C.J. Box is an amazing author with over twenty books under his belt. His most famous work is the Joe Pickett series which is a Western Mystery Thriller novel that takes place in the gorgeous state of Wyoming.
The beauty of Wyoming directly contrasts against the grisly murder that must be solved. This book is so well-loved that it has recently inspired a TV show adaptation.
But because there are over twenty Joe Pickett books for you to read it can be hard to know what order you should be reading these books in.
I know how hard it can be to wade through tons of articles trying to discover what order you should read a book series in.
The information is not always forthcoming. Which is why I have written this article.
In this ultimate guide, I have listed all the Joe Pickett books written by C.J. Pickett so that you can get an idea of what order these books should be read.
So without further ado, let’s dive right in and get started!
About The Joe Pickett Series
As I have said previously, C.J. Box is a fantastic author. His stories are so popular that there was actually a TV series based on his books.
There are twenty-two books in this series and as I said, it can be hard to know where to start.
The best way to enjoy these books is to read them in release order. This is how the author wanted the books to be enjoyed and I feel that this gives you the best experience reading this story.
Below I have listed all of the Joe Pickett books available in the order that you should enjoy them:
- Open Season – This book was released in 2001.
- Savage Run – This book was released in 2002.
- Winterkill – This book was released in 2003.
- Trophy Hunt – This book was released in 2004.
- Out of Range – This book was released in 2005.
- In Plain Sight – This book was released in 2006.
- Free Fire – This book was released in 2007.
- Blood Trail – This book was released in 2008.
- Below Zero – This book was released in 2009.
- Nowhere to Run – This book was released in 2010.
- Cold Wind – This book was released in 2011.
- Force of Nature – This book was released in 2012.
- Breaking Point – This book was released in 2013.
- Stone Cold – This book was released in 2013.
- Shots Fired – This book is a short story collection and was released in 2014.
- Endangered – This book was released in 2015.
- Off The Grid – This book was released in 2016.
- Vicious Circle – This book was released in 2017.
- The Disappeared – This book was released in 2018.
- Honor & … – This book was released in 2017.
- Wolf Pack – This book was released in 2019.
- Long Range – This book was released in 2020.
- Dark Sky – This book was released in 2021.
- Shadows Reel – This book was released in 2022.
- Storm Watch – This book was released in 2023.
Bear in mind that I have mentioned a few short stories from ‘Shots Fired’ and dotted them between some of the other books.
This is because these short stories are chronologically in the order I have put them on this list.
You do not have to read the short stories scattered between the full novels. But I have found that this is the best way to enjoy the story and get all the information in an order that makes sense.
All Of The Joe Pickett Books In Order
For those of you that want to know what each of these books is about, in this section, I am going to talk about each of the Joe Pickett books in depth.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in and get started!
This book is about a police procedural and centers around a character who is a normal man.
Joe Pickett is trying to learn a new job and retain a standard of life for his family. But life is not always that simple.
But no story is perfect, there are always pros and cons associated with any story and that is what I am going to talk about below:
- Fantastically developed characters that are interesting.
- The great emotional range for the characters.
- Some people found that some of the language and content were too foul.
This book really kicks off the whole story and makes you want to learn more about Joe Pickett and the life he leads.
A big blast rocks the forests of Twelve Sleep County. Joe Pickett is called to help out and investigate the death of an amazing environmental activist.
When the case is quickly wrapped up and chalked up to being an environmental publicity stunt, Joe takes it upon himself to uncover the truth.
This book series may be fantastic but it is not perfect. There are always pros and cons to a story which is why I have listed them below for you to peruse:
- Well thought-out story with fantastic characters driving it forward.
- The range of drama, humor, and tragedy is perfectly balanced.
- Some content is a little too explicit for some readers
This book further develops the fantastical tale of Joe Pickett. You are certain to love the storytelling and characterization in this amazing C.J. Box novel.
Joe Pickett is being hunted by a killer. Despite this Joe is trying to find this murderer in a rugged mountain range.
But this story is not as simple as that, things take a more dire turn when Joe’s daughter is kidnapped.
Below I have listed a few pros and cons associated with this Joe Pickett novel. This way you can better understand if this book is for you:
- A thrilling well thought-out story that keeps you invested.
- Interesting and fun characters that you learn to love.
- Parts of the story are a little dark for some.
This book in particular really highlights just how good of an author C.J. Box is. The mystery, intrigue, action, and drama all work perfectly to make this book work.
Joe Pickett is enjoying a day of fly-fishing with his two daughters. The small family outing turns sour when they come across a moose carcass that was ruthlessly sliced into ribbons.
Whatever has attacked this animal was ruthless. So, what or who did this and are they still around?
This story is masterfully written, but nothing is perfect which is why I have listed a few pros and cons for you to consider before you check out this book:
- Fantastic and masterfully written story.
- The plot is exciting, and the characters are fantastic.
- The gruesome descriptions can be too much for some.
This book, once again, is just phenomenal. It is well-paced, interesting, and packed full of well-timed action.
Joe Pickett is attending his mother-in-law’s wedding when he gets some disturbing news.
His comrade Jensen has killed himself and it is not up to Joe to run his district while things settle and a replacement is found.
What makes this book so good? Are there any cons to this book? Well, I have noted down a few things for you to bear in mind below:
- The characters are very well-written and interesting.
- The plot is masterfully thought out and very interesting to read.
- Some people thought that this story was a little slow to start.
This action-packed tale of greed, power, and murder really is one of the best Joe Pickett books. That being said, they are all rather spectacular.
Joe has become the victim of pranks which have been becoming increasingly violent.
He starts to think about whether this is tied in with the disappearance of Opal or if it is tied in with the darkest parts of his life.
I have taken the liberty of noting down a few pros and cons I thought were important to mention for this C.J. Box novel.
- Packed full of riveting characters.
- Suspenseful and fascinating plot.
- Some people thought that the plot was a little slow to start up.
Each time a new Joe Pickett book comes out, they just seem to get better. I personally loved the characters and the way that the story is written.
If you have liked the other books in this series, this one will be no different.
McCann is a free man, in a large stretch of land that you can really get lost in. But Joe Pickett is on the case and is hot on the trail to discover the motive behind this man’s crimes.
In Yellowstone’s rugged terrain, it is easy for dangerous men to keep secrets without the hope of being uncovered.
To learn more about a series, it is a book series like this, it is a good idea to check out what the pros and cons are so that you can better decide if the book is all it is cracked up to be.
Below is my list of the pros and cons that stood out the most to me:
- The story is well-written and keeps you invested.
- The characters are fascinating and riveting.
- Some people thought that there was too much ‘happenstance’ in the story.
This particular Joe Pickett book is fantastic. You really get a wonderful picture of what the environment is like through the colorful language used by the author.
Game Wardens have uncovered the body of a man who died at a mountain camp. The cadaver was in a terrible state. He was strung up, gutted, and flayed like an animal.
Who could have committed such terrible crimes? Was it a hunter that lost his mind or was it simply a lone criminal psychopath? Joe Pickett is eager to find out.
Below I have listed a few pros and cons that I thought were important for the readers to know about this book:
- Believable and interesting characters.
- Masterfully written story with a killer plot.
- Some content was a little too graphic for some readers.
I really loved this book. The language and writing style of C.J. Box is really quite spectacular and breathes life into an already amazing story.
It was six years ago that Joe Pickett lost his foster daughter. She was murdered and now there is someone leaving him messages and claiming to be his murdered daughter.
Joe’s whole family is trying to deal with these disturbing calls. Through investigating, Joe has found that these calls have been made at locations where serious environmental crimes have happened.
If you want to know what the pros and cons are surrounding this particular C.J. Box novel, make sure to check out the shortlist below:
- A gripping and emotional story that gets you invested.
- Interesting subject matter that is interesting and unique.
- Some people thought that the plot was a little dull.
I personally found the emotional depth and characterization in this story to be quite spectacular.
You are certainly going to love this amazing book if you have enjoyed the others.
Joe Pickett is working through his final week as a temporary game warden in the Baggs mountains of Wyoming.
But before he goes he has to check out the strange reports that have been coming from the wilderness,
I know that nothing is perfect, even if these books come pretty close, which is why I have noted down a few pros and cons I thought were important:
- Fantastically written and developed characters.
- A plot that keeps you wanting to know more.
- Some people thought that the plot was a little too political.
This book does a fantastic job of telling more of Joe Pickett’s story. The way that this character develops and interacts with the setting really is masterfully done.
A man named Earl Alden is found dead, his body was recovered hanging from a wind turbine.
Sadly his wife Missy was arrested. Things get a bit messy for Joe as Missy is his mother-in-law.
While the early signs point to her being guilty, it is not a crime he thinks she could have committed.
As you will know by now, there are always pros and cons. The same can be said for this book which is why I have listed a few things that you need to know about the Cold Wind book:
- The character and plot development is fantastic.
- A thrilling and exciting plot that you are sure to love.
- Some people did not like the political undertones of this plot.
I loved the family dynamic in this book. It is interesting to see how Joe interacts with this murder case especially since it is quite personal.
Nate Romanowski was once in the special forces. When his commander commits an atrocity he finds that the only way to fight back is to work outside the law.
Nate must act quickly as his friends, including Joe Pickett, are being targeted.
I have noted down a few things that you need to know about this book before you actually commit to reading it:
- Fantastic and likable characters.
- Well thought out plot that stayed interesting.
- Some people thought that there were too many characters and it was confusing.
You have to love this novel, it is interesting to see more characters and the dark thrilling lives they live.
C.J. Box is quite a talented author and knows how to make characters that we all find interesting.
There has been a double murder of two EPA employees. All the clues point to Butch being the murderer. Joe hears about this and has to find out what the real story is.
What are the pros and cons of this book? Well, I have listed a few things below for you to consider before reading:
- Fast moving and exciting plot.
- Fantastic detail and description.
- Some people thought that the characters were one-dimensional.
The way that this story is told is just fantastic. The emotional complexity of the characters is really quite amazing.
Everything works perfectly to make a story that you are sure to enjoy as much as I did.
There is a mysterious ranch in the remorse Black Hills of Wyoming. Nobody ever visits there.
Rumors start pouring out when there are disappearances happening in the area. Joe Pickett is on the case yet again to find out what is going on.
Below are a few pros and cons that I thought were important for potential readers to know:
- Beautiful descriptive language.
- Amazing and complex characters.
- Some people thought there was too much filler information.
This book is yet another fantastic thriller. The mystery that unravels as Joe discovers what is going on is really well done. You will definitely love this book!
Joe is dead set on who threatened his daughters’ life. There are a lot of reasons why Joe does not like Dallas Cates and now there is even more reason since Joe’s daughter has run off to be with him.
There are a few things that you need to know about this book. Don’t worry, they are mostly good things:
- Great characters.
- Exciting and fast-paced.
- Some people did not like the political themes.
This book continues to develop the characters and bring together a whole new angle that you did not think was possible.
This book is really well written and certain to be interesting to you.
Nate Romanowski is back again and he has gone off the grid. He needs time to recover from wounds while also dealing with past crimes.
He is confronted by special operators who are there to make a deal instead of threatening him.
This book brings back a character we know and love, but is it all it is cracked up to be? Check out my pros and cons list to learn more about it:
- Fantastic and interesting characters.
- Exciting plot with lots of action.
- Some people thought that the story was too far-fetched.
If you want to explore the life of Nate, this book is certainly going to scratch this itch. So, make sure to read it when you get the chance.
The Cates family are not the nicest people. Joe Pickett managed to strike a blow against them when his daughter’s life was in danger.
Since then, he has been living with the knowledge that there will be hell to pay for him and his family.
You know that C.J. Box books are going to be good, but that does not mean that there are not any flaws. It is for that reason that I have listed a few cons below for you to check out:
- Likable characters
- Fast-paced and interesting story.
- Some people thought that the plot was a little samey.
I loved this story, it ties in wonderfully with previous books. You will be sitting on the edge of your seat, eager to find out what happens.
Joe must now deal with two cases, both of which are quite awful in nature. The new governor of Wyoming has to trust Joe to take a delicate job for him.
Check out my list of pros and cons below to get an idea of what this book series is like:
- Fantastic and exciting plot full of twists and turns.
- Exciting and interesting characters.
- Too much detail according to some readers.
I loved this story, it is so well thought out and the characters are wonderfully done.
Joe Pickett has come across bad news in his hope. So bad that the FBI has stepped into the picture.
Things are not looking good for Joe, but he did get this job back after the events of the previous book.
Check out my list of pros and cons below if you want to learn a bit about what makes this book good or bad:
- Perfectly written story with a great ending.
- Interesting characters that you learn to love
- Some people thought there was too much focus on villains.
This book in particular was fantastic. It is well-written, and the development of the characters is simply fantastic.
A local yet prominent judge is being targeted by a troublemaker. There was a shootout, the judge was not killed, but his wife was badly wounded. It is now up to Joe to find out what happened.
Check out my pros and cons list below to learn more about this book and whether it is something that you would like to read.
- Engaging and interesting plot and characters.
- Full of twists and turns that keep you turning pages.
- Some people thought that the plot was a little slow to get started.
I love this book, it is fantastically written. It is packed full of mystery and intrigue. You will not be able to put it down.
Joe Pickett has been given the thankless task of taking a tech baron on a hunting trip. But things are not quite that simple as a man-hunter is now hot on his heels and hell-bent on revenge.
To learn about what makes this book good or bad, make sure to check out the pros and cons list below:
- Characters that are well thought out and interesting.
- Full of suspense and action.
- Some people thought the story was slow to get going.
This book was interesting. I loved how a thankless task turned into something so much more exciting and high-risk.
Joe is expecting his daughters to come home for Thanksgiving. When he is called out on a moose poaching job things take a turn for the worse and he must suddenly deal with a much more dire situation.
I have listed a few things that you need to know about this book below:
- Nicely written plot with a good description.
- Fantastic characters that you know and love.
- Some people thought that the political undertones were not good.
This book is amazing, it is well written, and the characters are yet again a fantastic component that brings everything together.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this article and learning about the Joe Pickett books. They are all fantastic books in which you must read them in the order they are supposed to be read.
The author will have a specific way they want you to consume these books and their vision is the one that you really need to heed.
They are the creator of the fantastic characters and universe you are reading about. Who would know more about what was supposed to happen to your beloved characters?
With all of that being said, if you have enjoyed reading this article, make sure to check out my website.
I have a ton of fantastic articles which you are bound to find interesting and inspire you to read more fantastic book series.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, I am going to answer some of your most frequently asked questions pertaining to the Joe Pickett books. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in and get started!
How Many Joe Pickett Books Are There?
C.J. Box has written twenty-two Joe Pickett books. All of these are about the aforementioned Joe Pickets who lives in Wyoming and has to solve gripping and bloody murders.
How Many Daughters Does Joe Pickett Have?
Joe Pickett has three daughters named April, Lucy, and Sheridan.
Is There A Joe Pickett TV Series?
Yes! Joe Pickett has been adapted into a TV series that has been based on the book written by C.J. Box.
This TV show is an American neo-western cruise drama which you are certainly going to love if you are a fan of the books.
How Many Episodes Are There In The Joe Pickett Series?
The Joe Pickett Series is actually not very long as there are just ten episodes in the first season.
Sadly the second season was canceled due to a clash in vision between the moving company and the author of the books.
What Books Should You Read If You Like Joe Pickett?
If you have loved reading the Joe Pickett series and need something similar you may want to consider reading the Walt Longmire book series.
It is set in a similar old west setting and has a vibe that some consider being similar to the Joe Pickett books.
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