Should You Read Michael Connelly Books in Order? Let’s Discuss!

The world of crime fiction has been greatly enriched by the prolific writing career of Michael Connelly. His captivating narratives delve into Los Angeles’s dark underbelly, meticulously woven across numerous books. With an intimidating collection that could confuse anyone getting started, this guide will provide essential information about his books and the suggested order of reading.

Understanding Michael Connelly’s Books

In his expanding universe of crime fiction, Michael Connelly has written 39 books and several short stories. His books can be imagined as threads in a larger web, each featuring a self-contained mystery while contributing to an ongoing narrative starring recurring characters. This shared universe is known as the “Harry Bosch Universe”, named after the predominant character and main link across the stories.

Though Harry Bosch is a prominent character, Connelly’s books cover a rich array of characters who shine independently in their narratives. Several books are written from their perspectives, making Connelly’s bibliography extremely varied and fascinating.

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Major Categories in Connelly’s Collection

The vast collection can be classified into five major categories or series:

  • The Harry Bosch Series: 25 books seeing Harry Bosch, an L.A.P.D detective.
  • The Lincoln Lawyer Series: 7 books featuring Mickey Haller, a criminal defense lawyer.
  • The Renée Ballard Series: 6 books following Renée Ballard, a determined young L.A.P.D detective.
  • The Jack McEvoy Series: 5 books about Jack McEvoy, a crime reporter had to tackle his brother’s mysterious death.
  • Miscellaneous Books: These spotlight various characters within the Harry Bosch Universe who do not have a standalone series.

Crisscrossing Narratives

The sum of the books across the series is more than the total count of Michael Connelly’s novels. This is due to several books featuring crossovers, with two or more characters playing significant roles, leading to multiple series converging. Reading these books out of order or focusing on a single series might bring confusion and potentially hinder the enjoyment of the complex narrative tapestry.

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Reading Order

Regardless of the series, it is often most fruitful to read Connelly’s books in the order as they were published due to the complexity of the intersecting storylines and recurring characters. Many of his books reference past events and ongoing narratives, making the reading experience more comprehensive and enjoyable if followed in the publishing order.

  • The Black Ice
  • The Concrete Blonde

And the list continues, providing a guided journey into the captivating world Connelly creates.


Delving into the world of Michael Connelly’s books is an exciting escapade into crime fiction with complex narratives and intriguing characters. The journey is enhanced by reading these books in their order of publication. However, each book possesses its standalone mystery that can be appreciated independently. Happy reading!

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