Joy Ellis is an English author based in Lincolnshire. She was born in Kent but later moved to London to work in the prestigious Mayfair flower shop, Constance Spry.
However, she is most known for her exciting crime novels and has been widely acclaimed for her work.
With over 2 million books sold, Joy Ellis remains one of the most popular modern thriller and crime authors to date.
Having written over 28 books, most of which are part of an extensive series, you could be wondering where to start with Ellis’ books, and how to read them in order.
I can help you out, as I’ll go over a little bit about Joy Ellis, her books, and which ones you need to add to your reading list first.
About Joy Ellis
Joy Ellis is an English author of crime novels. Her most notable work is the DI Nikki Galena book series, along with the DS Marie Evans and DI Jackman series.
Her work has been critically acclaimed, and she has even been named Audible’s Breakthrough Crime Writer Of the Year in 2018.
Joy Ellis lives in Lincolnshire Fens, which has inspired her to write crime and is often the backdrop of her novels.
Joy Ellis Books In Order
If you want to start reading Joy Ellis’ books, then I suggest you begin with the DI Nikki Galena series.
This was Joy Ellis’ first series, and while some of the latter books overlap and were written at the same time as her other series, this is where her career began.
DI Nikki Galena Series Order
The DI Nikki Galena series follows the protagonist, Nikki, a police detective who can be a little too hard on criminals.
This has gotten her into some trouble at work, and her career has come to a standstill. But for how long?
In the opening novel, Crime On The Fens, Nikki has nothing left to lose.
Her daughter will never leave the hospital, she’s seen some horrific things, and she believes the criminals are at fault.
She’s on her last warning in her career and must make things work with her new sergeant, Joseph Easter.
But, they couldn’t be more different. Easter is a new member of the team, an ex-soldier, and is known as ‘Holy Joe’.
But, Nikki and Joseph must join together as the town is being terrorized by gangs of horribly violent thugs, and a young woman has gone missing.
As they dig deeper, they find more sinister things than they could ever imagine.
Set on the marshes and farmland of the Lincolnshire Fens, it is a treacherous terrain for police investigation.
In the second installment of the series, there are now two violent killers on the loose.
Nikki doesn’t know who she can trust, as there is more to this investigation than meets the eye.
The cold-blooded murders trigger something in DS Joseph Easter, and his past begins to resurface.
His life is now under threat, and he must do everything in his power to protect those he loves.
The third novel in this series follows Nikki Galena, as a terrible criminal seems to be targeting her.
Her team is under threat, with a string of attacks, but there’s also an air of mystery as a woman is found dead in a locked room.
Are the attacks connected? Only Nikki can find out.
In the fourth book, Nikki’s dying father has one last wish- she must find Eve, but Nikki doesn’t know who she is. She is set on a path to find out the truth.
In the meantime, a drug dealer is found dead in an abandoned airfield. Both mysteries will lead Nikki to discover the shocking truth, in a tale filled with twists and turns.
In the fifth installment, Nikki’s friend Helen Brook is trapped in a collapsed cellar in a horrible accident.
While she does recover, Helen starts to get flashbacks of a man she was trapped with, who she says confessed to committing a murder, but the man is nowhere to be seen.
Helen fears that someone is watching her, and Nikki is unsure if her flashbacks are real, or if Helen is struggling with PTSD.
In a shocking turn of events, the man who ruined Nikki’s life- Stephen Cox has returned to town, and soon everyone is on the edge of their seats, unsure where to turn.
This book is a real page-turner and will keep you in suspense until the very shocking end.
In this book, a young woman is found dead in a remote barn on the Fens.
The murder is incredibly violent, and Nikki needs to stop the killer before anyone else gets hurt.
Another woman is found alive with the same injuries, and Nikki must find out what connected the two of them.
At the same time, a woman is being held captive in a remote spot, and Nikki must come together with her detectives to save the victim.
This novel is one of the most gripping yet. The story begins when a skeleton is found in a shallow grave and is a victim of a murder that happened a very long time ago.
At the same time, Nikki must investigate the killing of a local woman, Madeline Prospero.
Madeline was part of an exclusive club, and no participants want to come forward and tell the truth.
But more women are under threat from the club, and Nikki must race to discover what really happened before anyone else gets hurt.
Nikki Galena receives a string of anonymous calls, in which the perpetrator tells her who is going to die, when, and where.
The calls are coded, and Nikki must try to understand them before it is too late.
Nikki’s beloved Fens are burning, and an arsonist is the culprit. Homes, businesses, and other locations are at risk.
At each fire, one person dies, but there is no real connection between them.
In this riveting tale, Nikki is forced to stop the arsonists, meanwhile, the town is under threat from a group of Satanists.
This book is engrossing, and you won’t be able to put it down.
In this installment, there is a yearly Dark Greenborough Festival, which is a three-day long event, where everyone can join and celebrate the local history, folklore, mysteries, and superstitions.
However, the police have received a warning that terrible things will happen at this year’s festival.
Soon enough, people are being poisoned at the festival, and bodies are dropping like flies.
Nikki must hurry to find the serial killer before more people are killed.
Hidden On The Fens is packed with an eerie mystery.
A farm owner is being sent sinister pagan artifacts, a missing girl has never been found, and a derelict cottage sits empty, hiding many secrets.
The man who was convicted of killing the missing girl has recently been released. Will he return and strike again?
In this gripping installment, the bodies of two people are found on a blanket in the woods.
It looks like a lover’s pact, but Nikki is suspicious and wants to investigate more closely.
When another couple is found dead posed in the same way, Nikki must rush to find the serial killer before she finds their next victim.
This book begins when a burned hand is found on the side of a wheelbarrow. The smell of burnt flesh is fresh in the air.
Nikki and Joseph discover that this could be a warning and in retaliation for a mystery that happened over twenty years ago.
A man disappeared, a gardener was killed, and now Nikki and Joseph must uncover the truth before the next victim appears.
Nikki receives a mysterious envelope. The paper reads: You failed me.
Another envelope arrives, and before long, Nikki receives one with four names of four missing women written on it.
The bodies were never recovered. Nikki is thrust into a murder mystery, where the killer is playing sick games with her.
Nikki needs to stop them before more bodies are found.
Guide Star is a standalone novel, but it is no less gripping and exciting than Joy Ellis’ other works. This novel is one you won’t be able to put down.
It is an emotional rollercoaster about life, not losing hope, and finding love.
Guide Star follows Stella North, a rising star in the police force, but she has her life ripped apart.
After struggling with a serious injury, she must give up her job.
She is on her path to recovery, and Stella must find the strength to overcome the new obstacles in her life and heal her emotional wounds as well as her physical ones.
DI Rowan Jackman And DS Marie Evans Series Order
The Murderer’s Son is the first installment in the DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans series.
Marie Evans lost her husband in a motorbike accident, and DI Jackman leads the team of detectives.
The two must work together to solve the murder of a woman who is stabbed in her own home. But, a man named Daniel comes forward and confesses.
But, there seems to be more to Daniel than he is letting on.
This series is also set in the stunning Lincolnshire Fens but is not part of the Nikki Galena series.
In the second novel, two girls attend a party, but only one comes back alive.
The survivor is found on the fens and has witnessed her missing friend being taken away from the party.
Another girl is found dead on the beach, and all of these attacks are seemingly linked to the disappearance of a young girl that took place nearly 10 years prior.
Jackman and Evans are pushed to their limits in finding out who the perpetrators are in these horrible crimes.
A police detective is the sole survivor of a plane crash that kills all four of his best friends.
With survivor’s guilt, he hopes to continue their legacy and complete their unfinished tasks.
But, before the crash, a woman disappeared without any leads. The woman was actually the wife of one of the friends who passed away in the crash.
DI Jackman and DS Evans have to uncover the mysteries that have taken place and chaos and suspense ensue.
The Guilty Ones will be the most difficult case that detective Jackman ever has to face.
This time it’s personal, and Jackman is unsure who they can trust, and who is innocent.
When Jackman’s sister-in-law throws herself into the river, Jackman has to uncover what led her to this.
In a neighboring village, a woman dies under similar circumstances. But who is really behind all of this?
In the fifth installment of the Jackman and Evans series, a wave of crime has hit the town.
There’s an expensive new clothing brand, and everyone wants to get their hands on it.
Houses are robbed, kids are being mugged, and a young man is killed just for his shoes. Soon, another body surfaces, and there is darkness all along the marshes.
The Patient Man is a fan favorite. In this novel, the detectives have to face their arch nemesis, serial killer Alistair Ashcroft, the one who got away the last time.
The serial killer has returned, ready to wreak havoc. Ashcroft sends Evans a creepy text, and before long, the detectives are part of a deadly cat-and-mouse game.
They Disappeared has been dubbed the most gripping crime thriller of 2020, and is a real nail-biting page-turner.
Rowan Jackman and Marie Evans discover that their IT boss has gone missing. Evidence indicates foul play.
Meanwhile, another detective finds that two urban explorers have gone missing while exploring abandoned buildings.
The bodies are found hanging in the church ruins, and Jackman and Evans are faced with finding the killer.
When everyone is fast asleep, the Night Thief comes into their homes. He takes a photograph of their children, but nothing else is stolen.
The detectives are on the case, but one night, an old woman falls to her death when she spots an intruder in her home.
Was it an accident? Or was she pushed? As bodies start to pile, Jackman and Evans must find out who the Night Thief is before time runs out.
The house is isolated and has a horrific past, but history is set to repeat itself in this novel.
Holly Stewart moved into Solace House for a fresh new start. But a terrible murder took place there many years ago, which Holly was unaware of.
Soon, strange things start happening, and it is clear someone wants them out of the house.
Detective Jackman is there to help, but they are soon pulled into a years-old cold case of the Solace House murder.
A witness comes forward with crucial evidence, and a few days later the murder is replicated on a fresh victim. Are they connected?
Matt Ballard Series Order
The Matt Ballard series opens with Beware The Past.
A detective, Ballard has always been haunted by an old case, and this time the killer seems to have returned with one thing in mind…getting Matt.
Soon, Matt receives pictures in the post of the murder scene before it happened, along with personal images of himself.
Before he knows it, another murder takes place replicating the old cold case that Matt can’t let go of. Is it the same killer? Or a copycat?
In this novel, a beautiful woman walks into the police station to tell our protagonist that she has information that could prevent a murder.
Her fiance is a serial killer, who has a follower who is going to use the killer’s methods to kill again.
With multiple copycat murders, the police are stretched to their limit, while Matt must put himself on the line to prevent anyone else from being hurt.
Matt Ballard has retired. When he goes to start a new life, his best friend Will and his wife Kate move into Holland House.
But Kate’s mental health starts to deteriorate and she becomes obsessed with what happened in the house many years ago.
With dark secrets all around them, Matt and Liz must help their friends in this stunning psychological thriller.
Still hoping for a quiet life, Matt and Liz are sprung into drama once again.
An old friend’s sister suddenly disappears without a lead, but there’s no sign of foul play.
In the meantime, Liz’s cousin comes to stay. She is wary of a local bookshop owner, who she believes is manipulating everyone.
Is she right? No one thinks so until another friend disappears without a trace too. Will Matt and Liz uncover the truth to save more lives?
A photographer uses a derelict building as the backdrop of his images.
When he looks back at the photos, a face is seen in the window of the deserted building.
He asks his friend, Alex to look and find out if he sees it too. Within a few days, both of them are dead.
Alex’s mother doesn’t believe that there was no foul play and hires Matt and Liz to find out what really happened.
To summarize, Joy Ellis has written many crime thriller novels. It is best to read them in chronological order, starting with her first novels, the DI Nikki Galena series.
Then, you can move on to the Di Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans series, and even move on to the Matt Ballard books.
If you would like a break from crime, then check out her emotional tale Guide Star.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are All Of Joy Ellis’ Books Connected?
No, all of Joy Ellis’ books are not connected, however, most take place on the Lincolnshire Fens.
This does not mean that the Nikki Galena series and DI Jackman and DS Evans stories are intertwined. That being said, DS Evans does make an appearance in Guide Star.
Which Joy Ellis Books Should I Start With?
I would recommend starting with her longest, and arguably best work- which is the DI Nikki Galena series. With so many books and plots to get into, you will easily find one that suits your tastes.