Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
William Kent Krueger

Photo http://www.williamkentkrueger.com/

Biography
Before he graduated from high school Krueger had already lived in six different states and, though he was born in Wyoming in 1950, he usually lists Oregon as his birth place.  He went to Stanford for one year but because of his anti-Vietnam War protests and his participation in a takeover of the president’s office, the University cancelled his academic scholarship and he left.  He and his wife eventually settled in St. Paul, Minnesota where he still lives.  When he first began writing in Minnesota he would get up early, and go to a nearby café called the St. Clair Broiler and write for an hour or so before going off to his day job.  Though he now writes fulltime, he still starts his day at the Broiler writing in longhand in a spiral notebook. He calls it the best time of every day and it’s when his creative juices start flowing.

What he writes: Krueger writes a series featuring Cork O’Connor, a former Chicago cop, part Irish, part Indian, who moves to Northern Minnesota, is elected sheriff, loses his job, runs a fast-food restaurant, and can’t keep his hand out of the mix when there’s trouble in the community.  During the course of the series Cork and his ex-wife Jo try to work through their differences and do ultimately reunite.  His work has a very strong sense of place and he says that "place comes first, then the characters who live in that place and finally the story they live."

 

List of works
 
Cork O'Connor Series
  Iron Lake (1998) Blood Hollow (2004)
  Boundary Waters (1999) Mercy Falls (2005)
  Purgatory Ridge (2001)  
     
Standalone Thriller
  The Devil's Bed (2003)
   

Awards

Anthony and Barry Awards for Best First Novel, Minnesota Book Award, and Loft-McKnight Fiction Award for Iron Lake; Minnesota Book Award, Dilys Award, and Northeast Minnesota Book Award for Purgatory Ridge; Anthony Best Novel Award for Blood Hollow.

 
What the critics say
“Krueger’s writing is infused with his sheer enjoyment of the act, with the magic of imagination.” — Lynn Kaczmerek, Mystery News
“Cork remains a sprightly, intriguing hero in a world of wolves, portages, heavy weather, and worrisome humans...” — Kirkus Reviews

 

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