If you’re a fan of mystery and humor, chances are you’ve heard of Janet Evanovich and her wildly popular Stephanie Plum series.
But here’s the burning question:
Do You Have to Read Janet Evanovich’s Books in Order?
Well, grab your favorite beverage and settle in, because we’re about to dive into the world of Janet Evanovich and whether or not order matters when it comes to her novels.
To see all the books, scroll down or click here to see them on Amazon.
The Short Answer: No, You Don’t Have to
Let’s start with the good news right away.
You absolutely do not have to read Janet Evanovich’s books in chronological order.
Each novel in the Stephanie Plum series is a self-contained adventure, with a beginning, middle, and end.
So, you can pick up any book from the series and enjoy it without feeling lost or like you’ve missed something crucial.
The Long Answer: It Helps, But It’s Not Mandatory
While you can jump into the full series at any point, there are some benefits to reading the Stephanie Plum books in order.
The main advantage is character development.
Stephanie Plum, the series’ protagonist, evolves over time, and her relationships with other characters also grow and change.
If you start with the first book, “One for the Money,” you’ll get to know Stephanie from the very beginning and witness her character arc more clearly.
Reading in order also allows you to appreciate the inside jokes, running gags, and references that recur throughout the series.
Evanovich has a knack for creating memorable characters, and you’ll encounter them time and time again as you progress through the best books in this series.
These recurring characters can add depth and charm to the story, and you’ll appreciate their appearances more if you’ve followed the series chronologically.
But What If You Want to Skip Around?
Hey, life is busy, and sometimes you just want to dive into a random book that catches your eye without worrying about the order.
That’s totally fine!
Each Stephanie Plum novel is crafted to be a standalone experience, so you won’t feel lost if you decide to read them out of sequence.
Janet Evanovich is aware that readers might pick up her books at any point, so she provides enough context to keep everyone in the loop as they make their way through these romantic adventure novels.
It’s Your Call
In the end, whether you choose to read Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series in order or hop around at your leisure is entirely up to you.
There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy these hilarious and action-packed books.
So go ahead and explore Stephanie’s world in whatever order tickles your fancy, and rest assured that you’re in for a rollicking good time no matter where you start.
What would I do?
I would read the Stephanie Plum series in order, but I wouldn’t feel right not doing it in this popular series.
Call it FOMO, but what’s the point of jumping in mid-series?
The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich
Are you in the mood for a rollercoaster of hilarity, mystery, and a dash of romance?
Look no further than the Stephanie Plum series by the talented Janet Evanovich.
Now, let’s take a deep dive into this series, providing you with an overview of the series as a whole and a rundown of each book, in order, so you can get a taste of what makes Stephanie Plum’s adventures so addictive.
Inside the Plumverse
The Stephanie Plum novels, often referred to as the “Plumverse,” is a long-running and highly successful collection of novels that combines the best elements of mystery, romance, and comedy.
I’ve read the first few, and they really are laugh-out-loud funny.
The series is set in the colorful and slightly off-kilter city of Trenton, New Jersey, and follows the misadventures of bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, a lingerie-buying heroine with a knack for finding trouble.
Stephanie Plum is a main character you can’t help but love.
She’s relatable, witty, and endearingly imperfect. From the very first book, readers are drawn into her world as she stumbles her way through a series of unpredictable cases, often alongside her hunky love interest, Joe Morelli, and her outrageous and unforgettable sidekick, Lula.
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty and explore each book in the series, one by one, in the best reading order.
1. One for the Money (1994)
The adventure begins with One for the Money.
Stephanie Plum, down on her luck and in need of cash, takes a job as a bounty hunter for her bail bondsman cousin.
Her first target?
Joe Morelli, a sexy cop and a former flame who’s now a wanted man.
As Stephanie tracks down Morelli and other fugitives, she finds herself navigating a world of danger and intrigue while discovering her hidden talent for bounty hunting.
Note to self: I still need to see this movie adaptation with Katherine Heigl.
2. Two for the Dough (1996)
In Two for the Dough, Stephanie is back in this second book, and this time she’s after Kenny Mancuso, a childhood friend accused of murder.
With the help of her eccentric colleagues and her trusty stun gun, Stephanie dives headfirst into a case that becomes increasingly bizarre and dangerous.
3. Three to Get Deadly (1997)
Stephanie’s third adventure, Three to Get Deadly, finds her chasing after a beloved and slightly deranged candy store owner who’s skipped bail.
As she delves into the world of eccentric locals and quirky characters, Stephanie also has to deal with a pesky black-market candy operation.
4. Four to Score (1998)
In the next book, Four to Score, Stephanie takes on the case of Maxine Nowicki, a woman charged with stealing her ex-boyfriend’s car.
But as Stephanie investigates, she discovers that Maxine is tied to a bigger, more dangerous crime ring.
With her fearless determination and a growing list of admirers (including the enigmatic Ranger), Stephanie faces her toughest challenge yet.
5. High Five (1999)
High Five sees Stephanie on the hunt for the elusive Uncle Mo, a sweet old candy store owner with a not-so-sweet secret.
As Stephanie’s personal and professional lives collide, she finds herself in a sticky situation with potentially deadly consequences.
6. Hot Six (2000)
In Hot Six, Stephanie crosses paths with her arch-nemesis, the psychotic and elusive Eddie DeChooch.
Meanwhile, her love life becomes even more complicated as she juggles her feelings for Morelli and the mysterious Ranger in this sixth book.
7. Seven Up (2001)
Seven Up takes Stephanie on a wild ride as she tracks down her ex-fiancé, Dickie Orr, who’s gone missing.
The adventure includes encounters with flamboyant funeral directors, car explosions, and a stolen casket.
8. Hard Eight (2002)
Hard Eight keeps the momentum going as Stephanie Plum is back on the hunt for another skip, this time a sweet, elderly woman named Grandma Mazur.
But there’s nothing sweet about the crime syndicate Grandma unwittingly stumbled upon.
As Stephanie races to protect her beloved grandmother and solve the case, she faces more danger than ever before.
9. To the Nines (2003)
To the Nines sees Stephanie tracking down the eccentric and fashion-forward suspect, Loretta Rizzi.
But the case takes an unexpected twist when Stephanie becomes entangled in a series of gruesome murders.
As she inches closer to the truth, she must navigate the treacherous waters of dating, family drama, and a growing list of eccentric criminals.
10. Ten Big Ones (2004)
In Ten Big Ones, Stephanie’s life takes a terrifying turn when she becomes the target of a vengeful gang known as the “Red Devils.”
With her life hanging in the balance, Stephanie must rely on her wits and the help of her friends to survive.
It’s a high-stakes game of cat and mouse that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
11. Eleven on Top (2005)
Stephanie Plum decides she’s had enough of the danger and chaos that comes with bounty hunting, so she quits her job in Eleven on Top.
But life outside the bail bonds office proves to be just as unpredictable as she stumbles into various odd jobs.
However, trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes, and Stephanie soon realizes that she can’t escape her calling.
12. Twelve Sharp (2006)
In Twelve Sharp, Stephanie faces one of her toughest challenges yet when a psychopathic stalker sets his sights on her.
As the danger escalates, Stephanie leans on her friends and allies, including the enigmatic Ranger, for protection.
But will it be enough to stop a determined and dangerous adversary?
13. Lean Mean Thirteen (2007)
With Lean Mean Thirteen, Stephanie’s life gets even more complicated when her ex-husband, Dickie Orr, goes missing, and she’s the prime suspect.
As she races against time to clear her name, Stephanie uncovers a web of deceit and betrayal that threatens to unravel her world.
14. Fearless Fourteen (2008)
Fearless Fourteen takes Stephanie on another wild adventure as she hunts down a prominent banker who’s gone missing with millions of dollars.
Along the way, she crosses paths with bizarre characters, uncovers hidden secrets, and, of course, juggles her complicated love life.
15. Finger Lickin’ Fifteen (2009)
In Finger Lickin’ Fifteen, Stephanie’s latest case involves a chicken joint, a vengeful bride, and a trail of fried chicken crumbs.
But beneath the humor and absurdity lies a deeper mystery that Stephanie must unravel, all while navigating the complexities of her relationships.
16. Sizzling Sixteen (2010)
Sizzling Sixteen finds Stephanie Plum facing a new mystery involving an unwanted marriage proposal and a sinister secret society.
As she investigates, Stephanie stumbles upon bizarre rituals, hidden treasures, and more comedic mayhem.
17. Smokin’ Seventeen (2011)
In Smokin’ Seventeen, Stephanie’s life gets even more complicated when a car dealership’s owner goes missing, and she’s on the case.
Amidst exploding cars and romantic entanglements, Stephanie uncovers dark secrets and dangerous alliances that threaten her safety.
18. Explosive Eighteen (2011)
The action heats up in Explosive Eighteen as Stephanie uncovers a conspiracy involving stolen caskets and a missing poker player.
As she follows the trail, Stephanie finds herself in the crosshairs of ruthless criminals and must rely on her resourcefulness to survive.
19. Notorious Nineteen (2012)
In Notorious Nineteen, Stephanie’s on the hunt for her bail-jumping uncle, Fred.
But her investigation takes a detour when she becomes involved in a case of stolen Christmas trees and a sinister plot involving a controversial reality TV show.
20. Takedown Twenty (2013)
Takedown Twenty sees Stephanie chasing down mobsters and dealing with a giraffe named Kevin.
With her usual mix of humor and determination, she navigates the complexities of her cases while trying to keep Trenton from descending into chaos.
21. Top Secret Twenty-One (2014)
Stephanie’s life takes a turn for the mysterious in Top Secret Twenty-One when she’s tasked with finding a missing man who’s connected to a secret society.
As she unravels the case, Stephanie faces danger, humor, and unexpected surprises.
22. Tricky Twenty-Two (2015)
Tricky Twenty-Two finds Stephanie dealing with a rash of bizarre occurrences, including headless corpses and a gang war.
Her bounty-hunting adventures continue to push the boundaries of absurdity and hilarity.
23. Turbo Twenty-Three (2016)
In Turbo Twenty-Three, Stephanie becomes embroiled in a case involving a poker game, a beloved pet, and a kidnapped celebrity.
As she chases leads and confronts criminals, her life remains as unpredictable as ever.
24. Hardcore Twenty-Four (2017)
Hardcore Twenty-Four takes Stephanie on a puzzling journey when zombies start appearing in Trenton.
With the help of her friends and a dash of her trademark sass, Stephanie dives into the supernatural mystery while dealing with romantic complications.
25. Look Alive Twenty-Five (2018)
Look Alive Twenty-Five finds Stephanie working security at a local deli, but things quickly turn bizarre as dead bodies start piling up.
With her typical blend of humor and resourcefulness, she takes on the case while navigating the quirks of her job.
26. Twisted Twenty-Six (2019)
In Twisted Twenty-Six, Stephanie is faced with a strange series of events that involve stolen caskets, a missing cousin, and a tangled web of secrets.
As she follows the twists and turns, Stephanie’s life becomes even more complicated.
27. Fortune and Glory: Tantalizing Twenty-Seven (2020)
In Fortune and Glory, Stephanie Plum finds herself chasing down a treasure hunter who’s gone rogue.
As she navigates through a world of deceit, dangerous alliances, and a budding romance, Stephanie’s wit and determination are put to the test once again.
28. Game On: Tempting Twenty-Eight (2021)
Game On doesn’t disappoint.
Stephanie’s latest case involves a high-stakes poker game, a missing player, and a heist that could change the game forever.
With the usual mix of humor, romance, and suspense, Stephanie Plum continues to captivate readers with her unorthodox investigations.
29. Going Rogue: Rise and Shine Twenty-Nine (2022)
Stephanie Plum knows that something is amiss when she turns up for work at her cousin Vinnie’s Bail Bonds to find that longtime office manager Connie Rosolli, who is as reliable as the tides in Atlantic City, hasn’t shown up.
Stephanie’s worst fears are confirmed when she gets a call from Connie’s abductor.
He says he will only release her in exchange for a mysterious coin that a recently murdered man left as collateral for his bail.
The quest to discover the coin, learn its value, and save Connie will require the help of Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur, her best pal Lula, her boyfriend Morelli, and hunky security expert Ranger.
As they get closer to unraveling the reasons behind Connie’s kidnapping, Connie’s captor grows more threatening and soon Stephanie has no choice but to throw caution to the wind, follow her instincts, and go rogue.
30. Dirty Thirty (2023)
In this new novel, local jeweler Martin Plover wants Stephanie Plum to locate his former security guard, Andy Manley (a.k.a. Nutsy), who he is convinced stole a fortune in diamonds out of his safe.
Stephanie is also looking for another troubled man, Duncan Dugan, a fugitive from justice arrested for robbing the same jewelry store on the same day.
With her boyfriend Morelli away in Miami on police business, Stephanie is taking care of Bob, Morelli’s giant orange dog who will devour anything, from Stephanie’s stray donuts to the upholstery in her car.
Morelli’s absence also means the inscrutable, irresistible security expert Ranger is front and center in Stephanie’s life when things inevitably go sideways.
To complicate matters, her best friend Lula is convinced she is being stalked by a mythological demon hell-bent on relieving her of her wardrobe.
As the body count rises and witnesses start to disappear, it won’t be easy for Stephanie to keep herself clean when everyone else is playing dirty in this latest book.
And there you have it!
The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich continues to deliver page-turning adventures, witty humor, and a cast of characters you’ll come to love.
Whether you’re a longtime fan or new to the series, these books are sure to keep you entertained and coming back for more.
Janet Evanovich’s Non-Stephanie Plum Books
When we hear the name Janet Evanovich, it’s almost impossible not to think of her iconic Stephanie Plum series, which has captured the hearts of millions of readers.
However, there’s much more to this talented author than just bounty hunter adventures.
Now, we’ll delve into the other captivating books that Janet Evanovich has written outside the Stephanie Plum series.
1. The Lizzy and Diesel Series
If you’re a fan of supernatural mysteries with a generous dose of humor, you’re in for a treat with Janet Evanovich’s Lizzy and Diesel series, also known as the Wicked series.
This collection of books introduces us to Elizabeth “Lizzy” Tucker, a pastry chef, and Diesel, a mysterious and enigmatic man with special powers.
The series kicks off with Wicked Appetite (2010), where Lizzy and Diesel must stop an evil villain from stealing powerful magical relics.
Follow their adventures in subsequent books like Wicked Business (2012) and Wicked Charms (2015) as they hunt down more magical artifacts and unravel mysteries.
2. The Fox and O’Hare Series
Janet Evanovich teams up with Lee Goldberg to bring us the exhilarating Fox and O’Hare series, starting with The Heist (2013).
This series introduces us to FBI agent Kate O’Hare and the charming con artist Nicolas Fox.
Together, they embark on daring heists to catch other criminals.
The books are a blend of action, romance, and witty banter.
Follow their escapades in the seven-book series with titles like The Chase (2014) and The Job (2014).
3. The Barnaby and Hooker Series
Evanovich collaborates with Dorian Kelly for the Barnaby and Hooker series, which kicks off with Metro Girl (2004).
The series features Alexandra “Barney” Barnaby, a mechanic, and Sam Hooker, a mysterious and hunky guy with a knack for getting into trouble.
Together, they find themselves entangled in thrilling mysteries and wild adventures, often involving fast cars and dangerous criminals.
Dive into their world with Metro Girl (2004) and Motor Mouth (2006).
4. Elsie Hawkins Series
For months he’d thought of her as the Mystery Woman, draped in a black velvet cloak, with outrageous red curls, flawless skin, and carrying a large, odd case — but the night David Dodd saw a helicopter drop a chunk of metal through the roof of his lovely neighbor’s bedroom, he got to meet the formidable and delightful Katherine Finn at last!
Rescuing damsels and fixing roofs was dangerous work, he told her, and at the very least he deserved a kiss — didn’t he?
Kate couldn’t argue with Dave’s logic, but how could she, the driven concert musician with more commitments than hours in the day, be falling head over heels for a likable cuddler who seemed to be drifting through life?
No one had ever made her feel as cherished or desirable, and she’d never had so much fun, but even though her eccentric boarder, Elsie, assured her that where Kate was concerned Dave had plenty of ambition, could she really love a guy who was just smart, sexy and rich?
5. Standalone Novels
Janet Evanovich has also written standalone novels that showcase her versatility as an author.
For example, The Grand Finale (1988) offers a mix of romance and mystery as a waitress gets caught up in a murder investigation.
6. Co-authored Projects
In addition to her solo works and collaborative series, Janet Evanovich has joined forces with other authors on various projects.
Love in a Nutshell (2012), co-written with Dorien Kelly, is a romantic mystery set in a charming inn.
Pros and Cons (2013), co-authored with Lee Goldberg, introduces readers to two con artists with a knack for solving crimes.
The Recovery Agent is a stand-alone book now but is expected to be her next series.
Here’s what you can expect for this new Gabriela Rose series.
As a recovery agent, Gabriela Rose is hired by individuals and companies seeking lost treasures, stolen heirlooms, or missing assets.
She’s reliable, cool under pressure, and well-trained in weapons of all types.
But Gabriela’s latest job isn’t for some bamboozled billionaire, it’s for her own family, whose home is going to be wiped off the map if they can’t come up with a lot of money fast.
Inspired by an old family legend, Gabriela sets off for the jungles of Peru in pursuit of the Ring of Solomon and the lost treasure of Lima.
But this job comes with a huge problem attached to it—Gabriela’s ex-husband, Rafer.
It’s Rafer who has the map that possibly points the way to the treasure, and he’s not about to let Gabriela find it without him.
Rafer is as relaxed as Gabriela is driven, and he has a lifetime’s experience getting under his ex-wife’s skin.
But when they aren’t bickering about old times the two make a formidable team, and it’s going to take a team to defeat the vicious drug lord who has also been searching for the fabled ring.
A drug lord who doesn’t mind leaving a large body count behind him to get it.
For all of Janet Evanovich’s books, click here.
About Janet Evanovich
Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the co-authored Fox and O’Hare series, the Knight and Moon series, and the Lizzy and Diesel series as well as twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels, Troublemaker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author.
Whether you’re in the mood for supernatural adventures, heist capers, or standalone romance novels, Evanovich’s talent for crafting engaging narratives shines through in each of her books.
So, why not step outside the familiar Trenton, New Jersey, and explore the exciting literary world of Janet Evanovich?
Writing this, I’m inspired to pick up on the Stephanie Plum series.
Now, if I can only remember where I left off…