Over eighteen million copies of Peter James’ best-selling Roy Grace series have been sold worldwide.
These books have been translated into 37 other languages all around the globe.
The popular crime fiction series has also been adapted for television, with John Simm playing Detective Superintendent Roy Grace in ITV’s Grace.
Roy Grace is going through a lot of turmoil in his own life due to losing his wife a couple of years before the book series begins.
Many of the characters in Roy Grace’s novels look to Grace as a source of blazing light during difficult times.
Victims find him approachable and trustworthy because of his good nature.
Since there are 19 books in this series, it can be difficult knowing where to start.
In this guide, I have discovered the order in which you should read Peter James’s bestselling Roy Grace books.
About Roy Grace
Roy Grace is an original and distinctive kind of detective.
His losses and experiences, such as the sudden disappearance of his wife Sandy, make him open to different police work techniques.
They help him better uncover the truth about the mysteries he looks into.
Roy Grace’s department specializes in shady goings-on and murder mysteries, and it’s based in a notoriously unlawful city in England.
To make the necessary tales of the dark city more enjoyable and understandable, Peter James has created a likable protagonist.
There are various sinister characters to meet in each book within the series. All the murders are different to keep you engaged page after page.
Peter James is known for writing amazing crime thrillers and the world-building in these books is perfect to draw you in.
In addition to this, you may have seen or heard of the popular ITV show called Grace which is an adaptation of these books.
Fans who enjoy the book series will enjoy the TV adaptation.
If you have found the TV show first, then you have a lot to look forward to if you are beginning to read the book series.
Read on to learn the order in which you should read this series.
Roy Grace Books In Order
Roy Grace will never forget his first significant case as Detective Superintendent.
It was intended to be a fun stag night joke. However, the groom and his friends are no longer there a few hours later.
To learn what transpired on that fatal night, the man’s heartbroken fiancée contacts Grace three days before the wedding.
The one man who should be aware of the groom’s whereabouts is silent, as Grace discovers.
However, this man stands to gain far more than everyone understands because one man’s misfortune can be another man’s wealth.
- Great introduction to Roy Grace.
- Some readers found it easy to solve the mystery.
Detective Superintendent Roy Grace can’t help but think of his lost wife and her unexplained fate when a young woman’s body is discovered butchered in Brighton.
While Tom Bryce merely attempts to do the right thing and return the disc to its owner when he finds it left on a train somewhere else in the city.
Yet because of this misguided gesture of generosity, he is the only person who saw that brutal murder.
The killers are forced to take action after discovering that Tom has spoken with Grace’s squad.
When they conspire to kill the Bryce family, it’s not just for retaliation; it’s also for entertainment.
- Well-developed characters.
- Slow start, but the pace does pick up.
A stunning celebrity has passed away. Although her husband, who is Roy Grace’s prime suspect, was sixty miles away the moment she died, every other factor points to him.
Has his identity been stolen, or is he just an extremely skilled liar?
Grace’s inquiry and his developing new relationship are put on hold when his wife Sandy, who has been missing for nine years, is reportedly seen.
As his inner distress and the dead count increase, Grace attempts desperately to reveal the real story in both cases.
- Well-plotted story that is engaging.
- Some readers found that there are too many descriptions of every action, which slows the story down.
Ronnie Wilson, a failed businessman from Brighton, sees a chance for a lifeline amid the horrific chaos of 9/11.
He can pay off his debts, vanish, and recreate himself elsewhere.
The discovery of a lady’s skeleton bones in a storm sewer in Brighton six years later sends Roy Grace on a global search.
He heads into a frantic race versus time to save a woman who is being stalked on Brighton’s streets and alleys.
- A great story that mixes fact and fiction well.
- Due to a complex plot, it is important to pay attention to all the deals.
Off the coast of Sussex, a body missing crucial organs is recovered from the seabed. Two more bodies are then soon discovered.
In Brighton, an adolescent needs a transplant immediately, or she will perish.
Her mother takes extraordinary action and contacts a website that deals in illegal organs. The broker can give her what she desires but at a cost.
Roy Grace discovers a group of child traffickers working out of Eastern Europe as he analyzes the retrieved bodies.
While a frantic mother will do anything to rescue her daughter.
Grace and his crew will soon find themselves involved in a race to save the life of a young street child.
- There is plenty of suspense and great character development.
- Certain chapters feel unnecessary and don’t add to the overall plot.
Upon entering her room after a wild New Year’s Eve party, a woman is attacked. Another woman was abused a week later. The perpetrator removes both victims’ shoes.
Roy Grace quickly understands that these recent cases are strikingly similar to a string of unsolved crimes that occurred in the city during 1997.
The offender, known as “Shoe Man,” is thought to have assaulted five women before killing his sixth and then fleeing.
Has Shoe Man returned or is this a copycat? When more women are attacked, Grace and his crew are forced to find the new sixth victim and save her life.
- Fast-paced plot that keeps you engaged.
- There are a few scenes that are quite gory.
A university student was riding their bicycle when they tragically died in a car collision.
Grace is aware that the third driver, Carly Chase, might be the target of the sadistic killer who is after the other two drivers.
Lawyer Carly decides that running away is not feasible and travels to New York to meet with the cyclist’s mother.
Grace is aware of the mother’s links to the underworld and knows that the family is willing to do whatever it takes to get even.
- Lots of detail and tension to suck you into the story.
- The plot is slightly predictable in places.
Grace is responsible for Gaia Lafayette’s security because she has to make a movie at her home.
However, a nightmare materializes before Grace’s eyes when a ruthless gangster is let out of jail and an unidentified headless torso is discovered.
Gaia is the target of an obsessive stalker, and Grace is aware that they could be hiding in his city, patiently awaiting, observing, and preparing for their next step.
- Compelling story.
- Some readers feel that the mention of Sandy is a bit overused and redundant now. The character doesn’t serve a purpose anymore.
An elderly resident of a remote Brighton mansion is struggling for her life after a brutal robbery there.
Valuables worth millions of dollars have been taken.
Within days, Grace is tracking a murderer who is motivated by the need for one man’s money and the rage of another.
He is pursuing a murderous trail that takes him from the shadowy antique industry of England, across Europe, and back to the gang wars on the New York waterfront in 1922.
- Lots of unexpected twists and turns to enjoy.
- Overly descriptive which feels unnecessary.
Sandy, Grace’s wife, is finally identified as deceased after being absent for ten years.
This enables him to wed the mother of his child. However, there’s a good reason why Sandy vanished and no one knows why.
The ex-girlfriend of Bryce Laurent does not want to move on. She requests police protection because she is terrified of Bryce’s evil side.
This is because Bryce is adamant about destroying every person she has ever met and loved, including herself.
- A good build-up, involving multiple crimes and some unexpected emotional moments.
- The first half of the book feels a bit repetitive compared to previous novels.
Several young girls have been followed and kidnapped. All of them are stunning and have long brown hair.
Each victim has a ‘U R Dead’ mark on their body when they are discovered. Additionally, some of their remnants date back thirty years.
Grace is forced to follow a trail, connect the dots between the crimes, and discover the assailant before they can strike again.
When Logan Somerville is killed while talking on the phone to her fiancé, Grace believes she’s the next victim.
- Great cliffhanger, to make you rush to read the next installment.
- Cleo feels a little underdeveloped, and she isn’t always the most interesting to read about.
Grace, Chloe, and their infant boy recently relocated to a country house after getting hitched.
Yet Grace has received a gift from his first wife, who had been gone for a long time.
Nevertheless, the authorities require Grace’s assistance since a Black Widow is leaving a trail of dead bodies throughout the globe after effectively bleeding them dry.
Also, there is an escaped murderer who shot Grace who is back on the scene.
The Black Widow has now traveled to Brighton in search of her next wealthy prey.
- This story feels real and links nicely to previous books.
- Glenn Branson is barely mentioned in this book. Many readers have enjoyed the friendship between Glenn and Roy.
Lorna Belling, who is yearning to leave her marriage of woe, is seduced by a guy who makes her false promises.
However, as Lorna quickly discovers, life rarely goes according to your plan.
Grace is called to the location of a woman’s body after it is discovered. At first glance, the case appears to be closed, with a definite primary suspect.
Grace doesn’t realize there is a darker, even more, terrible alternative until later.
- There are a lot of red herrings in this story, thus you can’t be sure who the killer is.
- The violence is quite graphic, which isn’t ideal for anyone a bit squeamish.
Successful entrepreneur and compulsive gambler Kipp Brown is currently experiencing his worst streak of bad luck.
Even if it was only for a few hours, accompanying his teenage son Mungo to a football game should have provided him with a pleasant break.
Yet his nightmare continues at the stadium.
Within minutes of getting to the game, Mungo vanishes without a trace, and Kipp gets the horrifying news that someone has taken his child.
Kipp must pay a price for them to bring him back alive.
Roy Grace is hired to look into what at first glance appears to be a simple kidnapping case.
However, Grace quickly discovers himself in the city’s seedy, criminal side, where the laws are unconventional and nothing is as it seems.
- There is plenty of action in this book to sink your teeth into.
- Character development is lacking in this novel.
A man waits for the arrival of his true love at a London airport.
While a retired police officer in Florida’s Key West waits in a bar for his first date with the woman who is the love of his life.
The two guys are soon to learn that neither woman exists and that they have been conned out of practically all of their money.
The same week, Roy Grace is asked to look into a woman’s apparent suicide in Brighton, which is not what it looks like.
A dashing motivational speaker steps forward as his investigations go on. He has learned that eleven separate women are being defrauded online using his name.
Eventually, one of these eleven women is found dead.
Therefore, Roy Grace understands that he is only seeing the very tip of the iceberg. Can he stop the empire created by cruel yet clever online scams?
- All characters are thought through, and the story contains plenty of twists and turns.
- The plot is quite complicated and can become slightly confusing to keep up with.
Roy Grace receives a tip about a drug trafficker running out of Brighton as his assignment with the London Metropolitan Police comes to an end.
On his very first day back at work, he gets summoned to a murder that seems completely random.
Grace’s investigation gradually immerses him in the twisted world of a drug dealer who is being tried for his crimes.
He is known as a person who is willing to command the death of anyone to escape justice.
Meg Magellan is a member of the jury, and her daughter is being threatened with death by a stranger.
They claim that all she needs to do to keep her daughter alive is ensure the jury says ‘not guilty.’
- Tension is well-built up, which keeps you guessing.
- This book moves away from the police world, and we spent a lot of time in the courtroom.
The same as every Sunday, Niall and Eden Paternoster begin their day with a long journey.
This is a trip to a country estate and a quick stop at the neighborhood grocery store on the way home.
However, this Sunday’s conclusion is different. Despite Niall’s persistent waiting for Eden to pick up groceries in the parking lot, Eden never shows up.
No one in their family or circle of acquaintances has heard from her, and she is not waiting for him at home.
Niall is detained on accusations of Eden’s murder after going missing.
It doesn’t take long for DS Roy Grace to discover that nothing about the case is as it looks when he is brought in to look into it.
- Fast-paced plot with lots of suppression to keep you interested.
- Certain crime details are repeated numerous times for no reason, and there are small details mentioned which add nothing to the case.
Ordinary couple Harry and Freya decide to buy a dull painting for twenty pounds because of its lovely frame.
Then, after analyzing the frame they uncover a second painting underneath. Is this the long-lost masterwork from 1770? It might be worth millions if it’s real.
A collector is positive it is real. Roy Grace, the detective superintendent, is thrust into the mysterious and exclusive world of fine art.
It presents itself as dignified, and gentlemanly. However, he soon discovers that beneath the surface, violence, deceit, and greed go hand in hand.
Harry and Freya are soon to realize that their dream is a nightmare. However, will they be able to keep their painting and their lives?
- Interesting characters to follow.
- Dialogue doesn’t feel very natural in places.
Unaware that he will soon be found dead in a pool of blood, a young farmer faces strangers during the night.
What the culprits were prepared to kill for is even more horrifying.
Detective Superintendent Roy Grace quickly learns at the crime scene that this is not a single instance of a heist gone wrong.
Instead, the beginning of a statewide crime wave in which vicious organized gangs are generating more cash from illicitly trading in dogs.
He is forced to compete with very brutal individuals in this trade, and they will kill anyone who stands in their way.
Thus, he needs to be careful to not get on the receiving end of the culprits.
- Plenty of suspense and twists to keep you wanting to read more.
- While there is lots of action, certain details are quite graphic.
Roy Grace is a captivating crime thriller series created by Peter James. You follow the life of Detective Roy Grace, who has had an unpleasant life.
There is great character development of Grace throughout the series. Since each book may focus on a new and different crime, you also learn something new about Grace.
In every book you are introduced to a different crime, and there are well-thought-out characters to meet.
Usually, each crime is solved by the end of the book, so that you can easily pick up any book anytime.
I hope this guide has been helpful. Now you know the reading order for all 19 Peter James Roy Grace books.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should You Read The Roy Grace Series In Order?
While you could easily read these books in any order that you like, to be able to understand the character of Roy better, it is best to read the books in order. The best order to read them is chronological or publication order.
How Long Will Peter James Be Writing Roy Grace For?
Peter James has been writing the Roy Grace series since 2005, with a book being released yearly. There is expected to be a new Peter James book until at least 2027.
What Is The Best Roy Grace Book?
Each Roy Grace book is considered magnificent, although certain books in the series do better than others. The top-rated Roy Grace books within the series include Picture You Dead, Dead Simple, and Looking Good Dead.