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Rizzoli And Isles Books In Order

Updated on January 20, 2014

List Of Rizzoli And Isles Books In Order

I've recently finished the latest book by Tess Gerritsen featuring the famous duo Rizzoli and Isles and as the question should we read the Rizzoli And Isles books in order comes up quite frequently, this post is my take on it based on my experience with reading the books up to the very last one.

Currently the Rizzoli & Isles book series includes 10 books - well 11 books really if we also count the free Kindle book called Freaks and if you like to follow character development, then I suggest you read the books in order. Each book builds up on the first, although the actual stories are different, with different criminals and crimes committed.

For example the very first book, The Surgeon only has one character in it, namely

shown above the latest book in the series: LAST TO DIE

Jane Rizzoli. Maura Isles doesn't appear in this book at all. So you need to read book 2 to see her introduced and why she will play such a major role.

Also I'm kind of strange this way, but I do like to read my books in chronological order because I can this way develop a stronger connection to the main players, and I will enjoy the books much more.

Here you will also find the books reviewed so if you haven't gotten a chance to read them, you might be persuaded to do so - trust me, you'll get a totally different view from reading the books as well, rather than just watching the Rizzoli and Isles TV show!

Rizzoli & Isles Books In Order - Overview

List Of Rizzoli And Isles Books In Order Of Publication

I love this fun book series, much more so than the TV show (which is kind of weak, if you ask me). Tess Gerritsen knows how to write, and she has proven over and over again with the many book genres she has so far written: romance novels, medical thrillers (those are actually still my most favorites from all her books) and the forensic CSI style of book.

I think with the Rizolli and Isles series she has really hit on a market that was ripe for CSI style novels. Ever since the initial CSI TV series there were (and still are) countless writers and TV producers to come up with their own creations. And while some are good, others not so good, this particular book series is really one that I can highly recommend. And I recommend you read the books in order.

Having said that, here is the proper chronological (and publishing) order of the Rizolli and Isles books by Tess Gerritsen.

  1. The Surgeon (Rizzoli & Isles #1) - This is the first Rizzoli and Isles book, published in 2001
  2. The Apprentice (Rizzoli & Isles #2) - The Apprentice is book #2 in the popular mystery series. This is the first book where Maura Isles appears. Book was first published in 2002.
  3. The Sinner (Rizzoli & Isles #3) - Books #3, The Sinner, was first published in 2003.
  4. Body Double (Rizzoli & Isles #4) - The 4th book featuring the popular duo solving really bad crimes, was first published in 2004.
  5. Vanish (Rizzoli & Isles #5) - Vanish is the next of the Rizzoli and Isles books in order. It was published for the first time in 2005.
  6. The Mephisto Club (Rizzoli & Isles #6) - The Mephisto Club is another famous book in the series. It was published in 2006.
  7. The Keepsake (Rizzoli & Isles #7) - The Keepsake, book #7, was published in 2008.
  8. Ice Cold (Rizzoli & Isles #8) - Ice Cold is book #8 in the popular mystery series, with a publishing date of 2010.
  9. The Silent Girl (Rizzoli & Isles #9) - The Silent Girl is the 9th book in the series, and it also includes the short novella Freaks. If you don't have this book, you can read the novella for free (see the next entry)
  10. Freaks (Rizzoli & Isles #9.5) - Here is the novella Freaks, free Kindle downloadable book. If you have the Silent Girl novel, this is also included as a free bonus, so check that book before downloading it as you might already have it.
  11. Last to Die (Rizzoli & Isles #10) - Currently the last book in the Rizzoli and Isles series, Last to Die, was published in 2012.

Book Review Of The Rizzoli And Isles Novels

The Surgeon
The Surgeon

The Surgeon (Rizzoli & Isles #1)

I remember the first time I picked up The Surgeon, I thought would be a mystery novel (which I like, but I love thrillers more), so I was really excited to finish reading it once I started it. I couldn't put it down.

So if you're looking for a great thriller with serial killers, this is one that you should pick up.

However, beware - there are quite some graphic scenes of rape, mutilation, so caution is advised if you're sensitive to this. Some people might even find the book a bit on the creepy side. But on the other hand, most CSI style books have a bit of it, so us, readers of this genre, should be really used to the gore by now :)

This first novel introduces Jane Rizzoli (Maura Isles will first appear in the second book) and if you've been watching the TV show, you'll be surprised as to how different Jane looks and acts compared to her appearance on screen. The two are completely different, as if you're talking about entirely non-related things.

The Apprentice (Rizzoli & Isles #2)

The Apprentice: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel
The Apprentice: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel

The Apprentice is the second novel in the Rizzoli And Isles series, and this one introduces Maura Isles. From here on Jane and Maura will be inseparable.

Just as with the first book, a series of murders have been committed. The scenes are again horrible - men are forced to watch as their wives are brutally attached and raped, after which the couples are killed. Jane is sure that the new killer is none other but the Surgeon (who appeared in the first book). She is almost taken off the case due to her obsession with him, but finally...

Will not reveal more due to spoilers, but I tell you this - if you're looking for an action packed thriller book that you can't leave before you finish it off, read this one, you won't regret it.


For comparison: My copy of The Apprentice (I like my cover better!)

For comparison: My copy of The Apprentice (I like my cover better!)
For comparison: My copy of The Apprentice (I like my cover better!)

The Sinner (Rizzoli & Isles #3)

The Sinner: Signed
The Sinner: Signed

The Sinner is the third in the Rizzoli And Isles books in order of publication and in chronological order as well.

Maura and Jane again team up to solve a gruesome murder of a seemingly randomly attacked two nuns.

This is one of those books that you just don't want to read in the dark with the lights out.

Also this book helps develop the character of Maura Isles a bit more, so we get to learn more about her. All in all a worthwhile read.


Body Double (Rizzoli & Isles #4)

Body Double (A Rizzoli & Isles Thriller)
Body Double (A Rizzoli & Isles Thriller)

Body Double is book 4 in the popular mystery/thriller series involving Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles.

Can you imagine seeing yourself dead - literally? This is the premise of the new book in the series, one that seriously chills one to the bones. Imagine being a medical examiner and having to autopsy a body that looks just like yours...

Without giving more clues away, I just say that seriously, this is one weird book, one that lovers of thrillers, killers and crime will love devouring!


Vanish (Rizzoli & Isles #5)

Vanish (Jane Rizzoli, Book 5)
Vanish (Jane Rizzoli, Book 5)

In Vanish we are back with the focus on Jane Rizzoli, who is heavily pregnant and from being a witness at the court house she becomes...hostage. And to add to the tension, Maura finds a woman alive in her morgue freezer. Dare I say more?

Again this is one of those books that grips you from the start and doesn't let you go. It's interesting to follow the parallels between the TV series and the books and see how the characters develop.

Personally I like the books, but I know there are folks who love the TV show best.


The Mephisto Club (Rizzoli & Isles #6)

The Mephisto Club
The Mephisto Club

The next book in the series, The Mephisto Club, focuses on ancient evil focused in the hands of a small group of powerful men.

Here the bodies of the murdered people are badly mutilated with signs of rituals having been performed on them. Is there a Satan's cult at work?

Another awesome read, one that grips you from the start. While you can read the Rizzoli and Isles books out of order, it's best if you stick to reading them in order of publication, if for no other reason, but because you get more intimate with the interaction between the main folks and you witness a great character development as the stories ufold.


My harcover edition of Mephisto Club, it's already battered and tattered from use)

My harcover edition of Mephisto Club, it's already battered and tattered from use)
My harcover edition of Mephisto Club, it's already battered and tattered from use)

The Keepsake (Rizzoli & Isles #7)

The Keepsake: A Novel
The Keepsake: A Novel

The Keepsake is the 7th book in the Rizzoli and Isles series, and this time we are dealing with the exhumation and scanning of mummies for a museum, job which is taken by Maura Isles..

The problem arises when Maura discovers that the ancient mummy might be in fact a rather very recent murder victim...

Another gripping story, one that I particularly liked because I am drawn to archaeological mysteries (granted, this was not it, but it was rather close), and by now I'm very comfy and cozy with the crime solving duo and love the writing style quite a lot. Not to mention the plot that basically keeps you at the edge of your seat...


Ice Cold (Rizzoli & Isles #8)

Ice Cold: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel
Ice Cold: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel

This particular story takes Maura to Wyoming for a medical conference where she decides to go skiing with a couple of her friends. Adventure, which of course, goes awfully wrong...

The group literally disappears in the heavy snow and gets stranded to a small community strangely devoid of any people.

Jane hearing that her friend is lost wastes no time in flying to Wyoming to search for her. And what she finds is truly disturbing.

I really loved this book in the series, it kept me glued to the pages until I finished it. It's not an easy read in that it's full of horror, terror and suspense, but that's the way I like my books anyway...


The Silent Girl (Rizzoli & Isles #9)

The Silent Girl (with bonus short story Freaks): A Rizzoli & Isles Novel
The Silent Girl (with bonus short story Freaks): A Rizzoli & Isles Novel

The Silent Girl, book 9 in the Rizzoli and Isles mystery series focuses mostly on Jane Rizzoli and her job to find the killer of a girl who has not only been murdered but also cut into pieces (hand found in one place, body on a roof top with the head almost out of its place...really gruesome.

This story basically puts a 19 years old mystery case (called at the time The Red Phoenix Massacre) in the active files since it's closely related to the murder of the woman in the China Town.

Another one of those books that you simply can't stop once you've started reading. It's chilling and it's suspenseful. And it's great!


Last to Die (Rizzoli & Isles #10)

Last to Die: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel
Last to Die: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel

Last To Die is currently the latest book in the Rizzoli and Isles books in order series. And as usual, one that starts the suspense from the first pages right until the last one.

Here 3 children lost not only their parents, but also their foster parents. Maura and Jane have to solve the mystery of the multiple murders and why they are connected.

I felt that this book was more fast paced than the previous ones with a bit less characterization than before, but since I've already read everything before, I didn't have to wonder about this or that, just followed along the action.

Also here is another reason why you should read the books in order - this book has references to a character that was already mentioned in Ice Cold (book #8). It's a nice way to connect the two stories and the people involved if you've already read the previous one before Last to Die.

I'm now left waiting for a new installment of the Rizzoli and Isles series, which comes out hopefully soon.


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Do You Think We Should Read The Rizzoli And Isles Books In Order? - Or they're better as stand alones?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I think the books should be read in order as the characters develop! As for the tv series, I think it is a pity

      that the characters are so dramatically different! The Maura Isles of the novels is a goth and Rizzoli a tiny woman, btu at least the black curls are there......

    • Marja79 profile image


      6 years ago

      In order of course! I love the books more than the tv-show. Unfortunately not many of those books are translated in Finnish yet :(

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      6 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I haven't gotten into reading the series yet just for lack of time, but I've caught a few episodes of the show and really enjoyed them. I think I would like this genre. Thanks for introducing me to it so thoroughly!

    • GKREW profile image


      6 years ago

      I had no idea there were books too. I thought I was a fan. Thank you for your informative lens.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @chas65: I love rading books, they are my favourite. It feels like I am in an adventure.

    • chas65 profile image


      6 years ago

      My wife is the reader in the family and I will suggest these might be something she would enjoy. She was looking for a new series to start.

    • NausetViews profile image


      6 years ago from Boston

      I really like the TV show and knowing that it is based on a book, I decided to checkout the books. I read my first R&I's book, Ice Cold, last year. I look forward to reading more of the books in the series.

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 

      6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      I love Rizzoli And Isles TV show, I had no idea there was books as well. I'll put these on my to read list (that is getting quite long)

    • johnny-knox profile image


      6 years ago

      Tess Gerritsen is new to me .. she seems to write wonderful books I would love to read.. Thanks for the introduction and the detailed review :)

    • Lou165 profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      I've read some of Tess Gerritsen books before so when I saw one called Ice Cold at my mom's library when visiting I grabbed it straight away. I didn't realize it was a Rizzoli and Isles book - I absolutely loved it btw. I have see a few episodes of the television series as well which I also enjoy, but it is totally different and if I didn't recognize the names I wouldn't have connected the two. I can't wait to read more of the series and this time I think I'll try to get them in order!!


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