Deb The author tends to feature a supporting character of the first book as the main character in the next, and so on, and so on. Reading them in order gives you an introduction to a character before he or she becomes the central character in the next book.
Jennifer Andrews Reading in order is not required to understand, but I suggest you do read them in order. failing that, just read 'em. good books
Marilee Quick answer, no, you don't have to read them in order. The benefit of doing it is that you would have been introduced to some peripheral characters, relationships and back story that come up, mainly other cases and members of the Murder Squad. But French is such a good writer, she seamlessly provides just enough background in the latest narrative, that you can treat the books as though they stood alone. So, no worries about jumping around, you'll find your way. That being said, I am reading them in order because that's what I prefer. Just started #4.
Miranda I would read them in order. It gives you more insight into the character you will read about next. I love it.
Caroline Mckeown I didn't even know they were a series and only read the 5th and had no problem at all. Seems like they are a loose series as the others commented and not tightly linked.
Paul I agree. They're loosely related. Each book focuses on different detectives from the Dublin Murder Squad.
Robert Irish Having just finished "Faithful Place", I don't think so. Yes, you get introduced to the narrator in "The Likeness" but nothing more than that. You can easily get to know the narrator from the individual novel. However, I think that reading the second one without the first would be much less satisfying.
Jamie (ReadsinTrees) Dacyczyn I also had the same question. I found the 1st book at a thrift, read it, and then found the 4th book at another thrift store. Debating whether to wait until I read #'s 2 and 3....