Book Series Reading Order

I’ve seen a few ebooks on Amazon for my series reading orders. Don’t buy these, they’re not official, I don’t endorse them, and the information is right here and free.

[Updated 30-Apr-2024: Added the graphic to show the current state of play – the old one is preserved at the bottom.]

Where do I start?

The tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) version is:

  1. Senseless, and the DI Rob Marshall series can be read on their own.
  2. For Police Scotland and Vicky Dodds, read in publication order, namely Police Scotland 1-9, Dodds 1-2, Police Scotland 10-11, Dodds 3, Police Scotland 12-13, Dodds 4, Police Scotland 14, Dodds 5.

Here’s a link to my Amazon page featuring all of my books


(Note: as an Amazon affiliate, I can get commission from each book sold)

Are you here for the long answer? Okay, settle in.

I have published a lot of books. When I first wrote this page, I had a lot to explain – there were eight Scott Cullen novels, eight Simon Fenchurch, three Craig Hunter, four Vicky Dodds and six Cullen and Bain short novels. And three Max Carter FBI thrillers. And Senseless. And that’s not even mentioning the two vampire books (which I unpublished) or the two practice novels I wrote but nobody will ever see. That was over thirty novels, with another Vicky Dodds due out and another Fenchurch. And it’s further complicated by the continuity between series, both hard and soft.

Fast forward to now (30th April 2024), and it’s forty books, including five and a half in the Marshall series. And I simplified things by updating the sequencing when I merged the Cullen, Hunter and Cullen & Bain books into a new Police Scotland series.

So let’s start with the easy stuff. 

The DI Rob Marshall books don’t share anything with the other books (unless you really look closely and cross your fingers).

Similarly, the Max Carter books are out of continuity with the rest of my books. They’re also out-of-print, so you can’t buy them just now. Easy. 

Next, Senseless shares the easter egg of Charlie the Seahorse with the Fenchurch books, but nothing else. So that can be read standalone.

The Fenchurch books feature some easter eggs with the Scottish ones, e.g. Fenchurch 3 features a bottle of Dunpender whisky from Cullen 3. You can surmise that the gap in the criminal market created in Fenchurch 6 led to the antics in Hunter 3.

(You could also link events in Fenchurch 6 to events in the Carter books, if you want. I haven’t, but if you want to, it’s totally cool.)

Now for the hard stuff – Scott Cullen’s messy tales.

The first novel I published was Ghost in the Machine, back in April 2012, quickly followed by another three in just over a year (Devil in the DetailFire in the Blood and Stab in the Dark, originally published as Dyed in the Wool), then a fifth in 2015 (Cops & Robbers, originally published as Bottleneck), which I heavily edited recently (read: rewrote virtually from scratch) and added Craig Hunter to the book. Then I published a sixth in 2015 (Liars & Thieves, originally Windchill), followed by a seventh (Cowboys & Indians).

There was a three-year gap between the seventh and the eighth Cullen books, during which time I published two Craig Hunter books, The Missing and The Hunted, which feature Cullen in a somewhat adversarial role (and also feature Alan from the Dodds books and Liam from the Fenchurch books covering the big news story in the latter).

Next, Craig Hunter features in the eighth Cullen, Heroes & Villains. And Cullen again appeared in the third Hunter book, The Black Isle. Then Hunter appears in all of the Cullen & Bain books (City of the Dead, World’s End, Hell’s Kitchen, Gore Glen, Dead in the Water and The Last Drop). The fifth Cullen & Bain was a prequel, basically when Cullen met Bain, and is now to be read as the first in the series. I collected the first three as The Cold Truth and the fourth and sixth as The Dead End, which are 13 and 14 in the Police Scotland series. That’s it. No more Cullen, Bain or Hunter. Hooray!

The next hard continuity is in the Vicky Dodds books. The first one, Tooth & Claw, came out in 2015 as Snared, but I heavily edited it back in 2018 when I got the rights back from my old publisher, though didn’t introduce any continuity with other books. Vicky features in a very brief cameo in Heroes & Villains (yes, that’s her on the training course). But  the second book, Flesh & Blood, introduces continuity with the Cullenverse. And the third, Skin & Bone, features more and is set just after the second part of The Cold Truth, Police Scotland 13, the story called World’s End. One of the characters in that features in the first part of The Dead End, Police Scotland 14.

And because I’m an idiot, I’m editing Blood & Guts, Vicky Dodds 1, to become a novel-length story, which will feature a new section starring Cullen.

Okay, so that sounds complicated, right? But it’s actually straightforward. The optimal way to read them is in (sort of) publication order, so:

  1. The first nine Police Scotland books, then
  2. The first two Dodds books, then
  3. The tenth and eleventh Police Scotland books, then
  4. The third Dodds, then
  5. The twelfth and thirteenth Police Scotland, then
  6. The fourth Dodds, then
  7. The fourteenth Police Scotland, then
  8. The fifth Dodds.

Obviously it gets a bit sticky around Guilt Trip, Vicky Dodds 5, and Hope To DieFenchurch 10, which feature both characters. Cullen is in Guilt Trip. But that’s it. If you read Fenchurch first, then you can start that way, but if you read the Police Scotland books, you can read Fenchurch next.

Oh, and Olivia Blackman from Lost Cause features in Hope to Die, but that’s not a major role.

Obviously, there’s scope to merge the Vicky Dodds books into Police Scotland to further simplify things. But there are other ways to make that clear.

So, to summarise:

  • Senseless, and both the Carter and Marshall series can be read on their own.
  • Fenchurch can be read independently.
  • For Police Scotland and Dodds, read in chronological order; namely PS 1-9, Dodds 1-2, PS 10-11, Dodds 3, PS 12-13, Dodds 4, PS 14, Dodds 5.

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy the books.

Final note is that I’m committing to make all of the books available in Kindle Unlimited to read for free.

Again, here’s that link to my Amazon page with all of my books: