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Stephanie Merritt Books In Order

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Publication Order of Giordano Bruno Books

as S.J. Parris
Heresy (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Prophecy (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sacrilege (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Secret Dead (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Treachery (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Conspiracy (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Execution (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dead of Winter: Three Giordano Bruno Novellas (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Alchemy (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Secret Dead is a prequel.

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Devil Within (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

Stephanie Jane Merritt is an accomplished feature writer and an English critic who has contributed to numerous publications such as the Daily Telegraph, The Times, New Humanist and The New Statesman. She worked from 1998 to 2005 as the Observer’s deputy Literary Editor. Currently, she works for two of the leading publication the Guardian and the Observer. Merritt is an English graduate from Queens College. Her very first novel, Gaveston, scooped the Betty Task Award in the year 2002 from the Society of Authors. Merritt’s second novel was released later on and it was about a struggling playwright. After releasing the book, it was announced that the book was going to be adopted into a movie and she was commissioned to write the screen play for the movie.

In the year 2000, her first novel in the series of historical thrillers which featured Giordano Bruno was published. This book was written under her pseudonym name S.J Parris. It was followed later on by Prophecy in the year 2002 and Sacrilege in the year 2012. The forth book in the series was released on 27th February 2014. Stephanie has also written a memoir, titled The Devil Within which was published in 2008 by Vermilion. The devil within was shortlisted for the Mind Book Award which talks about the experiences and her fight with depression.

On several occasion Stephanie Merritt has appeared on BBC Radio and has also served as a judge for the Costa Biography Awards. She is also a regular author and interviewer at several literary festivals. In the year 2007 and 2008, Stephanie Merritt curated debates and talks program on various issues in contemporary politics and arts.


Conspiracy is the fifth instalment in the Giordano series. The book begins as Giordano arrives in Paris only to find the city on the brink of a major catastrophe. King Henry III is afraid that a coup may be executed on his fanatical catholic league by the Duke of Guise. He also fears that the Duke may also plan a massacre on the streets. When Giordano’s enemy Father Paul Lefevre is found dead, Bruno finds himself in a complex web of court intrigue and dangerous politics. Watching over Giordano’s soldier is the King’s mother. Upon conducting further investigation, Bruno finds himself trailing a killer who from the look of things is protecting a deeply hidden secret. With the royal houses of France and England under threat, Bruno is expected to solve this mystery.

As it is with many historical mysteries, a majority of the characters are not usually what they purport to be to other characters or to the reader in general. In this series, Parris wanders around the streets of Paris from the churches to the Louvres and finally makes a stop at the dungeon. Th conspiracy is an exceedingly great read to add to your reading list.


The prophecy is the fourth book in the Giordano series. It is not only an entertaining story but also a story that has been brilliantly written. The characters in this book consist of Walsingham, Sidney, Mary Stewart, Dee, Kelly and Howard all of whom are somehow involved in either alchemical proto-science or Tudor politics. The storyline is not only historically accurate but also all the details in this book are spot on. In instances where the truth is unknown, the details are plausible. For many authors pulling a historical fiction is indeed a daunting task, but the author manages to pull it off. Despite the fact that this book is pretty slow at the start, it still manages to pick it off well. The novel is not only authentic but also well researched. By using history as a tool, the author is able to bring current affairs. Additionally, the portrayal of antagonism and religious intolerance has been executed perfectly.

Prophecy is indeed a great read. The atmosphere which the author has created has been well drawn while the scenes of the court are exceedingly vivid. The scheming, religious in-fighting and diplomatic rivalries have been well drawn. Once the occult symbols which were curved into the bodies of the victims were introduced into the novel, the storyline became quite complex. With that said, Bruno is an exceedingly interesting and attractive character.


Sacrilege is the third book in this series and once you read this book, you will notice that the series gets better as it develops. At the beginning of this book, Bruno reunites with a former love of his who is currently on the run. She manages to convince Bruno to take her back to the Canterbury, the scene where the crime occurred so that Bruno could be able to investigate, the scene where the crime occurred and also prove her innocence. Bruno asks the permission of his employer, The Queen’s Spymaster, Francis suddenly wants to send his top soldier to Canterbury after he suspects that a group of Catholic sympathizers were planning to overthrow the queen. Thus the main character, sets off once again to his adventures.

While investigating the death of his friend’s husband, Bruno starts to search for the bones of one Thomas, which are believed to be have been relocated to a safe haven during the suspension. Additionally, he also has a close encounter with an elusive manuscript by one Hermes Trismegitus, something which Bruno and many other people are exceedingly keen to lay their hands on. SJ Parris has managed to create a believable and extremely loveable character. Just as in the two previous books, the book’s storyline is filled with intrigue, action, betrayal and scheming. The storyline’s pace is not only fast but is also gripping with a cliff-hanger at the very end of each chapter.


When compared with all her other books, the tone used in this series is a little bit lighter. The historical details have been well researched, thus you will unquestionably enjoy these books. All in all, all the characters in all the books in the Giordano series have been well portrayed. The author’s style of writing is pretty unique and captivating at the same time. This series is indeed a great read for any person who loves historic murders.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Stephanie Merritt

2 Responses to “Stephanie Merritt”

  1. Jean Whitehead: 2 years ago

    Are there any more books to come in the Bruno series. We’re reading them in book club and we felt at least one more book was needed.

    • Graeme: 2 years ago

      I didn’t see any announcements about upcoming books but it IS a popular series, so hopefully 🙂


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