James Patterson

The Thomas Berryman Number

originally published:
Boston : Little, Brown

We offered this copy of the first edition in 2004.


  • First Book(1976)
  • Edgar Award for Best First Mystery(1977)

reference info

bio notes:
born: 3/22/1947
born as: James Brendan Patterson

Best-selling novelist James Patterson is the former chair of the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency. After writing five novels with modest sales, including the Edgar Allan Poe Award-winning The Thomas Berryman Number, Patterson found overnight success with Along Came a Spider, the first in what has become known as the "nursery rhyme adventures" It introduced Alex Cross, an African-American police psychologist who figures into several of Patterson's thrillers. Cross, wrote Cynthia Sanz in People, "is known for his obsessive investigations and his ability to get inside the minds of the most deranged killers." Patterson explained to Bernard and Zaleski why a white author chose a black lead character for his mysteries: "It struck me that a black male who does the things that Alex does--who succeeds in a couple of ways, tries to bring up his kids in a good way, who tries to continue to live in his neighborhood and who has enormous problems with evil in the world--he's a hero."- from Contemporary Authors Online