Lisa Gardner Books In Order

Last Update:
Whenyouwrite is reader supported. When you purchase through referral links on our site, we may earn a commission... Learn more
lisa gardner books in order

Lisa Gardner is a prolific writer with a knack for producing series with smart leads and interesting premises. Because Gardner writes series more often than standalone novels, chronology matters for her readers. 

Knowing which book comes first in which series can help you access Gardner’s bibliography without getting confused.

In this article, you will find out the order of all of Lisa Gardner’s books as well as her standalone novels. You will also discover the books she has written under a pen name, along with interesting facts about her life and writing process. But first, let’s look at the best Lisa Gardner books.

Our best Lisa Gardner Books at a glance:

Lisa Gardner: The Queen of Suspense

Lisa Gardner mastered investigative suspense as a research analyst at Mercer Management, which is now Oliver Wyman. She was raised in Hillsboro, Oregon, and has written multiple novels inspired by the setting of her childhood. Gone is one of her novels that has the most obvious references to her Oregon roots, as it is set in a fictional Tillamook, Oregon.

While many authors are glad to set their stories in familiar settings, Gardner didn’t set all of hers in Oregon. Instead, she chose investigative suspense, logical deduction, and strong female leads as the recurring themes across her bibliography. In the 27 years that she has been writing, she has produced fresh narratives and subverted tropes like the “damsel in distress” and the “prodigy protagonist.”

As a mystery writer, Gardner has kept her personal life a bit of a mystery as well. Having received her first book deal through the traditional pitching and proposal channels, she had one shot to prove herself. 

Using the pen name Alicia Scott, she wrote Walking After Midnight, which was a slow-burning hit. It took 6 to 8 months before the book reached its peak popularity, spawning a sequel that would conclude the series.

Gardner has a preference for multi-book storytelling and has launched six successful, long-running series. Her earlier work also comprises duologies and trilogies. She has written only three standalone novels, alongside a few short stories, which she started publishing ten years into her career. She prefers writing series to one-off narratives.

Gardner’s tendency to revisit characters across multiple narratives allows her to make them more complex. She also puts more work into the lore of the world in which she sets her stories. And, of course, part of the reason for writing the series is the commercial appeal of sequels and familiar protagonists. Her books have enough commercial appeal to attract multiple TV and film adaptation deals.

But to enjoy the best of her work, you need to pick up her bestselling books, of which there are many. Let’s look at all the books Gardner has written before getting into the creme de la creme of her bibliography.

lisa gardner books in order
Lisa Gardner Books

Lisa Gardner Books In Order of publication

Quincy & Rainie Series In Order Of Publication

Detective D.D. Warren Series In Order of Publication

Tessa Leoni Series In Order of Publication

Frankie Elkin Series In Order of Publication

Standalone Novels In Order of Publication

Non-Fiction Books In Order of Publication

Books Written By Lisa Gardner As Alicia Scott
Lisa Gardner Book Collection

Books Written By Lisa Gardner As Alicia Scott

Walking After Midnight Series In Order of Publication

Guinness Gang Series In Order Of Publication

Family Secrets, Or Maximillian’s Children Series In Order Of Publication

Standalone Novels In Order of Publication

Short stories In Order of Publication

Best Lisa Gardner Books

Walking After Midnight (1992) (As Alicia Scott)

Walking After Midnight

Click For Latest Price

Walking After Midnight is a very interesting read for Lisa Gardner fans because it offers insight into her natural tendency to develop suspense. It is the first work of the author to get traditionally published and is written under her pen name, which is reserved for romantic suspense novels.

Waking Nightmare (1994) (As Alicia Scott)

Waking Nightmare

Click For Latest Price

This book is special not because it is one of Lisa Gardner’s works before she became “the Lisa Gardner.” It is special because it is one of a handful of standalone novels that she has written. In The Waking Nightmare, Maria Pegauchi is asked by a private investigator to help find a missing child.

The only problem is that Pregauchi has to revisit traumatic memories to provide the details needed for the investigation. The premise is interesting, and the writing, like all of Gardner’s work, is very engaging.

The Perfect Husband (1997)

The Perfect Husband

Click For Latest Price

This book made Lisa Gardner the star author that she is. It is her first book with her name and tells a story that is heavier on suspense and lighter on romance. In The Perfect Husband, Gardner tells the story of a picture-perfect couple with a major twist. Tess Beckett thinks she has the perfect husband in Jim, but reality comes as a gut punch when something deeply disturbing about Jim is revealed.

Alone (2004)


Click For Latest Price

In Alone, Lisa Gardner delves deeper into the somber subject of child abuse. But instead of taking a preachy position or the obvious “righting the wrongs” route, she takes a more realistic and suspenseful path, resulting in one of the most original novels featuring a protagonist with a dark past.

Before She Disappeared (2021)

Before She Disappeared

Click For Latest Price

This book is a great read for anyone interested in an off-the-grid protagonist journey. The main protagonist in this story is average by all accounts except for her choice of vocation. She spends her time looking for people that the world has presumed dead. And interestingly enough, she finds them.

Love You More (2011)

Love You More

Click For Latest Price

In this book, Gardner flexes her mystery writing muscle by penning an open-and-shut case that manages to be far more complex without being convoluted. There’s a dead husband and a wife with bruises and a self-defense claim. What’s surprising is not that there is more to the case, but that the truth is far stranger than one suspects.

Right Behind You (2017)

Right Behind You

Click For Latest Price

This book features two of the most popular Gardner characters, Pierce Quincy and Rainie Conner, as they tackle a case with an interesting history. Sharlah May Nash’s brother murdered her dad in self-defense almost eight years ago.

Now, she is adopted by the protagonist duo and is happy that her new family can see monsters masquerading as humans. And all is well until the latest “monsters” that the profiler duo has to contend with start to seem like none other than Sharlah’s brother.

Fear Nothing (2014)

Fear Nothing

Click For Latest Price

This is a DD Warren story featuring the aftermath of the death of Harry Day, a serial killer. His two daughters are affected by their father’s passing and take two different roads to deal with their loss. Where one vows to be the opposite of her father, the other embraces her dark heritage.

Hide (2007)


Click For Latest Price

Hide is an intense read featuring Gardner’s popular character, DD Warren. In this book, Warren is investigating the case of six mummified corpses that surface and mark the return of a serial killer presumed dead. Previously credited with putting a supposed end to the serial killer’s reign, she had nearly lost his life and career pursuing him. Now she has to put a full stop to what she thought she had finished. And her only clue is wrapped around a dead body’s neck.

Lisa Gardner FAQs

Is Lisa Gardner Still Writing?

Lisa Gardner is still writing and has no plans to retire any time soon. She is working on her latest book, due to come out next year.

Given that Gardner writes a book a year, one can assume that she’s always working on a book due next year unless she specifically announces her retirement.

Does Lisa Gardner Have Children?

Lisa Gardner has a daughter who lives with her and her husband. Because Gardner keeps her life private, she hasn’t disclosed the age of her daughter in a public interview.

While the writer draws inspiration from her life experiences, she has not tied motherhood to any specific work. Therefore, any assumptions about her daughter inspiring any particular story or character in her bibliography are pure speculation.

Is Lisa Gardner Alicia Scott?

Lisa Gardner is Alicia Scott. She used the Alicia Scott pen name to write romantic suspense and ultimately embraced her name for domestic thrillers.

She is proud and public about being Alicia Scott but has refrained from updating the author name for her previous titles in subsequent print runs. The rationale behind keeping both names is to separate the two genres in which she writes fiction. While Alicia Scott’s books have come out after the popularity of the Lisa Gardner titles, the author hasn’t put out any work under the Alicia Scott pen name in nearly ten years.

Is There A Lisa Gardner Tv Series?

There is no Lisa Gardner TV series as of now, though there are multiple TV movies and theatrical release adaptations that draw from Gardner’s novels.

What Genre Is Lisa Gardner?

Lisa Gardner broadly writes suspense, though her main forte is domestic thrillers. She writes romantic suspense as Alicia Scott and suspense-heavy books as Lisa Gardner. Overall, her books have elements of suspense, clue-driven plots, and romance.

Where Is Lisa Gardner From?

Lisa Gardner is from Hillsboro, Oregon, where she was raised and got her early education. Some of her books are set in Oregon, though she doesn’t make the state her main setting the way writers like Stephen King do. That’s probably because her genre suits crowded states and cities.

Wrapping It Up

Despite nearly three decades of fiction writing, Lisa Gardner continues to produce fresh stories and has stayed away from complacent and formulaic storytelling. From her earliest books under the pen name Alicia Scott to her most recent work under her name, she has maintained high-quality storytelling with puzzle-like narrative structures.

It is very rare for every book by an author to be good, but it is safe to say that any Lisa Gardner book is a pretty good book. 

But if you want to approach the best of her works, you should look no further than the roundup above.

Photo of author


Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories. She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.