Where to start with James Patterson

James Patterson, one of the most famous and prolific authors of our time, is coming to the Des Moines on Wednesday, April 10 for our 2024 Authors Visiting in Des Moines (AViD) series. This FREE event will be at the Scottish Rite Consistory located in the heart of downtown Des Moines, with plenty of free parking available. Doors will open at 5 PM for the event, and seating will be first-come, first-serve, aside from seats that will be reserved for VIP ticketholders and donors.

With 365 titles by James Patterson to choose from at the the Des Moines Public Library, it can be overwhelming to think about where to start reading. If you are looking to read a book by him before he visits, our team has eight book suggestions for you to consider picking up.

A complete list of every book that James Patterson has ever written is also available to browse on his website. 

James Patterson by James Patterson

His Memoir: James Patterson by James Patterson

If you are brand new to the world of Patterson, or his writing is not your usual genre, we recommend starting your Patterson journey with his memoir. Understand his journey to becoming one of the bestselling authors in the world, how he got started, some of the projects he is most proud of, his trip to Woodstock, his career in advertising, anecdotes about his writing life, and his respect for his co-writers. 

Filthy Rich by James Patterson

For fans of true crime: Filthy Rich: A powerful billionaire, the sex scandal that undid him, and all the justice that money can buy : The shocking true story of Jeffrey Epstein

Two years prior to the 2019 arrest of Jeffery Epstein, James Patterson published Filthy Rich. This book focuses on Epstein's first arrest in 2009 in Palm Beach, the shockingly lenient sentence he received, and interviews with girls who have alleged sexual abuse by Epstein. If you love the book, check out the documentary filim series it inspired on Netflix!

Alex Cross Must Die

The series that started it all: Alex Cross

The Alex Cross series is James Patterson's first major series that he published, and it is still ongoing. The series follows Alex Cross a detective at the Metropolitan Police Department as he hunts criminals, solves murders, and works to keep his family safe.

The 24th Hour

For fans of strong female leads: The Women's Murder Club

The Women's Murder Club series follows the stories of homicide detective Lindsay Boxer, reporter Cindy Thomas, medical examiner Dr. Claire Washburn, and Jill Bernhardt as they solve murders around their home city of San Francisco.

suzanne's diary for nicholas

For readers of love-stories: Suzanne's Diary For Nicholas

James Patterson has written books other than thrillers. If you prefer a love story in the vein of Nicholas Sparks, Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas could be just the book for you to enter into the world of James Patterson.

Written in the form of a diary and a letter from a young mother recounting her love story for her young son. This book beautifully captures the joys of a new family even as it builds to an overwhelmingly moving climax. It is an unforgettable love story, at once heartbreaking and full of hope.

Run Rose Run

For fans of country music: Run Rose Run by James Patterson and Dolly Parton

James Patterson and Dolly Parton collaborated to write a thrilling story about a young singer-songwriter on the rise—and on the run—and determined to do whatever it takes to survive. Patterson is known for collaborating with co-authors, but this is one of his more high-profile collaborations with Dolly Parton. Parton also wrote all of the songs and lyrics featured in this book.

The President is Missing

For an accurate political thriller: The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

You can't get better than a former U.S. president co-writing a thriller where a fictional president goes missing. Every detail is accurate—because one of the authors is President Bill Clinton. The drama and action never stop—because the other author is James Patterson.


The President Is Missing confronts a threat so huge that it jeopardizes not just Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street, but all of America. Uncertainty and fear grip the nation. There are whispers of cyberterror and espionage and a traitor in the Cabinet. Even the President himself becomes a suspect, and then he disappears from public view...


The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians by James Patterson

For book lovers: The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians by James Patterson

This book comes out the day before our event at the Scottish Rite Consistory here in downtown Des Moines with James Patterson. 

The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians is a love letter and celebration of booksellers and librarians the superheroes of reading. Even if nothing else he has written has struck a chord, this book every reader should have on their radar

Step inside The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians and enter a world where you can feed your curiosities, discover new voices, and find whatever you want or require. This place has the magic of rainbows and unicorns, but it's also a business. The book business.  

Meet the smart and talented people who live between the pages—and who can't wait to help you find your next favorite book.

James Patterson for AViD

Make plans to see James Patterson on Wednesday, April 10

With more than 425 million books sold, James Patterson is the most popular storyteller in modern history, and he will be in Des Moines on Wednesday, April 10 at 7 PM for a FREE event at the Scottish Rite Consistory. Patterson will be in conversation with Courtney Crowder from the Des Moines Register.

The doors will open at 5 PM. We recommend getting here early because we cannot guarantee there will be space for everyone. Some seating will be reserved for VIP ticket holders, but the rest is first-come, first-serve.

NOTE: Patterson will only be signing copies of his new book, The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians, at the event. Copies will be available for purchase at the event from Beaverdale Books.

Published on March 13, 2024
Last Modified April 21, 2024