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Joy Ellis books in order

Joy Ellis is a British author of mystery, thriller and suspense novels.

Born in Kent, England, Ellis trained as an apprentice florist in Mayfair before eventually starting her own flower shop in Weybridge several years later.

She worked there for 14 years before the business was affected by the recession.

Afterwards, Ellis worked on a number of strange and lovely jobs before becoming a Bookshop manager; something that inspired her to write crime fiction.

Her books have thus far registered over 2 million sales.

She lives in Lincolnshire Fens with her partner, Jacqueline, and their four dogs.

More about Joy Ellis

Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

United Kingdom


Non Series

  • Guide Star (2017)

Detective Matt Ballard Books

  1. Beware the Past (2017)
  2. Five Bloody Hearts (2019)
  3. The Dying Light (2020)
  4. Marshlight (2021)
  5. Trick of the Night (2022)

DI Nikki Galena & DS Joe Easter Books

  1. Crime on the Fens (2010)
  2. Shadow Over the Fens (2011)
  3. Hunted on the Fens (2014)
  4. Killer on the Fens (2016)
  5. Stalker on the Fens (2016)
  6. Captive on the Fens (2017)
  7. Buried on the Fens (2017)
  8. Thieves On The Fens (2017)
  9. Fire on the Fens (2018)
  10. Darkness on the Fens (2019)
  11. Hidden on the Fens (2020)
  12. Secrets on the Fens (2021)
  13. Fear on the Fens (2021)
  14. Graves On the Fens (2022)

DI Rowan Jackman & DS Maria Evans Books

  1. The Murderer's Son (2014)
  2. Their Lost Daughters (2017)
  3. The Fourth Friend (2017)
  4. The Guilty Ones (2018)
  5. The Stolen Boys (2018)
  6. The Patient Man (2019)
  7. They Disappeared (2020)
  8. The Night Thief (2021)
  9. Solace House (2022)
Non Series

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Guide Star

Stella North’s promising career with the police force is threatened after sustaining terrible bullet wounds.

Though passionate about her job, she is forced to say goodbye.

Beth, her seventy-year-old grandmother, is a central part of her life, even though Stella doesn’t know much about her past.

Beth invites Michael, her friend, to help her granddaughter recover.

Michael is however much closer to Beth than she reveals.

Then there is Stella’s old colleague Robbie, and her former husband, Edward.

She also has old friends from her Urbex era.

Surrounded by people who care about her, will Stella learn to face the future with optimism?

Will Beth finally disclose about her past?

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1912106523
Publisher: Joffe Books

Detective Matt Ballard Books

Beware the Past

Three boys were mysteriously killed in Gibbet Fen when Matt Ballard was still a rookie.

Although the killings stopped after the primary suspect died in a hit-and-run incident, Matt was never convinced.

Now more than two decades later, Matt receives a picture of the crime scene, albeit before the killings occurred.

When more startling pictures of the murders arrive, on top of pictures about Matt’s reclusive life, it becomes apparent that someone has been watching him.

A killing then takes place, one that mirrors the cold case.

Is there a copycat killer on the loose?

Or has the deranged killer returned to haunt Matt?

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1912106431
Publisher: Joffe Books
Five Bloody Hearts

A stunning older woman by the name of Grace Repton makes her way into a police station before making a shocking revelation.

The woman reveals that her fiancé, notorious serial killer Jeremy Reader, has informed her that he has a copycat killer who is about to strike terror.

Reader, currently imprisoned, viciously killed five women before being captured by detective Matt Ballard.

He however claims to be a changed man, and is even willing to help the authorities capture his copycat killer.

Can Matt however trust a convicted serial killer and his wife to be?

Can the love of a decent woman change even the most sinister of men?

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1789310771
Publisher: Joffe Books
The Dying Light


As the mists roll over the fens and enigmatic lights twinkle in the distance, only the locals know their way along the hidden paths through the mysterious watery terrain of one of England’s most beautiful and sometimes dangerous places.

Detective Matt Ballard may have retired but there’s still plenty going on the fens to keep him busy.

Someone trashes an old lady’s garden and daubs her isolated cottage with hateful graffiti. Emilia Swain seems to be totally harmless, so why is she being targeted?

Matt’s best friend Will and his wife Kate moved to Holland House to put their past behind them. But Kate’s mental state is deteriorating and she’s obsessed with the tragic history of the house and an old doll she finds in the garden.

And why is Kate suddenly friends with a loner who haunts the fens?

Has the dreadful past come back to haunt the present owners?

Former detectives Matt and Liz want to help their friends and neighbors. But how can you help people who don’t want to be helped?

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1789314755
Publisher: Joffe Books


An old friend’s sister disappears without a trace. There’s no sign of foul play, but she’d been acting very peculiarly . . .

Meanwhile, Liz’s cousin Christie comes to stay. She takes an immediate — and uncharacteristic — dislike to the local bookshop owner, Gina. Why does everyone put up with her awful behavior?


Christie is convinced that Gina is manipulating everyone around her. Is she onto something dangerous or just pushing her new friends away?

No one believes her suspicions until another friend goes missing late at night on the misty Fen marshes.

Can Matt and Liz uncover the truth in time to save lives?

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1789318524
Publisher: Joffe Books
Trick of the Night

A deserted building. A face in the window. A face that shouldn’t be there.

Photography student Toby Unsworth has found the perfect location for a night-time shoot. A cobbled street in the old part of Fenfleet. Later, when he looks at the images on his laptop, he thinks he sees a woman’s face in the window of an old, disused building. He asks his housemate Alex to come and take a look...

Two days later, Toby and Alex are dead. Carbon monoxide poisoning. An unfortunate accident. But Alex’s mother doesn’t believe it. She hires Matt and Liz to find out the truth.

Meanwhile, nine-year-old Simon is missing. He was staying with his Aunt Jessie in a cottage on the edge of the marsh. And his older sister Kellie is increasingly worried.

Matt and Liz’s investigations reveal that something very big and very dangerous has descended on the small market town of Fenfleet. And if they don’t get to the bottom of it, more deaths will follow.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2022
ISBN: 978-1804053317
Publisher: Joffe Books

DI Nikki Galena & DS Joe Easter Books

Crime on the Fens

DI Nikki Galena has endured immeasurable loss.

She has watched a girl die in her arms, and her daughter will forever be confined in a hospital.

Given how ruthless she has been to people she believes did this to her, Nikki has been given one last chance to play well with the new DS Joseph Easter.

Although the good-looking Joseph Easter has a clean record, the former soldier has an alienated daughter who blames him for every terrible thing that happened to their family.

When a youthful girl mysteriously disappears, Nikki and Joseph will have to work together with a notorious criminal if they are to rescue the girl.

NB: This book is also known as Mask Wars.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-1911021612
Publisher: Joffe Books
Shadow Over the Fens

 “Two vicious killers are terrorizing the Fens.”

A friend who also happens to live next to DI Nikki Galena loses their life in the most devastating of ways. But nothing is ever what it seems.

Meanwhile, the lifeless remains of a ruthlessly murdered man are found on a wasteland in Greenborough town.

The grim nature of the killing opens the floodgates of frightening memories for DS Joseph Easter.

And it doesn’t take long before ghosts of his dark past return to haunt his career, his rationality, and perhaps his life.

As Nikki starts doubting Joseph, the DS embarks on a desperate quest to save someone very dear to him.

NB: This book is also known as Shadowbreaker.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-1911021636
Publisher: Joffe Books
Hunted on the Fens

DI Nikki Galena is about to face her most demanding case yet.

A ruthless criminal is on the loose, targeting Nikki and her colleagues.

Patient and crafty, he will pounce on them one after the other.

And he’ll do whatever it takes to ruin the lives of all of them.

In order to stop the sinister figure, Nikki must first identify who would want to unleash vengeance on her and her colleagues—a monumental task.

Will Nikki manage to save herself and her colleagues from a vicious foe hell-bent on destruction?

Could the vicious attacks on cops be connected to the lifeless body of a woman in a sealed room?

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-1911021698
Publisher: Joffe Books
Killer on the Fens

 “Find Eve: A dying man’s last request.”

While on his deathbed, DI Nikki Galena’s father presents her with a final wish; one that entails finding a woman named Eve.

Who is Eve? And why does her dying father want Nikki to find her?

This is a mystery that Nikki must somehow unfold.

Meanwhile, the lifeless remains of a dead drug dealer are discovered on a deserted airfield that the indigenous residents claim is haunted.

While looking into the two seemingly unrelated cases, Nikki will uncover clues that lead to arguably the most appalling find of her entire career.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1911021735
Publisher: Joffe Books
Stalker on the Fens

Helen Brook, a good friend of DI Nikki Galena, is left badly hurt after a terrible accident in a cellar.

Upon recovering, she begins having flashbacks of a man who was with her when it happened; a man who had admitted to killing someone.

However, the problem is that there are no signs that someone else was ever there.

Could Helen have imagined it? Or is someone watching her?

Meanwhile, Stephen Cox—the sinister figure who destroyed Nikki’s life—is back in town, seemingly back to ruin her life again.

When fear grips the entire town, Nikki and Joseph Easter find themselves on a deadly path.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1911021858
Publisher: Joffe Books
Captive on the Fens

The lifeless remains of a youthful woman are discovered in a distant barn on the Fens, with one of her fingers chopped off.

Another woman is discovered with the same injuries, albeit still alive.

Meanwhile, police have intel that deranged criminal Freddy Carver intends to make Greenborough the centre of his operations.

Fully aware of the ruthless nature of the criminal, DI Nikki Galena endeavors to stop Freddy before he settles in the area.

Could he be connected to the abducted girls?

With a mole in their midst, Nikki and her committed detectives must unravel the mysteries before more lives are lost—including one dear to her.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1912106646
Publisher: Joffe Books
Buried on the Fens

Human bones are discovered in a superficial grave in the graveyard.

This wasn’t a normal burial. The victim was killed many years ago.

Meanwhile, DI Nikki Galena and her detectives are looking into the ruthless killing of businesswoman Madeline Prospero, who belonged to The Briar Patch—a private and secretive drinking club.

While investigating the discovered skeleton, Nikki is led to the rural community of Quintin Eaudyke, which was characterized by violence in the 1970’s and 80s.

When the lives of more women at The Briar Patch are endangered, Nikki knows that she must solve the mystery before more lives are lost.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1912106912
Publisher: Joffe Books
Thieves On The Fens

Receiving a sequence of mysterious phone calls, DI Nikki Galena is informed about a time, place and the person who will die.

However, the problem is that the message is delivered in a secret language used by criminals; one that she is unable to decipher.

Meanwhile, the Fens has been rocked by a number of “designer burglaries.” A new band of criminals are seemingly on the loose.

Nikki’s mother then passes away unexpectedly in the most suspicious of ways.

Could all these events be connected?

Will Nikki return peace and stability back to the Fens before it’s too late?

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1912106226
Publisher: Joffe Books
Fire on the Fens

An arsonist is on the loose in the Fens, striking terror into the locals.

Although the person initially targets homes and businesses, things quickly escalate when a dead body is discovered after one of the attacks.

As the arson cases increase, more lives are lost.

However, the most unsettling part is that the victims not only led perfect lives, but there is also no apparent connection between the crimes.

But that’s not the only problem facing the Fens.

The locals are also haunted by a group of Satanists under the leadership of a beguiling businessman.

DI Nikki Galena certainly has her work cut out.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1789310184
Publisher: Joffe Books
Darkness on the Fens

Pleasure seekers are descending on Greenborough for the annual Dark Greenborough Festival, a three-day jamboree observing local mythology and superstition.

But unbeknownst to everyone is the fact that the police have been warned that something bad will happen this year.

The message in question came from a mysterious letter written in Latin, warning that lives will assuredly be lost.

Although it initially seems like a prank, DI Nikki Galena and her dedicated team of detectives soon find out that people are dying from what looks like alcoholic poisoning.

As the nature of the deaths get more appalling, Nikki and her team know they have to stop a serial killer on the loose.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1789311501
Publisher: Joffe Books
Hidden on the Fens

While exploring an old cottage, Detective Joseph Easter and his daughter find photographs of a stunning girl named Jennifer Cowley.

Although she vanished fifteen years ago, her remains were never found.

Her stalker was later imprisoned for her murder.

While looking for clues inside the cottage, Di Nikki Galena finds photographs of a girl who has striking similarities to Jennifer.

The intrigue intensifies when the man convicted for the murder of Jennifer is released from prison.

Meanwhile, a sinister man is targeting widowed older women.

Will DC Cat Cullen and Dave Harris manage to stop him while they still have the time?

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1789313437
Publisher: Joffe Books
Secrets on the Fens

It’s a bright night in the Fens.

The lifeless remains of two individuals are found lying entangled on a blanket in the forest.

From the way the youthful man seems to be gripping a red rose, there’s no doubt that this is a lovers’ suicide pact.

That assumption is however debunked by Detective Nikki Galena and DS Joseph Easter who uncover more clues.

Romeo and Juliet, the two victims, were apparently killed elsewhere and dumped in the forest.

But who would go through all that trouble?

When another couple is found murdered in a similar manner, Nikki knows that they must stop a deranged serial killer before more lives are lost.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1789316841
Publisher: Joffe Books
Fear on the Fens


In the beautiful gardens of Shelley House a shocking discovery is made. A blackened hand dangles over the side of a wheelbarrow. The horrific scent of burnt flesh lingers in the air.

Detectives Nikki Galena and Joseph Easter are called in to investigate.

Twenty years ago.

A family destroyed by tragic secrets. The scientist father who killed their gardener, before being murdered himself. The brother who disappeared, never to be seen again.

Until now?

Nikki and Joseph must find a man who’s been missing for two decades and unravel the painful past of a broken family before anyone else dies.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2021
Graves On the Fens

It arrives in the morning. An old-fashioned airmail envelope addressed to Detective Nikki Galena. Inside, on a single sheet of blue airmail paper, are three words:

You failed me.

The second airmail envelope arrives at Nikki’s home address. The same message. Only this time, it’s followed by four names: Alexandra Cornfield, Ruth Baker, Bethany Lyons, Leanne Delaney.

Four missing women. Four local women whose bodies were never found.

The contents of the third letter, delivered by motorcycle courier, are even more disturbing.

The letter leads directly to the discovery of a body buried in a shallow grave out on the Fens. And Nikki and her partner Detective Joseph Easter are plunged into a baffling murder investigation.

Someone appears to be pursuing a personal vendetta against Nikki— and she has no idea who, or why. But one thing she does know: whoever it is is playing a very twisted game — and if Nikki and her team don’t stop them, more deaths will follow.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2022
Ebook: B0BHLZXL19
Publisher: Joffe Books

DI Rowan Jackman & DS Maria Evans Books

The Murderer's Son

Two decades ago, a farmer and his wife were ruthlessly hacked to death by a deranged serial killer.

Now, a woman has been brutally stabbed to death while in the kitchen of her gorgeous home.

Even stranger is that a man named Daniel Kinder makes his way into the police station and admits to have committed the crime.

But as DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans will soon discover, things are never what they seem, more so with Daniel.

However, as soon as Jackman and Evans let Daniel go due to insufficient evidence, more murders take place.

Worse off is that Daniel is nowhere to be seen…

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-1911021797
Publisher: Joffe Books
Their Lost Daughters

Two teenage girls attended a party, but only one came back alive.

Toni, the survivor, is discovered wandering on the fields.

Drugged, she doubts whether she’ll make it out alive.

Toni claims that Emily, the girl she was with, was forcefully taken from the party.

Nobody knows what happened to her.

Meanwhile, the lifeless remains of a drowned girl are discovered on a deserted beach.

Could this be connected to the cold case involving the mysterious disappearance of a young girl almost ten years ago?

With a lot already on their plates, DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans must find the criminals if justice is to be delivered.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1789311754
Publisher: Joffe Books
The Fourth Friend

Detective Carter McLean is left devastated after losing four of his closest friends in a tragic plane crash that he survived.

In honor of his deceased friends, he decides to finish tasks that they hadn’t completed.

Eighteen months earlier, Suzanne Holland—the wife of one of his best friends—mysteriously vanished without a trace. It’s a case Carter must solve.

He has also been asked to investigate the boss’s niece who apparently has a stalker.

Although DS Marie Evans is the only one Carter can trust, she starts doubting his sanity.

Faced with three mysterious cases, will DI Jackman and DS Marie Evans trust Carter and unravel the mysteries?

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1912106851
Publisher: Joffe Books
The Guilty Ones

Sarah, DI Rowan Jackman’s sister-in-law, seemed to have the perfect life.

She had a beautiful home and two lovely boys.

So what could have driven her to take her own life?

While looking into the case, Jackman learns just how much Sarah was a stranger to him.

But then a woman in the nearby village also dies in a similar manner.

Could the deaths be tied to a convicted killer whose family insists on his innocence?

Jackman and DS Marie Evans are faced with their most challenging case yet.

In a mystery so personal, will Jackman manage to control his emotions?

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1789310023
Publisher: Joffe Books
The Stolen Boys

A series of crimes have rocked the Fens.

Hybird X, a brand of street-wear in high demand, is being stolen and resold for ridiculous prices.

Homes are being broken into, and children are being openly robbed.

A sinister figure named Darke seems to be responsible.

Things however escalate when a youthful man dies.

A second body is then discovered soon afterwards.

Meanwhile, illegal roids are finding their way into the streets.

While looking for a barbaric criminal, DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans are troubled by Alistair Ashcroft—the serial killer who has eluded them for the longest time.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1789310429
Publisher: Joffe Books
The Patient Man

Alistair Ashcroft, the one serial killer who has eluded DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans, is back in the picture.

Determined to announce his arrival, he sends an unsettling text to Evans.

But despite his provoking ways, there is no sign of Ashcroft.

Amidst the search for Ashcroft, the police force is also involved in solving a number of cases.

Meanwhile, someone breaks into the home of gun-club owner, Kenneth Harcourt.

The case however quickly escalates when the man long believed to have murdered Harcourt’s young daughter in a hit-and-run incident is assassinated by a sniper.

A murderer is running riot in the Fens. More blood will be shed.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1789314403
Publisher: Joffe Books
They Disappeared

While looking into the mysterious disappearances of Orla “Orac” Cracken, DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans are convinced that something bad could have happened to their IT boss, who was at one point a covert government agent working overseas.

Meanwhile, DC Robbie Melton is looking into the disappearance of two urban explorers passionate about deserted structures. One of them vanished while exploring an airfield. Was it however a military base?

When their decomposing remains are discovered in an old church, pressure mounts on Jackman and Evans to unravel the mystery.

Could the killings be somehow tied to Orac and her secret past?

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1789316254
Publisher: Joffe Books
The Night Thief

When everyone is sleeping, he comes into their houses.

He takes one thing. A photo of their child.

A thief on a power trip or something even darker and more sinister?

Detectives Jackman and Evans find themselves on the hunt for a highly unusual burglar who seemingly only steals photographs. But then, late one night, an elderly woman falls to her death after seeing someone in her home.

Did she really fall, or was she murdered?

And just how many mysterious intruders are there on the Fens?

With the body count rising, Jackman and Evans have their work cut out for them to track down the night thief — before it’s too late.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1804050309
Publisher: Joffe Books
Solace House


Holly Stewart moved into Solace House wanting a fresh start for her and her family. She knew the property was cheap because a tragic murder had taken place there, but she didn’t know its full ghastly history.

Now, her husband’s lost his job, the children are bullied at school, and someone’s prowling around the garden at night. Someone who wants them gone.

Detective Jackman wants to help. Instead he’s pulled into a twenty-year-old cold case: the gruesome murder of a young woman whose head was never found. A new witness comes forward, claiming to have crucial evidence on what really happened that night.

Days later, a group of litter-pickers uncover black sacks containing dismembered human limbs. Attending the scene, Detective Marie Evans is shocked to see a strange symbol carved into the victim’s flesh: the same symbol found on the headless girl all those years ago.

The murders must be connected. But why has the killer struck again — after twenty years?

As the threats to the Stewart family escalate, Jackman must choose between helping people in the present and solving the crimes of the past.

Author: Joy Ellis
First Release: 2022
ISBN: 978-1804055588
Publisher: Joffe Books