Here, you’ll find all Joe Pickett series in order and a synopsis. The Joe Pickett book series is a popular thriller novel series set around the antics of a Wyoming game warden, Joe Pickett.
In 2021, the series was adapted into a television show produced by Spectrum Originals and Paramount TV. It stars Michael Dorman (Patriot) as Joe and Juliana Guill (Friday the 13th) as Marybeth Pickett.
Who is Joe Pickett?
Joe Pickett is the protagonist of more than 20 novels by C. J. Box. Pickett is a Wyoming game warden and as the series progresses he deals with crazed cowboy hitmen, homicidal animal rights advocates, environmental terrorists, rogue federal land managers, and violent dysfunctional families. However, through it all, he has remained true to himself and his family.
Joe Pickett is considered the antithesis of many modern literary protagonists as he is a happily married man with a growing family of daughters. He doesn’t have an emotional past that haunts him. He is a real human that tries to work hard and someone who also screws up in some situations.
C. J. Box’s Biography
C. J. Box is an American author born in the state of Wyoming. He is the author of more than 30 novels, which include the Joe Pickett series, as well as a collection of short stories and several stand-alone novels. His novels have been translated into over 27 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide.
Joe Pickett Series in Order
Open Season is the first novel in the Joe Pickett series. It is set around the new game warden of Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where everybody hunts. When Joe finds a local hunting outfitter dead behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally.
Unpleased by the local police’s investigation, Joe starts to dig a little deeper and soon discovers that the outfitter, before dying in Joe’s backyard, had caught an endangered animal, that was once thought to be extinct. However, if the word about this once-extinct specie’s whereabouts gets out, then the state of Wyoming will lose billions of dollars.
Joe Pickett is brought in to assist in the investigation of the death of an environmental activist caused by a big explosion deep inside the forests of Twelve Sleep County, Wyoming.
While the case is quickly dismissed and described by the media as a botched environmental publicity event, Joe is unhappy and decides to uncover the truth himself. However, the truth won’t come easily to him and he will require all of his might to get to the bottom of it.
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A mysterious stranger who trains falcons and carries an unusual weapon is arrested for the murder of a forest service supervisor and a manic shooting spree that resulted in the death of an entire herd of elk.
This series of events leads to a bloody confrontation between a group of anti-government survivalists and the special investigative team.
One of the survivalists happens to be April’s (Joe and Marybeth’s adopted daughter) mother. Joe is in a fight against the clock after April is kidnapped and held in the rocky snow-covered mountains of Saddlestring.
Joe Pickett stumbles across the mutilated body of a moose while fly-fishing with his two daughters. Days later, he again discovers the mutilated carcass of a small herd of cattle.
Joe soon starts to think that something sinister is afoot. However, when the local authorities label the attacks as the work of a grizzly bear, Joe believes otherwise and starts to wonder whether the animals were only practiced for a ruthless killer.
His suspicions are soon confirmed when the bodies of two men with similar injuries as the animals are discovered.
After a good friend and fellow warden kill himself, Joe Pickett is chosen as his temporary replacement. However, the landscape of Jackson, Wyoming is far more treacherous than his home turf.
It is finally spring and Joe Pickett is happy that the long harsh winter is behind him. However, when Opal Scarlett, a local ranch owner disappears under suspicious circumstances, her two sons start a battle for control of their mother’s multi-million-dollar empire, threatening to tear the whole town apart. On the other hand, Joe is determined that one of the sons killed his mother and now must find the truth.
Joe Pickett is hired to investigate one of the most cold-blooded mass killings in Wyoming history. However, the murder has been committed in the backcountry corner of Yellowstone National Park in a remote stretch where a man can literally get away with murder.
Joe Pickett is tasked with hunting down the murderer of a man who is hanged up, gutted, and flayed as if he were an elk. Is this the work of a psychopath with a personal vendetta or a crazed anti-hunting activist?
Six years after Joe Pickett’s foster daughter April was murdered, someone starts leaving phone messages claiming to be her. He soon discovers that all of these messages have been placed from different locations where serious environmental crimes have occurred.
Joe Pickett’s conscious will not let him leave his position as the temporary game warden of the mountain town of Baggs, Wyoming before checking out the strange reports of camp lootings, tent slashing, and elk butchering.
11) Cold Wind (2011)
Joe Pickett must conduct a secret investigation into the murder of Earl Alden because he believes that his mother-in-law, who is accused of killing Alden, has been wrongfully accused.
In 1995, Nate Romanowski witnesses his high-ranking government official commander committing a horrible crime. Now, in the present day, John Nemecek is determined to eliminate anyone who knows about the horrible crime and find Nate who is hidden in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains.
Butch Robertson, a long-time acquaintance of Joe Pickett, claims to go into the mountains to hunt elf when in actuality he is going on the run after two EPA employees are murdered and investigators believe that Butch is the perpetrator. Joe Pickett believes that something far more nefarious is behind this entire situation.
When a rich stranger, whose entire life is a big mystery disappears, a rumour begins spreading that the man’s accrued wealth is a result of killing people. Joe Pickett is assigned to find the truth.
Joe has a bad feeling about his 18-year-old foster daughter, April, running away with Dallas Cates, a rodeo champion. Soon, he hears the news of a young girl’s body is discovered in a ditch alongside the roadway, and its April.
Doctors aren’t sure that she’ll survive and Cates denies any involvement. On the other hand, Joe has a suspicion about who is responsible.
Nate Romanowski is confronted by a small team of elite professional special operators that are here to make a deal with him. They want Nate’s help to destroy a terror cell and in return, they promise to make Nate’s criminal record disappear. However, Joe soon discovers that they have something else in mind for Nate.
The Cate family has always been shady people. However, Joe Pickett was able to hit them back hard after his daughter’s life is threatened. But now the entire family is pursuing him and is ready to take Joe down.
Wyoming’s new governor has an extremely delicate job for Joe Pickett. A prominent British businesswoman never made it back home after staying at a high-end guest ranch. At the same time, Nate asks Joe to intervene with the feds on behalf of the falconers.
19) Wolf Pack (2019)
Joe’s daughter Lucy is dating a man whose father is in the possession of a drone that is killing wildlife. But when he tries to intervene and stop the killing, he is asked by the DOJ and FBI to stand down, making matters even more suspicious to him.
Joe Pickett departs from his district to assist in the rescue attempt of a grizzly assault victim. When one of the survivors recount their story, Joe starts to suspect that the assault isn’t how it appears. Back home, a shot was fired at a renowned judge from an inconceivable distance. And Nate Romanowski is blamed for the attack.
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21) Dark Sky (2021)
Joe Pickett is tasked with taking a tech baron on an elk hunting trip but as they enter into the wilderness, a man-hunter, who is driven by a desire for revenge, is on their heels. When Nate and Sheridan learn about the threat to Joe’s life, they follow him into the woods.
The day before Thanksgiving, Joe Pickett is called upon to investigate the brutal torcher and murder of a local fishing guide.
Joe Pickett makes discoveries regarding the case of a missing prominent University of Wyoming professor. However, when he tries to learn more about it, his investigation is obstructed by federal agents, Governor Colter Allen, and extreme environmentalists.
24) Three-Inch Teeth
A rogue grizzly bear has gone on a rampage—killing, among others, the potential fiancé of Joe’s daughter. At the same time, Dallas Cates, who Joe helped lock up years ago, is released from prison with a special list tattooed on his skin.
He wants revenge on the people who sent him away: the six people he blames for the deaths of his entire family and the loss of his reputation and property.
Using the grizzly attacks as cover, Cates sets out to methodically check off his list. The problem is, both Nate Romanowski and Joe Pickett are on it.
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Short Stories and Novellas
1) Honour & …
Honour is a short story that features Joe Pickett and Lee Coburn from Sandra Brown’s novel lethal.
2) Shots Fired: Stories From Joe Pickett Country (A Joe Pickett Novel)
Shots fired is a collection of suspense stories set it Wyoming. It includes four stories- ‘One-Car Bridge,’ ‘Shots Fired,’ ‘Pirates of Yellowstone,’ and ‘Le Sauvage Noble.’