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Jussi Adler-Olsen Books In Order

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Publication Order of Department Q Books

The Keeper of Lost Causes / Mercy (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Absent One / Disgrace (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Conspiracy of Faith / Redemption / Flaskepost fra P (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Purity of Vengeance / Guilt / Journal 64 (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Marco Effect / Buried / Marco Effekten (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hanging Girl (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Scarred Woman (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Victim 2117 (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shadow Murders (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Locked In (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Alphabet House (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Takeover (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Washington Decree (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jussi Adler-Olsen is one of the most popular Danish writers in history. After studying a variety of subjects and working a multitude of jobs, this Danish sensation has created a body of work that expands across three decades. His humorous approach to crime drama ahs pushed has landed his books on the bestseller-list in multiple countries, and has made him a known author around the world.

Early Life

Carl Valdemar Jussi Henry Adler-Olsen was born on August 2, 1950 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Jussi Adler-Olsen was the only son of four children. His father was a successful psychiatrist and sexologist. The author grew up in several mental institutions throughout Denmark. He credits his father’s profession as a source of insight and inspiration for his books which deal with extreme mental illness and international conspiracies. Before he became an international best- selling author, Jussi Adler-Olsen studied a variety of subjects and had many different jobs. He played lead guitar in a few pop groups in Denmark, and after graduating from Rodovre state school, the author studied sociology, medicine, film, and politics. In the late 70’s, Jussi Adler-Olsen worked as a publisher in cartoon-scripting, proofreader, and magazine editor before delving into a fictional career.


In 1980, Jussi Adler-Olsen, created Denmark’s first cartoon encyclopedia called, Komiklex. He finished the project in 1985. The author then worked as an independent-publisher, owner, and editor-in-chief (1983-1989). He published a variety of fiction and non-fiction titles. In the year 1989, he published Fred pa tryk, a Danish-bibliography on literature about security and harmony.

He began his career as a novelist with 2 books about Groucho Marx in 1984. After that, Jussi Adler-Olsen wrote the international thrillers: Alfabethuset (The Alphabet-House, 1997) is a story about tow British pilots shot down in the middle of Germany in World War II. His next book was Oghuntakkedeguderne (The Company Basher, 2002), which features a Dutch specialist who attempts to bring-down an oil company. The following novel was Washington-Dekretet (The Washington Decree, 2006). This novel is about the assassination of an American president’s wife). His most notable work followed as a three part book series called Department Q thrillers. Jussi Adler-Olsen’s first two books of the series: Kvinden i buret (The-Woman-in-the-Cage, UK title: Mercy, United States title: The-Keeper-of-Lost-Causes) and Fasandraeberne (The Pheasant-Killers, UK title: Disgrace, United States title: The-Absent-One), made him a hit in Denmark and across the world. The Department Q thrillers reached the top of the Danish bestseller lists and remain some of the bestselling books in the country.

All of his Department Q series is set in Denmark, a fact that residents love, giving them a permanent place on the Denmark bestseller list. The author’s works have been on The New York Times-Paperback bestseller list, and on the bestseller-list in other countries like: Iceland, Norway, and Austria.

Currently, Adler-Olsen’s novels have been translated and sold in more than 35 languages and more than 10 countries including: the United States, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, Sweden, and Spain. In 2012, Jussi Adler Olsen became Germany’s most-popular author. In Germany he has 5 titles on Amazon DE’s top 10 list for crime-novels sold in 2012.

Department Q Series

The Department Q series is the most popular series of Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen. The Department Q series follows the top homicide detective in Copenhagen, Carl Morck, who has been assigned to work cold cases for the department. The complete Department Q series is made of 5 books: Kvinden i buret (The-Woman-in-the-Cage, UK title: Mercy, United States title: The-Keeper-of-Lost Causes), Fasandraeberne (The Pheasant-Killers, UK title: Disgrace, United States title: The-Absent-One), Flaskepost fra P (Message-in-a-Bottle, UK title: Redemption, United States title: A Conspiracy-of-Faith), Journal 64, and Marco Effekten (United States title: The-Marco-Effect).

Kyinden i buret (The Keeper of the Lost Causes)

Plot. This first in the popular Department Q series introduces the reader to homicide detective, Carl Morck, the best detective in Copenhagen. After a violent gun fight ends the lives of his colleagues, Morck is haunted by their deaths and blames himself. Mork is then promoted to lead the Department Q files, a department filled with cold cases. Facing ridicule for the assignment, Mork hones in on a case of a missing politician presumed dead.

Fasandraeberne (The-Absent-One)

Plot. In this exciting thriller, homicide detective Carl Morck has established himself in Department Q and begins to search for another case to solve. He rests on the horrible double murder of a brother and sister that occurred 20 years prior. Even though a suspect confessed and is serving time for the murder, Morck is not convinced that the case has been solved. A homeless witness, Kimmie, could provide some damning evidence against some powerful people connected to the murder. Morck races to track her down before they do.

Jussi Adler-Olsen Book Series Adaptations

In 2011 the Danish production company, Zentropa and Nordisk Film, along with the German ZDF production house started discussions of adapting several screenplays based on Adler-Olsen’s books. They looked at a number of books, but fell on Adler-Olsen’s Danish series, Department Q. The production companies believed bringing this series to life would be the best choice due to the international success of the series.

After the second book, “The Pheasant Killers” (2008) was released Zentropa acquired the movie rights to all of the books in the series. Zentropa agreed to cooperate with German Network Movie and Danish Nordisk Film to bring the popular series to the big screen.

In a 2011 interview, Peter Aalbæk Jensen, Zentropa, comments: “I never read books except on rainy days in Denmark. One day I decided to read the first two books in the Department Q series. I got half way through the books and I knew instantly, that I absolutely had to have the rights to this awesome series. These books are a combination of sophisticated crime, humor, and drama.”

Lone Korslund, Nordisk Film stated, ”This cooperation falls perfectly in line with our passion to get involved with big Nordic projects that have potential to thrive in and outside the Nordic countries. Jussi Adler-Olsen’s books are the best and most exhilarating books I have read since the Stieg Larsson-trilogy. He has a flair for great story construction and plot, and his ability to build tension is beyond belief. We can’t wait to get started with Zentopa and Network Movie on the film. With our power combined, I’m convinced we can make some high quality films.”

The first film, The-Keeper-of-Lost Causes, was released in March of 2013.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jussi Adler-Olsen

11 Responses to “Jussi Adler-Olsen”

  1. Beverley Hatcher: 9 months ago

    I was blown away at the ending of The Shadow Murders and I’m waiting for the next book in the series. To be honest I’m also dreading it as I understand it will be the last Department Q book. I have enjoyed this series very much. The plots are wonderful and the character development between the main members of the series continue to be outstanding. I will miss having a new book to look forward to.

  2. Michael Rothwell: 1 year ago

    After reading The Shadow Murders it is apparent that there must be a further book to see how Carl beats the made-up charges and his arrest at the end of Shadow Murders. Are you aware if Adler-Olsen is in fact writing this novel?

  3. Heidi J Eggebroten: 2 years ago

    The Washington Decree is startling during the chaotic times in the U.S. right now. It is sooo American with 2 exceptions. I don’t believe citizens would give up their guns, even with the conclusion of the book, and wonder if an American can be exiled. A SUPER READ!!

  4. Kerry B: 3 years ago

    This site is my “go to site” for finding the next “series” to read. Thank you for all your hard work.

    • Graeme: 3 years ago

      You’re welcome. Thank you so much for the feedback 🙂

  5. Pat Flannery: 3 years ago

    The Washington Decree was a terrible disappointment after reading the entire excellent Dept Q series. That series was breathless and gripping. Washingtin District came across to me as a dumbing down for an American audience. Stooping to the quality of James Patterson, perhaps. Gave it up after 60 or so pages. Will happily try his other books but continue to question what happened at the penning of Washington District to change his quality so.

    • rhoneyman: 2 years ago

      WD is next on my list. I recently finished Alphabet House. It was a bit of a slog getting into it, but well worth the effort.

    • Christopher: 9 months ago

      Agree, love the dept Q series. Not sure how dumb you may think the American audience is, but this book was really too dumb even for us. A real disappointment.

    • anne kass: 4 months ago

      I just finished listening to The Washington Decree. The first part of the book struck me as more of a shaggy dog story until FEMA became a character. Then, the book seemed to me, an American who lived through Trump I not to mention W, closer to a dcoumentary than fiction. It prompted me to explore FEMA which I had thought to be an agency to help people suffering from natural disasters. Little did I know that FEMA is yet another American law enforcement agency with military trained personnel, part of The Homeland Security agency and well schooled in The Patriot Act excesses. Dumbed down Americans are real.

  6. Vipérine Doc: 5 years ago

    Not sure if you want to add it because it won’t be available until March 3, 2020, but the next book in the series in Victim 2117

  7. Vipérine Doc: 5 years ago

    P.S. This site is very useful! Thank you for maintaining it.


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