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Here’s How to Read All 70+ Janet Evanovich Books in Order

Prepare to be swept away by the hilarious hijinks and romantic antics in Janet Evanovich's books. Here's how to read the prolific writer's books in order.

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The best way to read Janet Evanovich’s books in order

The reigning queen of humorous crime fiction, Janet Evanovich is known as much for her quirky characters and nonstop zingers as she is for her mysteries. Her lighthearted, fun novels don’t take themselves too seriously, and that’s why she’s remained a favorite author for decades. It’s also why so many of us snapped up her latest novel, Dirty Thirty, the minute it came out. (It doesn’t hurt that it’s the Reader’s Digest Book Club pick for November!) If you’re looking for more laughs, we suggest catching up on her impressive backlist. And there’s no better way to do that than by reading all Janet Evanovich books in order.

From rom-coms to mysteries, many of Evanovich’s best books have even been New York Times bestsellers. The prolific author has pumped out heartwarming stories and funny fiction since the 1980s, after all.

So, which of the stand-alone books or nine series should you dig into first? There’s no strict order for reading Janet Evanovich’s books, but you can’t go wrong with her bestselling Stephanie Plum series. For readers who prefer starting with shorter book series, the Lizzie and Diesel trilogy is a great place to begin. The author’s latest launch is the Gabriela Rose series, which currently features just one book: The Recovery Agent.

Ready? To help you catch up, we’ve rounded up a list (by series) of Janet Evanovich books in order of publication.

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Janet Evanovich Books Stephanie Plum
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Stephanie Plum series

Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series is undoubtedly her most well-known. That makes it the best place to start if you want to get to know her books in order. These fun mystery novels follow a plucky bounty hunter named Stephanie Plum as she races to sharpen her sleuthing skills and hunt down criminals before they get to her first. These aren’t heavy, keep-you-up-past-midnight true-crime novels, by the way. They’re a light, sometimes silly and shockingly laugh-out-loud take on crime. If that rings a bell, it may be because the first book, One for the Money, was made into a movie starring Katherine Heigl.

Want to read the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series in order? Here’s the list:

Janet Evanovich Books Fox And Ohare
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Fox and O’Hare series

Most of Evanovich’s Fox and O’Hare series was co-written with fellow bestselling novelist Lee Goldberg, but there are a few exceptions: She co-wrote The Big Kahuna with her son, Peter Evanovich, and co-wrote The Bounty with Steve Hamilton. Like the Stephanie Plum books, these novels sizzle with adventure, explosive high-speed chases and fun banter between characters. The difference? Instead of focusing on one heroine, the Fox and O’Hare books center on dashing con man Nicolas Fox and FBI agent Kate O’Hare. When Fox convinces the FBI to give him an undercover job, he and O’Hare must team up despite their wildly different pasts and motivations. (Psst! All are available as audiobooks if you prefer reading while in transit.)

Here are the Fox and O’Hare Janet Evanovich books in order of publication:

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Janet Evanovich Books Lizzy And Diesel
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Lizzy and Diesel series

A list of books by Janet Evanovich isn’t complete without the Lizzy and Diesel trilogy. The urban fantasy series, the third of which was written in collaboration with Phoef Sutton, follows a pastry chef named Lizzy who discovers she has ancient powers when a man named Diesel shows up at her door. (To the veteran Evanovich readers: Yes, Diesel is the same minor character who shows up in a few Stephanie Plum plots.) So what happens when Lizzy’s life is turned upside-down by a man who needs to use her powers for good? The publisher calls it “a swashbuckling adventure full of raiders, monkeys, minions and mayhem,” and we couldn’t agree more.

Here’s how to read these Janet Evanovich books in order:

Janet Evanovich Books Knight And Moon
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Knight and Moon series

Ready for another mystery series between two quirky characters with simmering sexual chemistry? Then you’ll love the Knight and Moon series, the first book of which was co-written with Phoef Sutton. Knight is an arrogant, brilliant billionaire. Moon is a fresh-faced banker. When something goes wrong with Knight’s accounts and a man goes missing, the two must race against the clock—and avoid falling into each other’s arms—as they hunt a villain through the streets and backrooms of Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Janet Evanovich Books Barnaby And Hooker V2
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Barnaby and Hooker series

While there’s no right or wrong way to read the Janet Evanovich books in order, we suggest comic book aficionados start with the Barnaby and Hooker series. These fluffy, wildly improbable romps with a car-loving heroine (Alex Barnaby) and her NASCAR-driver love interest (Sam Hooker) start as fast-paced novels but become graphic novels by the end of the series. Some Goodreads reviews love this series’ sidesplitting humor and South Florida setting, though others complain that the characters and plot lines are too similar to the Stephanie Plum books.

Janet Evanovich Books Full
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Full series

Smash together a wacky cast of characters, cozy mystery plot lines and seriously steamy romances, and what do you get? Evanovich’s Full series, co-authored with Charlotte Hughes. Set in quirky Beaumont, South Carolina, the books follow various townsfolk as they solve murders while trying (and often failing) to keep their clothes on. Fun fact for Evanovich superfans: Though Full House was published with the author’s recognizable name in 2002, it was first published in 1989 under the pen name Steffie Hall.

Janet Evanovich Books Gabriela Rose
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Gabriela Rose series

Reading Janet Evanovich books in order gets tricky when the author writes so quickly! Case in point: The new Gabriela Rose series currently has just one title, but only time will tell how many stories Evanovich plans to type about the whip-smart agent whose job it is to recover stolen treasures and precious heirlooms. In The Recovery Agent, readers can expect signature Evanovich humor in a fast-paced thriller set in various exciting international locations.

Janet Evanovich Books Elsie Hawkins
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Elsie Hawkins series

Before Stephanie Plum, there was Elsie Hawkins. Despite the name of this contemporary romance series, Elsie never takes center stage. Instead, the spirited old lady shows up in the knick of time whenever sparks are flying and two smitten people need a little push in the right direction. In Back to the Bedroom, she facilitates the love story of two neighbors—an impossibly handsome billionaire and the gorgeous but down-on-her-luck musician next door. In Smitten, it’s a single mom and a workaholic construction worker. Are the books predictable? Yes. But for readers, that makes them the perfect summer beach reads!

Janet Evanovich Books Culhane Family
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Culhane Family series

Evanovich and Dorien Kelly put their heads and pens together to co-author the Culhane Family romance book series, which came out in the mid-2000s. The two books offer Evanovich’s signature lighthearted humor, this time to animate the romantic entanglements of the wealthy Culhane family. In Love in a Nutshell, you’ll follow brewery owner Matt Culhane as he hires a down-on-her-luck magazine editor to help him find the person who has been vandalizing his business. And in The Husband List, an heiress in 1890s New York City must find a way to convince her parents that the quirky Irish American adventurer she has her eye on is worthy of marriage.

Janet Evanovich Books Stand Alone
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Stand-alone novels

Some readers prefer to read a single novel or nonfiction book instead of getting swept up in a series. If that sounds like you, here are the stand-alone Janet Evanovich books in order:

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Leandra Beabout
Leandra Beabout writes for Reader's Digest and a variety of national lifestyle, wellness and travel publications and brand websites. She covers all things books and words for Reader's Digest, and when she's not on deadline, you can find her curled up with a new novel or planning her next trip.