If you have heard of Lisa Gardner but are unsure what they are about, or what order to read them in, then this guide will give you all the information you need to know before approaching her work.
When it comes to Lisa Gardner books, it is most likely that you have heard of her DD Warren series. This series follows an officer who works for the Police in Boston.
Because this is the most popular Lisa Gardner series, this is what most of this guide will be focused on. However, just because this is Lisa Gardner’s most popular series, does not mean that we will overlook her other works either.
There are other series and standalone works that Lisa Gardner has contributed to, because of this, we will cover these works and give you advice on how to approach these works as well!
So, if you are looking to read Lisa Gardner’s works, whether this is the DD Warren series or one of her other works, we will give you all the information you need on how to approach any of her works. So, if you are planning to read Lisa Gardner’s stories, keep reading!
More On Lisa Gardner Books
Before heading into Lisa Gardner’s stories, it is worth giving you some information about the author herself. The author Lisa Gardner actually began her career mostly focusing on romance and suspense stories.
Her first story was published when she was just 20 and she was actually still attending college at the time. She took years to finish the story taking about 3 years and over 4 rewrites. She filled all of her free time writing while also working on her degree.
It is also worth pointing out that Lisa Gardner has also published quite a few books under her pseudonym of Alicia Scott, so if you have seen any stories published under this name, there is a good chance that this was Lisa Gardner.
Under this name, she managed to write 13 books called the Silhouette Intimate moments. These tended to have a slightly more mysterious and complex feel compared to the softer and more romantic writing of Lisa Gardner.
It was actually working at a consulting firm that eventually sparked Gardner to have more of a focus on police investigations and technology that is present in her DD Warren series.
When looking at Lisa Gardner we can see that she has loved including mystery and suspense in most of her stories and this has been a constant part of her life and it is used as a tool to help her characters and settings come alive.
Her readers are fans because of her ability to bring more intense scenes alive. She is also known for particularly complex characters that keep her readers engaged.
Her works have commonly been compared to MM Kaye who was a formative author for her in her younger years. She has managed to sell over 22 million copies of her books and lives in New Hampshire.
All Lisa Gardner Books In Order By Series
We have gathered all of Lisa Gardner’s books by series since this is the best way to order them when it comes to working out what the best order to read them in will be.
We are focusing most of our attention on the Detective DD Warren series, however, after we have gone over this series we will move on to her other series and give you instructions on how you should read them so you have all the information you need.
Detective D.D. Warren Books
This is Lisa Gardner’s most popular series and it has been getting consistently published for years now, so if you are interested in reading it, but have no idea where to start, keep reading!
In the first D.D. Warren story, we follow Bobby who is a sharpshooter for the NYPD and she is called in for an incident at the home.
The police have already visited this address though, it is the home of a pretty volatile couple who have had frequent loud fights with each other.
But Bobby can tell that this time things are different and he witnesses the husband about to shoot both his child and his wife from the building opposite.
So, Bobby takes the shot at the head of the man who is about to kill his wife, and the wife sees her savior and thanks him through the window. But then everything goes wrong.
Bobby has shot the son of one of the most prominent judges in the country and his wife who was just saved has been suspected of abusing their son for years at this point, and Bobby had killed potentially the only person keeping him safe.
Then there is also Bosu who is living on the streets after he had been sentenced to life after he committed a crime when he was 22.
He was so committed to a life of death and destruction that he had even found a way to murder while he was spending his life in prison. He had been feared by other inmates and because of this was freed accidentally.
Now he is working as a murderer for hire and is smart and powerful after spending 25 years behind bars. And now he is entangled with the actions of Bobby and Catherine as well.
- All of the lead characters in this first entry in the D.D. Warren series are incredibly engaging to read.
- Bosu is sometimes a bit frustrating to read.
Our lead character Annabelle has gone by many names throughout her life, and she did not know why her father was running with her, but they had been moving from one city to another since she was young.
But she is now older in her 30s and living in Boston with her parents, but she is still paranoid and tries her best to blend in. But then there are graves getting discovered in the Mental Hospital in the city with 16 girls having been taken prisoner and died underground.
This is when Annabelle learns her real name as she has been identified incorrectly as one of the girls who was found dead. This was the work of the killer her father had been running from, and the perpetrator is still at large and is still looking for her.
We also return to Bobby who is still suffering from the consequences of book 1, but Catherine from the previous story was also a former captive underground too.
- The way characters and themes from the first story continue is very engaging.
- Annabelle takes a while to understand as a lead character.
The Neighbor (2009)
In the space of 6 hours, a beautiful young mother goes missing from her home in Boston with absolutely no trace and leaving her 4 year old daughter and secretive husband behind, and he is the top suspect.
When D.D. Warren arrives on the scene at the cozy bungalow and she works out that something is not right even if the couple looked like a perfect couple.
It soon becomes clear that things are murkier under the veneer and Jason the husband seems to be either focused on finding his wife or getting rid of the evidence.
- Learning more about the mysterious couple is an engaging narrative to follow.
- D.D. Warren feels a little more detached from the narrative compared to earlier entries in the series.
Live To Tell (2010)
We follow D.D. Warren uncovering the truth about the murder of 4 families who were murdered. Is it a murder-suicide, or something more than initially expected?
Learning about the survivors and the truth about the neighborhood it happened in makes this one of Gardner’s best.
- The key tragedy immediately grabs the reader.
- The pacing suffers a little close to the end.
Love You More (2011)
We find Brian dead on the floor and his wife Tessa (main character of the Tessa Leoni series) claims she shot him in self-defense and has the bruises to prove this.
This seems like it would be a simple case for D.D. Warren to solve, however, there is the mystery of where their 6 year old daughter is.
- Introducing Tessa to readers shows off Gardner’s character writing skills.
- The mystery is a little less grabbing than in previous entries.
The 7th Month (2012)
We follow D.D. Warren on their 7th month of pregnancy when they should be taking it easy, but when they take on a consultant role for a serial killer shooting, things do not seem to be as relaxing as they should.
- Seeing D.D. Warren at a different stage of life is incredibly engaging for fans of the series.
- Overall narrative is a little weaker than usual.
Catch Me (2012)
Charlene is convinced she is going to be killed in 4 days and she wants D.D. Warren on the case of the murder. There is a group of childhood friends and every February, one of them dies.
- The mystery of the friendship group getting killed off annually gets more and more engaging as you read it.
- Some of the side characters are a little dry.
Fear Nothing (2014)
Dr. Glen does not believe that family is everything with a murderer as a father and a brother who followed in his steps. D.D. Warren needs her help when it comes to overcoming an attack from a vicious psychopath.
And unfortunately for Glen, she will need the aid of her imprisoned father to get to the truth.
- The relationship between Glen and her family is engaging to read.
- D.D. Warren feels a little detached again.
The Laughing Buddha (2015)
The first short story in the D.D. Warren series.
- Nice to get a break from the longer stories.
- Some pacing issues as it is the first short story.
3 Truths And A Lie (2016)
This is one of the popular short stories in the D.D. Warren series.
- If you want a break from the longer stories, this is a good change of pace.
- Missing some of the depth of other short stories in the series.
Find Her (2016)
Flora was a college student taken 7 years ago when she was on spring break and was held for 472 days enduring as much as she could. She is still alive 5 years later and has been working out how to get used to a normal life
But when D.D. Warren is on the case of bound women found dead, it seems like Flora might have been more than a simple victim.
- Learning about Flora’s character is incredibly captivating.
- Some of the other characters pale in comparison to Flora.
Look For Me (2018)
We follow D.D. Warren and Flora from the previous story racing against time to save a girl’s life, but they do not know if she is a victim or the perpetrator of 4 murders.
- The young girl is an interesting character to learn about.
- Feels a little derivative right after Flora’s first story.
The Guy Who Died Twice (2019)
Another great short story in the D.D. Warren series.
- One of the best short stories in the series.
- Wish it had more time to flesh out aspects of the narrative.
Never Tell (2019)
D.D. Warren is investigating the murder of a man shot in the head whose pregnant wife was found holding the gun.
- Learning about the troubled relationship makes this an engaging read.
- The narrative is a little stretched thin with multiple plot lines balanced.
When You See Me (2020)
The latest main story in the D.D. Warren series follows Kimberly and D.D. Warren as they investigate the digital footprint of a serial kidnapper.
- Kimberly is a refreshing new main character.
- The mystery is just a little lacking compared to previous entries.
Family Secrets Books
One of Lisa Gardner’s earlier works which is well worth checking out is the Family Secrets series. There are three entries in this series which were all released between 1997 and 1998.
FBI Profiler Books
One of Lisa Gardner’s series we recommend checking out if you enjoy her DD Warren series, but you want something with fewer entries, is her FBI Profiler series.
This series has been spread out over a pretty long time with the first volume released in 1997 and the most recent 20 years later in 2017. It is worth noting the 2016 entry The 4th Man that released a long 8 years after the prior entry is actually a short story.
If you are intrigued by this series, the recommended reading order is; The Perfect Husband (1997), The Third Victim (2001), The Next Accident (2001), The Killing Hour (2003), Gone (2006), Say Goodbye (2008), The 4th Man (2016), and Right Behind You (2017).
Tessa Leoni Books
The first series Lisa Gardner started after her successful DD Warren series is the Tessa Leoni series which is actually connected to the DD Warren series.
The first entry in the trilogy actually features DD Warren quite heavily, but the other 2 entries focus more on just Tessa.
If you enjoy this character from the DD Warrens series and want to see more of them, we recommend this series, but it is not an easy recommendation for someone who is not familiar with the main series.
Frankie Elkin Books
The most recent new series from Lisa Gardner is her Frankie Elkin series. This is a pretty new series and it only has 2 entries at the moment.
However, it is proving to be one of Lisa Gardner’s most promising series and she has not even released any more DD Warren stories since it started.
While Lisa Gardner is an author who mostly focuses on publishing series, she has also published some standalone stories, however, she has not done this since 2002. However, these stories are still worth checking out.
It is also worth noting that half of these stories were published under her pseudonym Alicia Scott.
Of course, since these are standalone stories you do not need to read them in a specific order, but if you want to read them in order of release, the correct order would be; Waking Nightmare (1994) (As Alicia Scott), The Other Daughter (1999), Marrying Mike… Again (2000) (As Alicia Scott), and The Survivors Club (2002).
Walking After Midnight Books – Alicia Scott
The first series that Lisa Gardner actually worked on was under her pseudonym Alicia Scott, and it is called the Walking After Midnight series. It is a short duology of connected stories that were released in 1992 and 1994.
If you love the writing style of Lisa Gardner and you want to see where she started, reading these two stories is a great idea. If you want to do this, the correct order is; Walking After Midnight (1992), and Shadow’s Flame (1994).
Guiness Gang Books – Alicia Scott
The only other series worked on by Lisa Gardner when she was under the pseudonym of Alicia Scott is the Guiness Gang stories. This is a slightly longer series, so if you want to see her writing style a little more fleshed out when writing as Alicia Scott, this series is a good idea.
All of these 5 entries were released between 1995 and 1996 and they are; At the Midnight Hour (1995), Hiding Jessica (1995), Quiet One (1996), The One Worth Waiting For (1996), and One Who Almost Got Away (1996).
Hopefully, this guide has given you all the information you need on how to approach Lisa Gardner’s work and will help you decide where you want to start.
It is likely that a lot of potential readers want to start off with her DD Warren series, however, if you are unsure if you want to enter into such a long series and are unsure if you will enjoy her writing style, we recommend trying one of her standalone stories, or one of her shorter series that has a similar genre to see if you will enjoy the longer DD Warren series.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Lisa Gardner Known For?
While Lisa Gardner has published many stories throughout her career, she is most well known for her work on the DD Warren series that has been getting published since 2005 with the most recent entry having been released in 2020.
She also published a few stories throughout the 90s and into the early 00s under the pseudonym Alicia Scott.