21 Standalone John Grisham Books In Order

John Grisham is a novelist, former criminal lawyer, and member of the Mississippi House of Representatives for seven years. He grew up in Mississippi and this influenced a great deal of the books that he would later write.

Standalone John Grisham Books In Order

It was while he was working as a lawyer that he came across a case that would inspire him to write his first novel, A Time To Kill.

The book that followed his debut was The Firm which would stay on the New York Times Bestseller List for 47 weeks and be adapted into a movie.

After the success of The Firm, Grisham gave up practicing law and devoted all his time to writing novels.

To date, he has written 51 books of which 31 are standalone novels. His books are mostly legal thrillers and are very popular in that genre.

About John Grisham Books

Ford County: Stories

John Grisham writes mostly legal thrillers based on his decade-long career as a criminal lawyer.

He has also written sports fiction, young adult novels, non-fiction, and short stories. One collection is Ford County which is a fictional place that features in many of his novels.

Grisham is considered one of America’s best novelists, a claim backed by the fact that he is one of only three authors to have sold 2 million copies on the first printing. J.K. Rowling and Tom Clancy are the other two authors achieving this impressive feat.

21 John Grisham Books In Order

The Firm

The Firm

When the job of a lifetime lands in lawyer Mitch McDeere’s lap he should have known that nothing comes for free.

Now some of his colleagues at his new law firm are dying, and the FBI needs his help to find out why.


  • A fast-paced thriller


  • May now feel a little dated

The Pelican Brief

The Pelican Brief

After the death of two Supreme Court justices and a legal brief prepared by a young law student, Darby Shaw, her life is suddenly in danger.

A violent cover-up is being created, and her brief could be the key to exposing it.


  • Adapted into a well-known movie


  • Slightly disjointed in places

The Client

The Client: A Novel

An eleven-year-old boy is witness to the suicide of a lawyer and learns something he really shouldn’t know.

Because of this, he is now caught between the legal system and a mob killer with only a recently qualified lawyer to protect him.


  • Great plot and characters


  • Not entirely credible with an eleven-year-old protagonist

The Chamber

The Chamber: A Novel

In a maximum security prison, a man is facing the death penalty for a racist bombing.

Meanwhile, a young lawyer is about to begin a brilliant legal career. But there is a family connection between the two and one is going to have to sacrifice everything.


  • Gripping and thought-provoking story


  • Very anti-capital punishment novel

The Rainmaker

The Rainmaker: A Novel

A lawyer’s last chance to win a case for a devastated family has him battling heavyweight corporate lawyers in the courtroom.

Now he is in over his head and fighting against lies and legal maneuvering. This fight could cost him everything, even his life.


  • An entertaining read


  • The ending is abrupt

The Runaway Jury

The Runaway Jury: A Novel

The civil trial of the century involving a giant tobacco company is in the hands of the twelve men and women on the jury.

In particular juror number 2. He has a plan and the truth is about to change everything.


  • Intricate plot and interesting characters


  • Not always easy to follow

The Partner

By John Grisham - The Partner: A Novel (Reprint)

A young well paid lawyer is tragically caught in a burning car one cold winter night.

When they buried him all that filled his coffin was ashes. But now in a shady street in Brazil, Danilo Silva is being watched. And Danilo has a history with many chapters.



  • No emotional attachment to characters

The Street Lawyer

The Street Lawyer: A Novel

Another tale of a lawyer who has it all only to lose everything. A homeless man takes nine lawyers hostage and when it’s over his blood is all over Michael Brock’s face.

Will Brock be able to leave his plush office to fight injustice for society’s powerless?


  • Good escapism


  • Predictable plot with no real intrigue

The Testament

The Testament: A Novel

A billionaire rewrites his will, disinheriting his wife and children and leaving everything to a missionary in the jungles of Brazil.

Cue the lawyers who have to find this woman who is being pursued by friends and enemies alike.


  • More adventure than legal banter for a refreshing change


  • Characters are one dimensional

The Brethren

The Brethren: A Novel

Three former judges, disgraced and now languishing in prison get together behind bars.

Forming a plan to get very rich very quickly the political arena outside the prison walls may just have presented them with their perfect victim.


  • Unique plotline


  • Unsatisfactory ending

A Painted House

The Brethren And A Painted House

This almost feels like an autobiographical novel by Grisham. Like the young boy in the story, he grew up in the cotton fields.

It is a coming of age story as Luke Chandler journeys from innocence to experience over six weeks in the summer.



  • Fans of his legal thrillers will be disappointed

Skipping Christmas

Skipping Christmas: A Novel

Another non-legal drama from John Grisham. Luther and Nora Krank have decided to skip Christmas this year and instead embark on a Caribbean cruise. But they soon discover that skipping Christmas is not as easy as it sounds.


  • Funny look at the chaos of Christmas


The Summons

The Summons: A Novel

John Grisham is back doing what he does best, writing about lawyers and courtroom dramas.

An elderly judge summons his two sons to discuss his estate. But before they can get there the judge dies. And only one of his sons knows the shocking secret he left behind.


  • Easy to read and entertaining


  • Typical abrupt Grisham ending

The King Of Torts

The King of Torts: A Novel

Clay Carter works in the public defender’s office and like many young lawyers dreams of something bigger and better.

The case of a young man charged with a street killing may seem like just another murder, but there’s more to this story and Clay needs to find it.


  • Grisham doing what he does best, writing about lawyers


  • Lacking depth of character who seems shallow and superficial


Bleachers: A Novel

Once a great quarterback, Neely Crenshaw has come back to his hometown to bury his coach, Eddie Rake.

With the rest of the guys from the glory days when the Messina Spartans were legends, Neely looks back at how he really felt about their old football coach.


  • Will resonate with sports players and fans


  • Lacks tension

The Last Juror

The Last Juror: A Novel

When a young mother is brutally murdered, Willie Traynor, owner of the county’s only newspaper dares to report the true horrors of the crime.

Now, ten years later the members of a jury are starting to die one by one. But why?


  • Good storyline


  • Lots of unnecessary details

The Broker

The Broker: A Novel

In the dying hours of his presidency, the White Office incumbent grants a controversial last-minute pardon.

The recipient was a notorious Washington power broker. So why was he pardoned? Only the President and the CIA know and do they even want him free?


  • Good insight into American security agencies


  • Research and editing errors when describing the broker’s travels in Europe

Playing For Pizza

Playing for Pizza: A Novel

When Rick Dockery plays the worst game in the history of the NFL, he becomes a national laughingstock.

Cut by the Cleveland Browns he now needs to find a new team. So his agent gets him a job with the Mighty Panthers. Of Parma, Italy!


  • Good sports story


  • Great for those who like football and Italy

The Appeal

The Appeal: A Novel

Convicted of dumping toxic waste into a town’s water supply and causing the worst cancer cluster in history, a chemical company launches an appeal.

Finding a Supreme Court justice friendly to his cause means company owner Carl Trudeau has to buy one-off.


  • Carries an important message


  • Lots of litigation language

The Associate

The Associate: A Novel

Kyle McAvoy has a great future and an incredible legal mind. But he also has a dark secret that could destroy everything, and now he’s being blackmailed.

All he has to do is take a job in the world’s largest law firm but instead of working for them, he has to work against them.


  • An easy read


  • Disappointing ending

The Confession

The Confession

After abducting and murdering a high school cheerleader, Travis Boyette watches as the local football star is sent to Death Row for the crime.

Nine years later and suffering from an inoperable brain tumor Travis decides to do the right thing, but is it too late?


  • Well-written and suspenseful


  • A vehicle for Grisham’s own views on capital punishment

Final Thoughts

John Grisham grew up wanting to be a baseball player but gave up at the age of 18 after an injury during a game. His mother encouraged him to go to college and in 1981 he graduated with a law degree.

Not only did he become a lawyer but also a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives.

All of the preceding influences and career choices would feature in his written work.

His experience of the law and how lawyers work give his novels the edge of credibility and insider knowledge.

Grisham is also able to give believable accounts of how political systems work and integrates this well into his books.

But it wasn’t just his career that influenced his work. Growing up in the south allowed him to write A Painted House so well, describing the life of a young boy growing up among the cotton fields.

Grisham also wrote comedy fiction, Skipping Christmas which was adapted as a movie.

However, it has been his legal thrillers that have been the most successful for John Grisham, eight of which have been made into well-known movies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best John Grisham Book To Start With?

The Firm is possibly John Grisham’s most popular novel and a great way to introduce yourself to his style of writing as well as the genre that he excels in. Also a good movie.

Do John Grisham Books Need To Be Read In Order?

The majority of John Grisham’s books are standalone novels and as such can be read in any order. He has written some very short series of books including The Whistler series.

What Author Is Most Like John Grisham?

There are many well-known authors in the genre of legal thrillers including David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, Scott Turow, Lisa Scottoline, and Steve Martini.

What Are The Last Two Books John Grisham Wrote?

John Grisham wrote a novella in 2022 called Sparring Partners as well as a full novel called The Boys From Biloxi.

Anna Davis