BA in mathematics.
Four years later Kellerman received her doctorate in dental surgery but has never practiced as a dentist.
Her journey from potential dentist to author of detective fiction was spurred by, in her own words, “a desire for justice, a suspicious nature, an overactive imagination, and of course, a penchant for the bizarre.”
Faye Kellerman’s first book The Ritual Bath was received with critical acclaim and commercial success. As a result, she won the Macavity Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Readers of America.
The Ritual Bath was nominated for the Anthony Award in 1987. The book introduced readers to the mystery-solving duo of Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus who feature in the following 26 novels in the series.
In 2013 Faye Kellerman was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Strand Magazine.
If you love the mystery novels of Faye Kellerman featuring the Decker/Lazarus crime-solving duo you will also enjoy the work of Patricia Cornwell, J. A. Jance, and Tess Gerritsen. Find out which of these intriguing authors you should be reading next.
Books By Faye Kellerman
The Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series features 27 books spanning thirty-six years of writing by Faye Kellerman. Internationally she has twenty million copies in print.
The Ritual Bath is the first in the series and introduces the LAPD detective to the woman who runs the yeshiva or ritual bathhouse in Los Angeles. Together they try to solve the mystery of a rape on the grounds of the yeshiva.
This hybrid detective/romance novel kick starts the series featuring this crime-solving pair which continues in the next book Sacred and Profane. A new installment in the series followed almost every year and the latest book, The Hunt was published in 2022.
Apart from the Decker/Lazarus series, Kellerman also wrote the stand-alone book The Quality of Mercy. This book was the subject of a plagiarism suit in 1999 after Kellerman claimed that the plot was stolen by the writers of the movie Shakespeare In Love.
All of the books that Faye Kellerman has written or co-authored are crime mysteries, some mixed with a little romance and a good dose of the practice of Orthodox Judaism.
Authors Like Faye Kellerman
Patricia Cornwell is one of America’s most recognized authors of crime novels in particular for her Scarpetta series. This began with the 1990 publication of Postmortem set in the city of Richmond, Virginia, and features a trail of gruesome stranglings.
The book is the first to have won five major crime awards in the same year. These included the Anthony Award and the Edgar Allen Poe Award, both for first novel, and the Macavity award for first mystery.
The heroine of Postmortem is medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, who works with a local police detective to try and put together a profile to identify the killer. In total there are 26 books in the successful Scarpetta series with the latest Autopsy being published in 2021.
Apart from the Scarpetta series, Patricia Cornwell has also written three books in the Andy Brazil/Judy Hammer series, two in the Captain Chase series, and two Winston/Garro books.
Patricia Cornwell writes crime fiction novels and murder mysteries. In the Scarpetta series, the heroine is a medical examiner who works with a detective in a similar way that Kellerman’s Peter Decker works with Rina Lazarus.
In 1999, she also published a not-as-successful children’s book, the only one she ever wrote, called Life’s Little Fable. Over the years Cornwell has also written six non-fiction books.
- Cornwell is the first American to win the prestigious Galaxy British Books Awards’ Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year in 2008.
- She also won the coveted Gold Dagger Award in 1993 and her debut novel Postmortem won five major awards in a single year.
- Patricia Cornwell’s only foray into the world of children’s writing was unsuccessful and the book Life’s Little Fable was not followed by any other picture books.
Themes: detectives, crime, mystery
J. A. Jance
J. A. Jance was born in South Dakota but raised in Arizona where she attended university, graduating in 1966 with a BA in Education.
In 1970, she achieved a Master’s in Library Science and went on to teach high school English at Tucson’s Pueblo High School. Afterward, she became a librarian at Indian Oasis School District in Arizona.
As a woman, she wasn’t allowed into the Creative Writing program at the university. However, she had already decided in second grade to become a writer having read L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz.
It would be a long time before she was published but Jance went on to become a prolific and successful writer. She is the author of 28 books in the J.P. Beaumont series and 22 books in the Joanna Brady series. She has also written 19 Ali Reynolds books, and five Walker Family novels.
The Joanna Brady series began with Desert Heat in 1993 with the latest installment published in 2021. Based in the Arizona desert that Jance knows so well it is the beginning of a successful series of novels.
Ali Reynolds is an ex-news anchor who moves back home to her parents’ diner following her divorce and the death of a childhood friend. Edge of Evil is the first novel of this series, and it was followed by another 18 books.
The Walker Family novels are tied to the time Jance spent on the Indian reservation in Arizona, and she draws on her experiences there for the five books in the series.
She has also published a book of poetry under the title After The Fire written during her first marriage.
- J. A. Jance is a prolific writer with seventy-four books in the crime fiction genre and is a top 10 New York Times bestselling author.
- With so many books and characters it is not surprising that some miss their mark and this can be the case with some of Jance’s novels.
Themes: crime, mystery, detective thriller
Tess Gerritsen was born Terry Tom, the daughter of Chinese and Chinese-American parents. She changed her first name when she began writing romance thrillers. In 1979, she received her medical degree from the University of California and went to work in Honolulu.
Before Tess Gerritsen wrote anything similar to Faye Kellerman in the area of crime fiction she had already delved into the genre of romantic thrillers. She authored eight of these novels until she switched to medical thrillers with Harvest being the first.
This was followed by three more medical-based mysteries until Gerritsen penned her first crime thriller, The Surgeon. The book introduced readers to homicide detective Jane Rizzoli who would partner with medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles for another 13 novels.
Gerritsen’s novels inspired the television series Rizzoli & Isles.
- Gerritsen has written successful novels in three different genres and a stand-alone historical thriller.
- Her books have sold 25 million copies and have been published in more than 40 countries.
- Tess Gerritsen has written 15 romantic novels and four medical thrillers. Her crime fiction contribution so far is the Rizzoli & Isles series.
Themes: romantic thrillers, medical mysteries, and crime fiction.
Faye Kellerman has combined detective fiction with romance and an interweaving of Orthodox Judaism to create a unique crime-solving duo in Decker and Lazarus. These novels have proven very successful.
Patricia Cornwell is one of America’s foremost crime fiction novelists and has created the hugely popular Scarpetta series, winning multiple awards for her work.
J. A. Jance is a highly prolific writer with more than 74 books to her credit, all of which are crime fiction. She is a top ten New York Times bestselling author.
Tess Gerritsen has written books for three different genres, but her most successful to date has been her Rizzoli & Isles series of crime fiction which was turned into a TV series.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Latest Faye Kellerman Book?
The Hunt is Kellerman’s sequel to the Lost Boys and the latest in the series featuring Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus.
Do You Need To Read The Scarpetta Series In Order?
Patricia Cornwell’s books featuring medical examiner Kay Scarpetta are all stand-alone mysteries and don’t need to be read in order of publication.
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