10 Best John Grisham Books And Books In Order

Before he was known as the master of legal thrillers, John Grisham was working as a criminal defense attorney. He wrote his first book, “A Time to Kill,” inspired by an actual court case. His second novel, “The Firm,” propelled him into the spotlight and made Grisham consider a career as a writer.

John Grisham has written over 40 books, including short stories, fiction, thrillers, and young adult books. With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to find the best John Grisham books.

The guide below will make this task easier for you. Check it out!

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Top 10 John Grisham Books Comparison Table

PictureNameTypePriceRating (1-5)
Rating (1-5)
1. A Time to Kill: A NovelLegal Thriller$$4.6
2. Sycamore Row: A Novel (Jake Brigance) Legal Thriller$$$$4.5
3. The Litigators: A NovelLegal Thriller$$$$4.3
4. The Partner: A NovelMystery $$4.3
5. Skipping Christmas: A NovelMystery$4.3
6. The Racketeer: A NovelLegal Thriller$$$4.2
7. The Whistler: A NovelLegal Thriller$4.2
8. Calico Joe: A NovelSports Fiction$$$4.2
9. Rogue Lawyer: A NovelLegal Thriller$$4.0
10. Gray Mountain: A NovelLegal Thriller$$3.8

John Grisham’s New Book in 2021

Sooley: A Novel (2021)

Sooley: A Novel is a heroic tale of the NBA-bound athlete, Samuel Sooleymon. This novel tells stories about his struggles with poverty and war as he strives for a better life. The story dives deep on hardships that most Americans will never experience, but each person can relate to being someone who seeks happiness and success in their own unique way.

People of all ages are encouraged to read John Grisham’s Sooley: A Novel!

The Judge’s List: A Novel (coming soon, on: Oct 19, 2021)

“The Judge’s List: A Novel” is Grisham’s the latest upcoming book in 2021, which is the third book of The Whistler Series.

As an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, Lacy Stoltz sees plenty of corruption among the men and women elected to the bench. In THE WHISTLER, she took on a crime syndicate that was paying millions to a crooked judge. Now, in THE JUDGE’S LIST, the crimes are even worse. The man hiding behind the black robe is not taking bribes—but he may be taking lives.

Things to Consider When Looking for John Grisham Books

John Grisham is one of the most prolific authors in American literature. Here’s what to keep in mind when looking for a book written by him:

  • Decide What You Want to Read  Although John Grisham is best known for his legal thrillers, his work includes several different genres:
  • Legal Thrillers  Inspired by real court cases, John Grisham began writing by tapping into what he knew. His characters are always in the middle of moral dilemmas and intriguing situations that will leave the reader wanting more.
  • Mystery  After 2001, Grisham diversified his style and began taken an interest in mysteries. Fortunately, this change only intrigued his loyal readers and novels such as “A Painted House,” “Bleachers” or “Skipping Christmas” were received with enthusiasm.
  • Series  If you like to delve into lengthy, complex stories, then you should check out the Theodore Boone series.
  • Short Stories  If you don’t have that much time for reading, Grisham’s short stories allow you to get a taste of his style.

How to Find the Right John Grisham Book for You

We’ve talked about the different types of John Grisham books you can read. Here are other factors you should consider to ensure that you’ll purchase only the best John Grisham books.

  • Find the Right Format  It might seem like a trivial matter, but the right format can make a world of difference. Sure, the price of the novel will differ, but consider the benefits of each format and choose one that will meet your needs best and enhance your reading experience. An eBook might be an excellent solution, especially since you’ll probably fall in love with Grisham’s books and you’d want to purchase more of them. Paperback or hardcover will be ideal if you enjoy the smell of printed paper and the feeling of the weight of your favorite novel in your hands.
  • The Reading Order  Grisham’s writing style of pretty stable, so it doesn’t really matter if you begin with his first book or his last one. In fact, if you were to read one of his most successful novels, “The Firm” (1991) and his latest work, “The Whistler” (2016), the only major difference you will notice is the technology the characters are using.

Top 10 Best John Grisham Books Reviews

1. A Time to Kill: A Novel

“A Time to Kill” is the overall highest rated John Grisham book.

Written in 1989, A Time to Kill is John’s Grisham debut novel. This book combines taking justice into your hands and getting away with it, all in the name of defending a young girl’s honor by a grieving father.

It describes the tumult of emotions that a father goes through when he has to face his worst fears come true. After his daughter is raped and murdered, the man decides to take justice into his hands and shoot the criminals right on the stairs of the courthouse.

The case gets a lot of attention, especially when the defense attorney, Jake, gets caught up in the middle of events and ends up risking his and his family’s life to prove to a jury that the father is, in fact, innocent.

A captivating and emotional story that will keep you up at night, wondering what’s going to happen next, “A Time to Kill” is one of the best John Grisham books.

2. Sycamore Row: A Novel

Written many years after “A Time to Kill,” “Sycamore Row” will take you back to a time where racial tension still existed. One of the most adored characters of John Grisham, Jake, the lawyer, makes a comeback in this riveting novel that will make you remember why you fell in love with him in the first place.

Jake finds himself caught up in a controversial trial that starts when Hubbard, a man with terminal lung cancer, ends his life by hanging himself from a tree. Although the investigators find a handwritten will, this document only manages to twist everything up and raise even more questions regarding the people left behind.

The fact that Hubbard left his fortune to his black maid makes everyone suspicious. Had the painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? Did the maid have anything to do with it? Once again, Jake has to solve this complicated case.

If you are looking for a powerful story with well-rounded characters and a plot twist at every turn of the page, then look no further than “Sycamore Row.”

3. The Litigators: A Novel

Few intrigues are more interesting than a chase for easy money. “The Litigators” doesn’t disappoint. When a desperate and unemployed man gets a chance to become rich through a lawsuit that could bring him potential tremendous financial benefits, he doesn’t think twice and jumps at the chance.

Just like the rest of John Grisham’s novels, “The Litigators” isn’t what it seems, and things get more complicated by the page. Millions of readers have devoured the story of David Zinc and the repercussions and thrills of getting in the middle of a $25 billion class-action suit.

Powerful, captivating, and full of suspense, this book is a must-read for every legal thriller fan.

4. The Partner: A Novel

The Partner is a story about one man’s
extraordinary journey in pursuit of truth and justice. With his trademark suspense, intrigue, and narrative flair, author John Grisham delivers another entertaining masterpiece to keep readers guessing to the very end. In this new novel, the legendary author paints a portrait of a man too smart for his own good; too dedicated for success; someone who always sought the power that money can buy.

5. Skipping Christmas: A Novel

Welcome to Luther Krank and Nora’s home: they are two lovebirds who have decided that this Christmas season they will skip all of the presents, traditions, parties, but most importantly the holidays. Their neighbors are upset so in an attempt to make it up to them, or at least their Christmas Eve party he has invited his entire office building. Come join in a night with food and drinks as you sit next to co-workers waiting for Santa Claus!

John Grisham says he created this book to show how much we need the holidays. With its strong message of spending time with loved ones in light of what is really important, Skipping Christmas has been wonderfully received by readers from around the world.

6. The Racketeer: A Novel

It’s an epic tale of crime and punishment about a man gone rogue inside the halls of justice. Once lawman extraordinaire U.S. attorney Malcolm Bannister saw his own office turn on him for crimes he knew nothing about—but now the threatened ruin of this one-time hero seems more than personal: it’s blackmail from thugs who seem able to do anything they want anytime they want to anyone they please if they can get away with it. So there’s only one course left for Malcolm and that’s revenge…

Grisham weaves together an intricate story that is intriguing and riveting from beginning to end. Like any good mystery though, it takes more than just stellar writing to keep readers engaged in a book until the crescendo at the end–it has to be something they care about passionately as well. Nobody does passion better than Mr. Grisham! And while I can’t divulge too many details here without spoiling some of the twists and turns, you’ll experience reading this book for yourself.

7. The Whistler: A Novel

The Whistler is an incredibly witty and engaging book for people who love to read. John Grisham’s novel succeeds in maintaining suspense throughout its entire duration.

This compelling story introduces an absorbing character, a smart woman who finds herself in the middle of one of America’s greatest legal dramas through circumstances.

The corruption case that crosses Lacy’s desk soon becomes more fascinating than anticipated, where there’s deep, dark history of corruption linked to a Judge she once knew very well who escapes prosecution due to an expired statute of limitations. As if her own private world wasn’t complicated enough- with two kids, aging parents, and hearing voices from patients, law practice, among others- she has to balance it out with chasing a crook!

8. Calico Joe: A Novel

One of the most anticipated books of the summer, John Grisham’s “Calico Joe,” begins on Opening Day in 1973. There’s a rookie sensation who has captured baseball fans across America–a young man so talented that he could become one of the game’s all-time greats, and just maybe force America to reconsider its love affair with baseball: Calico Joe.

With unerring skill and a natural flair for storytelling, Grisham captures both time and place as no other writer ever has about an American pastime.

It will be a fantastic read for fans of baseball with struggles and characters with personalities.

9. Rogue Lawyer: A Novel

Rogue Lawyer: A Novel is a page-turner from John Grisham. Sebastian Rudd defends people who are unpopular in society such as drug addicts and criminals on death row but is not afraid to take on controversial cases that affect all of us.

The book also focuses on socioeconomics and politics in the U.S., discussing topics like immigration reform, prison overcrowding, charter schools, fracking for oil and gas extraction, healthcare legislation costs.

10. Gray Mountain: A Novel

John Grisham is back with another nail-biter set in the rural Appalachian terrain of West Virginia’s coal country. Samantha, a big-city lawyer, moves to Brady after being recruited as legal counsel for a mining company.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Appalachia coal country, where communities are bitterly divided, and laws are often broken, Samantha soon finds herself engulfed in litigation that turns deadly—brutally exposing local secrets while fighting her own personal demons. In this dramatic new novel from John Grisham, powerful forces collide, testing family ties and pulling you into an unforgettable story of betrayal and justice.

John Grisham Books In Order

1. Jake Brigance Series (3 books)

#1 A Time to Kill (1989, book 1)

A Time To Kill is a one-part legal mystery, one-part social commentary on racial violence against African-Americans. During Christmas break (1989), the book takes place when a black father’s daughter has been brutally raped and assaulted by two white men who have gone unpunished due to technicalities present in the court system. Therefore, the father takes matters into his own hands.

Jake Brigance is a white attorney who takes the case of this black farmer, Carl Lee Hailey, and tries to save his life from the electric chair when he kills these two white men. Brigance takes on this case to make him popular and death threaten too.

A riveting novel that discusses both racism within America’s culture and our judicial system through intersecting legal cases, John Grisham’s “A Time to Kill” will keep readers hooked thanks to the memorable and realistic characters.

John Grisham depicts this horrifically racist society brilliantly through descriptive words that make me feel as though I’m there with the characters. He tells a gripping, page-turning story that leaves you gripped and spellbound, never wanting to put this book down (and not even for food). You’ll be left emotional by the end of it and desperate for more brilliant stories from John Grisham!

#2 Sycamore Row (2013, book 2)

After reading Sycamore Row, I can say without hesitation that it is the best book John Grisham has ever written. In this sequel to his first legal thriller A Time To Kill (which was also fantastic), Grisham takes us back to Ford County where we meet up with old friends and are introduced to some new ones.

The characters in this story are so real they could be your next-door neighbors or co-workers! From Seth Hubbard, who left everything he owned in his will to his maid, Letitia, after being diagnosed with cancer, even though she had been with him for merely a short time. To the daughters of Hubbard who couldn’t wait to get their hands on everything that he had left them.

John Grisham does a wonderful job writing about the characters in this book. You feel like you know each and every one of them personally by the time you reach the end of the book! 

I highly recommend Sycamore Row to anyone who enjoys reading books that make you think. If you are looking for something to do on your summer vacation, make sure to set aside some time and get yourself lost in John Grisham’s latest novel Sycamore Row. I promise that you will not be disappointed!

#3 A Time for Mercy (2020, book 3)

John Grisham is one of the most popular authors globally, and his book, A Time for Mercy, does not disappoint. It is full of intrigue and suspense, as well as a whole host of characters that you will find yourself invested in.

The main character is Jake Brigance, who finds himself representing a 14-year-old boy on trial for murder. Jake is not sure that Drew committed the crime, but he decides to defend him out of a sense of obligation.

Crucially, though, many other plots are going on at once, which means that you are never bored reading this book. The two other most important plots revolve around Drew’s family life and those concerning Jake’s wife. Again, it is hard to be bored because the tension in those areas of the book makes reading it a real page-turner.

Another reason this book is so good is that there are no lengthy or difficult descriptions. Grisham doesn’t like to drag things out and has perfected his writing style, which means you don’t have time to get tired while reading it. This novel moves along at a breakneck pace and never lets up until the last page.

2. Theodore Boone Series (7 books)

John Grisham is widely known for his legal thrillers, but he also writes children’s books.  One of the most well-known among these is Theodore Boone. He is a 13-year-old boy who has found himself embroiled in the world of crime and mystery, thanks to having parents who are lawyers. We’re not sure what Theo’s future holds, but we know it will be exciting!

Some people have called Theodore Boone the “Junior Atticus Finch.”  Find out more about this character by reading through the Theodore Boone article provided for further information.

#1 Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (2010, book 1 of 7)

“Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer” is a story of a thirteen-year-old boy Theo who has always dreamed of being a trial lawyer. He knows every judge, policeman, court clerk, and a lot about the law.

But when he starts getting dragged into the middle of sensational murder trial which happens to be his first case, a trial is set up to see if the murderer gets off or not, he realizes that it is not as easy as it seems.

This book had me hooked on from the start. The tone was witty and suspenseful and made me want to keep turning the pages to see how Theo solved his case. John Grisham’s writing style is eloquent yet simple, making it so easy for readers to understand.

The first book in this series was written by John Grisham and it would be great for anybody who likes murder mysteries. I would recommend this book for people of all ages who is interested in murder mysteries, lawyers, and the courtroom. Because even though it’s about lawyers, it is also about a thirteen-year-old boy and I feel like kids would enjoy this book as much as adults.

#2 Theodore Boone: The Abduction (2011, book 2 of 7)

John Grisham is well known for his legal thrillers and Theodore Boone: The Abduction is no exception. If you’re a fan of John Grisham, this book will not disappoint you. With this book being a mystery story with an ongoing plot about April’s disappearance, it makes readers want to continue reading.

Theodore Boone is a thirteen-year-old boy who is passionate about law. He is the protagonist of this book. Theodore finds himself in the middle of an abduction case, when April, his classmate, and friend, disappears on their way to school.

At first, he believes it was just their crazy cousin Jack Leeper who kidnapped her. He is seen around town and eventually caught. Then a body emerged from the river, and there were no fingers or teeth marks on it.

Theo suspects that April might be with her dad touring fraternities for their new band. When Theo’s parents are away at a lawyers’ conference, he goes to stay with the Whipple family as his temporary guardian. Theo has to find out where April might be…

If you like John Grisham or are looking for a good read for a child or teen, you should read Theodore Boone: The Abduction. It will keep you on the edge of your seat and will keep you guessing until the very end.

#3 Theodore Boone: The Accused (2012, book 3 of 7)

#4 Theodore Boone: The Activist (2013, book 4 of 7)

#5 Theodore Boone: The Fugitive (2015, book 5 of 7)

#6 Theodore Boone: The Scandal (2016, book 6 of 7)

#7 Theodore Boone: The Accomplice (2019, book 7 of 7)

3. The Whistler Series (3 books)

The Whistler is a legal thriller by John Grisham that explores the intersection of Native American gaming, corruption, and murder.

The plot centers on the problems involved in building casinos for tribes while also highlighting how much exploitation they have experienced over time which makes them vulnerable to corrupt people looking to make money at any cost.

#1 Witness to a Trial (2016, 37 pages short story, book 1)

#2 The Whistler (2016, book 2)

#3 The Judge’s List (Coming soon: Oct 19, 2021, book3)

4. Camino Island Series (2 books)

The novel starts off on a small island in Florida, where Bruce Cable owns a bookstore. Bruce is not just an ordinary person, however; he also deals in rare books and other means of corruption. Mercer Mann was just recently laid off from her teaching position and agrees to infiltrate Cable’s circle of literary friends for an unknown company so she can get close enough to learn more about him and find out his secrets. As Mercer learns more, there becomes trouble in paradise and John Grisham delivers with the storyline for this novel.

John Grisham’s Camino Island is a suspenseful novel that will keep readers on their toes throughout the entire book. Anyone who is looking for an engaging read should give John Grisham’s Camino Island a shot!

#1 Camino Island (2017, book 1)

#2 Camino Winds (2020, book2)

5. Rogue Lawyer Series (2 books)

John Grisham’s Rogue Lawyer Series is about Sebastian Rudd who has no law firm and only one employee, his driver. His ex-wife left him for another woman while they were married; he gets to see his son 36 hours per month but the visits are going to end soon.

He defends people other lawyers won’t go near: drug-addled kids in satanic cults, vicious crime lords on death row who escape before their sentence can be carried out by Rudd himself after witnessing it firsthand, and an MMA fighter involved with human trafficking that killed a referee when losing a fight which led the police department looking into her missing daughter too

He also takes cases like defending homeowners arrested for shooting at SWAT teams mistakenly invading houses or standing up against corrupt police officers.

Sebastian Rudd will always defend those who are wrongly accused of crimes or can’t afford a good lawyer to help them in actual court but he is also willing to kill anyone that gets in his way even if it’s someone in law enforcement.

He continues to fight for the innocent and get what little justice they deserve from the courts despite the risks he takes doing so while trying to bring down all criminals and corrupt cops on both sides of the law.

#1 Rogue Lawyer (2015)

Sebastian Rudd deals with very dangerous cases which should be left up to only people willing to risk their own lives by defying gang members, breaking laws like illegally entering secured homes, fighting against corrupt police officials, while protecting the innocent from being wrongly convicted of crimes.

#2 Partners (2016, 120 pages, standalone prequel to Rogue Lawyer)

6. Standalone Novels (29 books)

The Firm (1991)

The Pelican Brief (1992)

The Client (1993)

The Chamber (1994)

The Rainmaker (1995)

The Runaway Jury (1996)

The Partner (1997)

The Street Lawyer (1998)

The Testament (1999)

The Brethren (2000)

A Painted House (2001)

Skipping Christmas (2001)

The Summons (2002)

The King of Torts (2003)

Bleachers (2003)

The Last Juror (2004)

The Broker (2005)

Playing for Pizza (2007)

The Appeal (2008)

The Associate (2009)

The Confession (2010)

The Litigators (2011)

Calico Joe (2012)

The Racketeer (2012)

Gray Mountain (2014)

The Rooster Bar (2017)

The Reckoning (2018)

The Guardians (2019)

Sooley (2021)

7. Short Stories and Novellas (5 books)

Casino (2011, 41 pages)

Fish Files (2011, 51 pages)

Quiet Haven (2011, 60 pages)

Ford County (2009, 308 pages, short story collection)

The Tumor (2016, 74 pages)

8. Non-Fiction (1 book)

The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town (2006)