15 Brad Meltzer Books In Order: Thrilling Crime Fiction At Its Best

American author Brad Meltzer has written a great variety of crime fiction, non-fiction books, and even comic books.

The best way to enjoy all Brad Meltzer books in order is by following their publication date.

15 Brad Meltzer Books In Order Thrilling Crime Fiction At Its Best

The chronological order allows you to get to know all his characters without spoilers.

Meltzer himself had a prolific career in politics and as a famous crime thriller writer.

He was born and raised in New York but spent most of his life in Florida.

When he was 19, he got an internship at Capitol Hill in Washington where he found the inspiration for most of his future novels.

Besides his standalone novels, Meltzer has also written a political spy thriller series known as Culper Ring.

He also picked up his other book series, including the Conspiracy series, The Lightning Rod, and the Escape Artist series.

Here are all of Brad Meltzer’s 15 spy and crime thriller books in reading order.

About Brad Meltzer’s Books

Brad Meltzer had a varied career. He worked for a Games magazine for some time and then switched to writing novels.

When Meltzer started a law degree, he wrote his second novel The Tenth Justice which was eventually published in 1997.

His spy fiction novels and the various crime books that Meltzer has written are some of the most famous works in the crime genre.

All Brad Meltzer Books In Order

Here is our recommended reading order for the 15 crime and spy books written by Brad Meltzer.

Culper Ring Series

The Culper Ring

The Culper Ring series includes three books that follow the story of young archivist Beecher White.

The Inner Circle (2011)

The Inner Circle (The Culper Ring Series, 1)

Beecher White is a young archivist overseeing the storage of US government documents.

When he tries to impress his long-time crush Clementine Kaye, they come across a priceless artifact.


  • This fascinating story holds the reader’s attention from the first to the last page.


  • There is a lot of dialogue in this book.

The Fifth Assassin (2013)

The Fifth Assassin (Beecher White)

The United States has seen more than two frozen assassination attempts on US Presidents and a killer is trying to recreate these crimes.

Can Beecher White catch the killer with the help of the past?


  • The Fifth Assassin is a fast-paced storyline with plenty of twists and turns.


  • It’s not easy to find the historical connection between George Washington’s Culper Ring and Meltzer’s book.

The President’s Shadow (2015)

The President's Shadow (The Culper Ring Series, 2)

Beecher White doesn’t just have an ordinary job at the government archives in Washington but he is also part of the infamous Culper Spy Ring founded by George Washington.


  • This classic plot has a lot of surprises to offer.


  • With the different twists in the story, it can be hard to follow.

Escape Artist Series

The Escape Artist series may only have two books but these incredible stories from Meltzer are some of the best of his writing career.

The Escape Artist (2018)

The Escape Artist (Zig and Nola, 1)

Army artist in residence Nola is confirmed dead but officer Zig finds that she is very much alive.

A game of cat and mouse ensues between the two but they can only solve this mystery together.


  • The relationship between Zig and Nola is beautifully complex.


  • Some of the plot isn’t always plausible, especially when characters survive serious injuries.

The Lightning Rod (2022)

The Lightning Rod: A Zig & Nola Novel (Escape Artist, 2)

Mortician Zig discovers the dark side of a secret agent after he dies on a mission.


  • This is a seriously fast-paced story that makes it hard to put the book down.


  • The plot is complex, so it can be challenging to follow at times.

The Conspiracy Series

Similar to the Escape Artist collection, the Conspiracy series also contains just two books.

However, they are packed with action and plenty of conspiracy theories.

The First Conspiracy (2019)

The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington

For this historical thriller of George Washington’s bodyguards, Brad Meltzer worked together with Josh Mensch.



  • There are some chapters where sections and information repeat.

The Lincoln Conspiracy (2020)

Lincoln Conspiracy

America is famous for its varied conspiracy theories and they don’t stop with US presidents.


  • This is a fantastic partnership between Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch.


  • It’s very slow going, so not as exciting as other books written by Meltzer.

Standalone Brad Meltzer Books

Brad Meltzer has also written a number of standalone books that you can read in any order you like.

Here is the publication order of Meltzer’s other fiction novels.

The Tenth Justice (1997)

The Tenth Justice: A Novel

Clerk of a Supreme Court justice, Ben, is caught up in a net of lies, crime, and passion.


  • The main character Ben is well-developed.


  • Parts of the book lack credibility and they are not realistic.

Dead Even (1998)

Dead Even

Sarah Tate and her husband both work in law but one day, they find themselves on opposite ends of the bench.


  • Dead Even contains lots of action with a fascinating plot.


  • The dialogues are a bit heavy with a lot of law terminology.

The First Counsel (2001)

The First Counsel

Michael Garrick is a White House lawyer with a stellar career. When he meets Nora, his life slowly starts to unravel.


  • There are some fantastic insights into Washington D.C. buildings.


  • The character development of The First Counsel isn’t very good.

The Millionaires (2002)

The Millionaires

Two brothers plan to steal a million dollars but their plan doesn’t work in the way they had expected.


  • The Millionaire is a fast-paced story with surprises on every page.


  • There are a few unbelievable turns in this book.

The Zero Game (2005)

The Zero Game

The Zero Game starts out as a simple wager between friends but it soon turns deadly.


  • The story develops quickly and it’s a fast read.


  • Some of the characters aren’t very sympathetic.

The Book Of Fate (2006)

The Book of Fate

The conspiracies of Freemason history and an old code bear a dark secret.


  • This book is a classic Meltzer story with different twists and turns.


  • The hero isn’t very believable.

The Book Of Lies (2008)

The Book of Lies

In the early 1930s, Mitchell Siegel was murdered by a gunshot. Decades later, Cal Harper is on the case to find the weapon.


  • The Book of Lies is packed with non-stop action.


  • The plot was a little too simple.

The House Of Secrets (2016)

The House of Secrets

Hazel’s father used to be a famous TV show host presenting conspiracies.

But now that Hazel can’t remember anything anymore, she doubts herself every moment of the day.


  • This story holds plenty of mystery and intrigue. There is even a bit of sci-fi here.


  • While the book is a good read, there are so many unanswered questions when it comes to the characters.

Final Thoughts

While Brad Meltzer is well-known as a TV presenter, he has also written a number of crime and spy thrillers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Brad Meltzer Still Writing Books?

Yes, American novelist Brad Meltzer is still actively working on his various fiction and non-fiction books.

Is There A Sequel To The Inner Circle?

Yes, there are several sequel books to Brad Meltzer’s The Inner Circle, including The President’s Shadow and The Fifth Assassin.

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Noah Burton