The Ultimate Guide On All 33 Faye Kellerman Books In Order

Since the 1980s, Faye Kellerman has been creating murder mysteries, producing more than 30 books to date. The vast majority of them are from her Decker series. Her works have sold 20 million copies worldwide.

The Ultimate Guide On All 33 Faye Kellerman Books in Order

Kellerman was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Strand Magazine. Therefore, whether you wish to sink your teeth into a new series, or just want to try a standalone book, you will be able to find a Kellerman book to suit you.

If you wish to read all of Faye Kellerman’s books, I have created this easy guide to show you the order to read them in.

About Faye Kellerman

Faye Kellerman is well-known for incorporating Jewish characters and themes into her writing. Her practice of Judaism is a prominent theme in the Decker books.

If you have done any research on Kellerman, you will come across her popular Decker series. This series consists of 27 books, which follows Detective Peter Decker of the LAPD as he looks into horrifying incidents.

Alongside this, Kellerman has penned other novels. These are also mysteries set in various time periods which follow Jewish themes. Hence, Kellerman has created a really versatile range of books to read.

Faye Kellerman Decker Books In Order

The Ritual Bath (1986)

The Ritual Bath (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus)

Peter Decker, a police investigator in Los Angeles, gets drawn into an exclusive Jewish community after receiving a complaint of rape there. Here, Decker comes into contact with Rina Lazarus, a teacher at the local school.

The victim doesn’t wish to help the police, which then makes the investigation even harder to complete.

Pros

  • Provides lots of insight into Jewish culture and heritage.

Cons

  • For modern readers, the content is a bit outdated.

Sacred And Profane (1987)

Sacred and Profane

The second book in the Decker series, Detective Decker has grown closer to Rina Lazarus and her two sons. The four of them go camping, but the holiday is cut short when they come across two burnt bodies.

Decker is then thrown into a personal murder mystery. This mystery takes him deep into the crack dens of Hollywood Boulevard.

Pros

  • Better character development, as you get to learn a lot more about all the characters.

Cons

  • Some fans found the ending a bit forced and unnatural.

Milk And Honey (1990)

Milk and Honey (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 3)

Peter Decker discovers a young child who has been abandoned and covered in blood in this third installment of the Decker series. Decker is eager to follow the few clues

However, his investigation takes him to a crime scene with four dead victims. Now, Decker needs to find out how the young girl and these four bodies interlink.

Pros

  • Two strong plots that interlink to create a really complex but intriguing mystery.

Cons

  • Much more graphic than the other books in this series so far.

Day Of Atonement (1991)

Day of Atonement (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 4)

Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus’ honeymoon is cut short. Noam, a young man, who disappeared from his close-knit religious society.

Noam is not alone, as he has been introduced to a brutal world of blood by a killer who has taken him under his wing. Now Decker must find them both.

Pros

  • The relationship between Decker and Lazarus develops a lot more, with a suspenseful crime.

Cons

  • This installment only makes sense if you have read the previous three books in the series.

False Prophet (1992)

False Prophet (Decker/Lazarus Novels)

Lilah Brecht, the eccentric spa owner, claims to have prophetic abilities that allow her to foresee terrible events. Decker finds it difficult to get too engrossed in Lilah’s allegations because he is focused on his expectant young wife at home.

Decker’s world will be profoundly shaken when Lilah’s visions come to pass, and they will reveal a killer who is targeting Decker’s own family.

Pros

  • Another suspenseful mystery that leaves you on the edge of your seat.

Cons

  • Too many underdeveloped characters.

Grievous Sin (1993)

Grievous Sin (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 6)

Peter and Rina worry about the safety of their baby when a respected nurse and a baby go missing from the nursery.

Especially after the missing nurse’s car is discovered at the base of a cliff with a body inside. This leads to a murder mystery surrounding hospital politics.

Pros

  • A much more emotional installment in the Decker series.

Cons

  • Rina has lost her strong-willed personality traits, which readers love.

Sanctuary (1994)

Sanctuary (Decker/Lazarus Novels)

A family of diamond dealers vanished from their mansion in Los Angeles. Then, when a second dealer is discovered dead in Manhattan, Decker and his wife Rina are plunged into a heart-stopping web of murder and conspiracy. All that ends close to home.

Pros

  • A more complex and intriguing mystery with colorful characters.

Cons

  • Lots of Hebrew is used in this novel, which some readers struggled to follow.

Justice (1995)

Justice (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 8)

Decker is thrust into the dark world of Southern California’s privileged youth by the murder of a teenager.

Decker has a gut feeling that this crime is much worse than anyone could have imagined, and that true justice has not yet been served.

Pros

  • Dramatic plot and Peter is shown in a new light.

Cons

  • Fans have found it a shame that Rina stays in the background.

Prayers For The Dead (1996)

Prayers for the Dead (a Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Novel)

Public outrage is expressed in response to the violent killing of Dr. Azor Sparks in an alleyway. Decker is left with numerous questions and missing evidence following the surgeon’s death.

The most unnerving link of all is the one that connects the troubled Sparks family to Peter Decker’s own and the revelations revealed by a rogue Catholic priest and Decker’s wife.

Pros

  • Good pacing and better character development.

Cons

  • Some chapters feel unnecessary as they add nothing to the overall plot.

Serpent’s Tooth (1997)

Serpent's Tooth: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 10)

Thirteen people are killed and 32 more are injured as an angry ex-employee enters a busy LA restaurant.

A troubling contradiction in the case prompts Decker to launch an inquiry that might endanger both his reputation and his job. It plunges him into the shady, world of Southern Californian wealth and power.

Pros

  • Great world-building and insight into character relationships.

Cons

  • Difficult to keep up with the large cast of characters and their backstories.

Jupiter’s Bones (1999)

Jupiter's Bones

When Father Jupiter, the head of the renowned cult known as the Order of the Rings of God, was murdered, Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus faced their most frightening case to date.

This story looks into Mother Jupiter once Dr. Emil Ganz’s past, and how he ended up as the cult leader.

Pros

  • Characters are strong and feel relatable.

Cons

  • Predictable ending and full of stereotypes.

Stalker (2000)

Stalker: A Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Novel

Determined to keep her protective lieutenant father from learning the truth about being stalked. Cynthia Decker, a rookie police officer, is compelled to change her mind when she finds there might be a connection between the two incidents.

Pros

  • A new perspective on the classic Decker series.

Cons

  • Messy as too many things happen at once.

The Forgotten (2001)

The Forgotten: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels)

A shocking incident that strikes near the spiritual core of their family stuns Rina Lazarus and Peter Decker.

Anti-Semitic graffiti and graphic images of Nazi death camps have been smeared over Rina’s storefront synagogue. Ernesto Golding, the suspected offender, is then brutally murdered.

Peter and Rina are propelled into a horrifying world of cruel parents and damaged youth by the deadly secrets of a previous generation.

Pros

  • Delve deeper into Jewish culture and the Holocaust.

Cons

  • Few likable characters.

Stone Kiss (2002)

Stone Kiss (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus)

Rabbi Jonathan Levin, Peter Decker’s half-brother, has been killed. Levin’s 15-year-old niece was reported missing after he was found dead in a dingy hotel room in Upper Manhattan.

Decker leaves right away for New York to help with the inquiry with Rina by his side. The pair can no longer trust anyone after being thrown into a dangerous maze of lies, danger, and deception.

Pros

  • Good twists that you don’t expect.

Cons

  • Sudden point of view change, which isn’t clearly explained.

Street Dreams (2003)

Street Dreams

Cindy Decker finds a baby abandoned in a dumpster in an alley and saves it. The search for the mother has now begun. Cindy dives into the inner-city Hollywood neighborhood, a world of defenseless people and deadly gangs.

Armed with counsel from her hardworking father, Detective Peter Decker. Her complex relationships are harmed, and her life is in peril, as she chases every new lead.

Pros

  • Better insight into the origins of Cindy and Koby’s relationship.

Cons

  • Racial tensions feel forced for some readers.

Capital Crimes (2006)

Capital Crimes: A Novel

Capital Crimes is a collection of short stories from Faye and Jonathan Kellerman. All of these stories follow Decker and Lazarus from Faye’s main series.

Each short story is separate from one another, with a diverse range of characters and mysteries to be solved.

Pros

  • Great mix of the two main characters in both stories.

Cons

  • Stories aren’t as fleshed out.

The Burnt House (2007)

The Burnt House (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 16)

A tiny commuter plane carrying 47 people crashes into an apartment complex. This “accident,” has Peter Decker and his wife, Rina, in a state of shock.

A revelation that sends Decker along a route through terrible history and treacherous lies will put his and Rina’s long-held convictions about guilt, innocence, and justice to the test.

Pros

  • Well written and easy to read.

Cons

  • The first half of the book is slowly paced.

The Mercedes Coffin (2008)

The Mercedes Coffin (Decker and Lazarus, No. 19)

Billionaire Genoa Greeves thinks the L.A.P.D. should finally solve the case of Bennett Little’s murder, which occurred fifteen years ago. Now that Hollywood music producer Primo Ekerling was killed similarly.

When the case’s chief investigator mysteriously kills himself hours after speaking with Decker. The detective feels something sinister is linking two killings together.

Pros

  • Fast paced story linking past and present together.

Cons

  • Confusing as there are too many suspects.

Blind Man’s Bluff (2009)

Blindman's Bluff (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 18)

Decker believes he does not need to worry about his wife, becoming involved in this tragic case.

Yet, Rina is thrust into the horrific center of her husband’s murder investigations after an accidental meeting with a court interpreter who requires her assistance.

Pros

  • Blind character really thought through and an interesting addition.

Cons

  • Decker takes on a minor role in this book.

Hangman (2010)

Hangman: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 19)

Peter Decker is back working on a case in Hangman with his wife. A remarkable story of crime and deception that includes the horrifying slaying of a “party girl” healthcare worker.

There is also a puzzling disappearance and the terrifying reappearance of a sociopath from the past.

Pros

  • Fast paced with good character development.

Cons

  • Predictable ending.

Gun Games (2011)

Gun Games: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 20)

At the center of Gun Games is a disturbing string of juvenile suicides at a prestigious Los Angeles private school.

This installment also centers on the disturbed adolescent Decker and Lazarus have taken in: Gabriel Whitman, the child of a psychopath.

Pros

  • Fantastic work building and plot.

Cons

  • Too much focus on teen romance in parts.

The Beast (2013)

The Beast: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 21)

The police believe that Hobart Penny’s beloved cat, a mature female tiger, killed the elderly billionaire when he was found dead in his apartment. It turns out that the killer of the inventor was a human.

The LAPD investigators are left balancing several suspects and few answers. Decker and Rina are forced to consider difficult issues as their personal and professional lives collide.

Pros

  • Subplots are as interesting as the main plot.

Cons

  • Some fans felt the plot to be repetitive to past books.

Murder 101 (2014)

Murder 101: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 22)

It’s not as rewarding for Decker to work for the Greenbury Police Department as he had hoped. Then, Decker is summoned to a real crime. The investigation quickly turns violent and into a murder case.

Decker becomes deeply entangled in a web of nefarious secrets, cold-case crimes, global intrigue, and vicious assassins.

Pros

  • Rina has more involvement in the main story.

Cons

  • Unsatisfying ending.

The Theory Of Death (2015)

The Theory of Death: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 23)

Almost a year after his previous murder, Decker’s calm is disturbed when the body of a man is discovered in the middle of the woods.

To crack complex formulas and solve a dark, twisted murder, Decker will need to use all of his expertise.

Pros

  • Fun characters with an engrossing plot.

Cons

  • Slow pace.

Bone Box (2017)

Bone Box: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 24)

Human remains that were formerly buried beneath the forest floor are discovered by Rina Decker.

Peter Decker recognizes that they are likely dealing with a missing student. When more human remains are discovered nearby, Decker realizes this wasn’t a one-time murder.

Pros

  • Plenty of twists to keep you entertained.

Cons

  • Ending slightly disappointed.

Walking Shadows (2018)

Walking Shadows: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 25)

Brady Gratz’s body, which has been beaten to death, is found, and Peter Decker discovers that the youngster has connections to organized crime.

Decker is aware that there is more to this murder case than what the records indicate. Decker starts to have suspicions that Brady’s father’s misdeeds may have something to do with the son’s murder as he investigates Gratz’s past.

Pros

  • Various twists and shocks.

Cons

  • Less focus on the Decker family.

The Lost Boys (2021)

The Lost Boys: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 26)

When Bertram Lanz goes missing, everyone in the neighborhood helps to search the nearby forests.

Decker searches through cabinets of old files, an abundance of hints and evidence, and frustrating dead ends in his quest for answers.

The frustrated detective starts to question if the woods will ever reveal the truth, as corpses are discovered.

Pros

  • Gripping plot.

Cons

  • The two murder mysteries don’t work well together.

The Hunt (2022)

The Hunt: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Decker/Lazarus Novels, 27)

The activities of the previous book are being dealt with by Peter Decker as a body is discovered in the woods.

Peter must also deal with other crises as well, such as Gabe’s real mother who is discovered beaten in LA, but her two children are missing.

Gabe calls on his real father to help Peter and Rina, but they know his father has a dark past.

Pros

  • Satisfying ending which feels like a goodbye to the series.

Cons

  • Unnecessary content that doesn’t add to the plot.

Faye Kellerman Standalone Books In Order

The Quality Of Mercy (1989)

The Quality of Mercy

In Elizabeth’s England, Rebecca Lopez lives a privileged existence yet harbors secrets. Rebecca, the daughter of the queen’s personal physician, is also a converso—a Jew who follows her outlawed religion secretively.

She aids other members of her banned faith in avoiding persecution and execution. One outing guides her into danger with a vile murder and a charming playwright who goes by the name of Will Shakespeare.

Pros

Cons

  • Not all the clues make sense to the final outcome.

Moon Music (1998)

Moon Music

Detective Sergeant Romulus Poe, a seasoned police veteran, believes that the death of a young woman is related to a murder and apparent suicide that went unresolved 25 years ago.

The unsettling parallels are drawing Poe into a nighttime world that should be avoided by all means. A sinister history is revealed which has the power to ruin people who are closest to Poe.

Pros

  • Strong character development.

Cons

  • The plot is weak compared to Kellerman’s past work.

Double Homicide (2004)

Double Homicide

A book by Jonathan and Faye Kellerman features two novels about several detectives who solve murders in various cities.

Boston murder investigators Michael MacCain and Doris Sylvestor are looking into the mysterious death of a collegiate basketball star in “In the Land of the Giants.”

In “Still Life,” a Santa Fe art gallery employee is murdered, requiring detectives Steve Katz and Darryl Two Moons to put aside their holiday celebrations in order to put things right.

Pros

  • Two short stories that are easy to read.

Cons

  • Mystery was lacking.

Straight Into Darkness (2005)

Straight into Darkness

Another stand-alone book with a 1920s Munich setting, when political unrest and a ruthless butcher are stalking the war-damaged city.

Inspector Axel Berg is outraged by the murder and troubled by the victim’s clothes and hair being styled in a creative way. As he pursues a deadly killer, Berg cannot rely on anyone.

Pros

  • Historical mystery filled with lots of emotion.

Cons

  • Male characters aren’t as fully fleshed out as female characters.

Killing Season (2016)

Killing Season: A Thriller

A young man encounters a vicious serial killer while looking into the death of his sister. His obsession will soon identify him as a danger. Finding the truth might not be sufficient to protect Ben and those he cares about.

Pros

  • Suspenseful climax.

Cons

  • Continuity Issues.

Conclusion

Faye Kellerman has worked spanning since the 1980s. Her most popular and well-read works are the Decker series. However, there are a few stand-alone novels she has written if you wish to dip your toe into her writing.

Her writing revolves around Jewish characters and themes that she puts across very clearly. I hope this guide has been helpful in how to read all of Faye Kellerman’s work in order.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Need To Read The Books In Order?

It is best to read the Decker books in order to fully understand the characters and their relationships.

Has The Decker Series Ended?

The Hunt is the last book in the Decker series.

What Is Kellerman’s Most Popular Book?

The Stalker (2000) is considered Kellerman’s most popular book to date. 

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Noah Burton