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William Kent Krueger Books In Order

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Publication Order of Cork O'Connor Books

Iron Lake (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Boundary Waters (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Purgatory Ridge (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blood Hollow (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mercy Falls (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Copper River (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thunder Bay (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Red Knife (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heaven's Keep (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vermilion Drift (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Northwest Angle (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Trickster's Point (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tamarack County (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Windigo Island (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Manitou Canyon (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sulfur Springs (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Desolation Mountain (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lightning Strike (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fox Creek (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Spirit Crossing (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lightning Strike is a prequel to the series.

Publication Order of Cork O'Connor Companion Books

The World of Cork O'Connor (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Devil's Bed (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ordinary Grace (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
This Tender Land (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The River We Remember (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

The William Kent Krueger Reader's Companion (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Twin Cities Noir(2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Do Us Part(2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
These Guns for Hire(2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Resort to Murder(2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Once Upon a Crime: An Anthology of Murder, Mayhem and Suspense(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crimes by Moonlight(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Writes of Spring(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Writing Murder: A Basic Guide to Writing Mystery Fiction(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
USA Noir(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bullets and Other Hurting Things: A Tribute to Bill Crider(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

William Krueger is an American author and crime writer born on November 16, 1950 in Torrington, Wyoming, born as a the third child of four children. William is well known for his Cork O’Connor series of books, which is set mainly in Minnesota, USA. Before William graduated from high school, he had lived in eleven different houses, in eight different cities and in six different states in America. In this period, he was not yet old enough to realize what was happening with his family. However later after he grew up, he realized that they used to move from one house to the other every time the rent was due, as he explains. Since he spent most of his best years in Hood River, Oregon, he always honors this place every time people want to know where he came from.


William Krueger attended Stanford University but this only lasted for one year. In the spring of 1970 as he explains, he understood the school’s administration and didn’t agree with the political issues that were emerging. The school for example, did not look into his participation in a takeover of the president’s protest which he saw as the University’s involvement, in weapons production throughout the war of Vietnam. This resulted to evaporation of his academic scholarship, forcing him to leave after his freshman year.


During his life, William Krueger has written many publications that cannot fit in this biography. However some of his latest writings include the Northwest Angle written in 2011, the Trickster’s Point in 2012, and the Tamarack County in 2013. His current work is the Windigo Island which is due August 2014. Additionally, he also have stand-alone which includes the Devil’s Bed in 2003 and the recent Ordinary Grace in 2013. A basic guide to writing Mystery Novels in 2012 is also one of his recent Non-fiction writings. Here are some descriptions of his two earlier books.

Iron Lake

Part Anishinaabe Indian, Part Irish, Corcoran “Cork” O’Connor is described in the writing as Sheriff of Aurora in Minnesota which has a population of 3,752. As a cop, he is embittered over marital breakup that has left him separated from his children and wife and also losing his job. This character (Cork) gets on, through heavy doses of nicotine, caffeine and guilt. There is no much shock to him once he is a cop on Chicago’s South Side. When a local and powerful politician is brutally murdered on the night an Indian young boy also misses, he takes on an upsetting corruption case, scandal and conspiracy.

Purgatory Ridge

In this writing, an explosion at lumber mill rips out on a calming summer morning. It kills a traditional chief in Iron Lake Ojibwe. A former sheriff of Tarmarack County, Minnesota, Cork O’Connor finds himself caught in the battle the Indian and his white cultural heritage once again. An Eco Worrior claims responsibility of the bombing but this leaves Cork unsure and this sees him take on more investigations.

Obijiwe who are saving a stand of white pines which are considered sacred from being logged, are blamed by many people in this County of Tamarack . On the other hand however, the Obijiwe blame Karl Lindstorm’s greed, who is the man owning the mill. Cork tears desperately at layers of dishonesty and begins to comprehend what could be the main prey may be people he loves the most and time is their greatest enemyand in the same time, tensions mounts.

The Real World

After William left Stanford, he had to support himself in the later years logging timber, working on construction sites and also publishing his work on few magazines. He wrote short stories and sketches for many years, but this was not until the age of 40 when he finished the manuscript of his first novel, “Iron Lake”. This novel went ahead to win the Anthony First Novel Best Award, the Barry Award for the Best First Novel, Book Award in Minnesota, and also the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award.


William married his wife by the name Diane. They then conceived their first child, a daughter by the name Seneca. In summer of 1980, they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota so that Diane could attend law school. She gave birth to their second child, Adam, when she was in the first semester of her final year and still made it to the Dean’s list. It was during this period that William began writing in earnest to develop habits that would become the basis for the writing he follows up to this day.

Flame Based Broiled Fiction

At the age of nineteen, William Krueger wanted to be like Hemingway and read everything about him. In the course of his reading, he stumbled onto a couple pieces of information that concerned Hemingway lifestyle, which he tried to incorporate into his way of being. He discovered that Hemingway must have been made of rigid stuff, which made him go back to wearing his beloved fruit of the looms. This was also the period when he learnt that Hemingway’s favorite time for writing was at first light which he gave a try and ended up liking it.

Writing Process

For several years after moving to St. Paul, they lived at the edge of a quiet neighborhood (Tangle Town). A café called the St. Clair Broiler stood few blocks away and opened its doors at 6:00 a.m. He began rising at 5:30 to start and prepare for the rest of the day. He would then head to the boiler and spend one hour writing before he would start hustling for his job that kept food on his table. Mostly, he wrote short stories, which some were published and a couple of them also earned awards. As a mystery writer with his own genre, Krueger credits Hemingway, James Lee Burke and Tony Hillerman as some his strongest influences.

Current Lifestyle

Currently William Kent Krueger is a full time writer and still has to get up at the crack of dawn. He still gives visits to the broiler where he spends a couple of hours hunched over his notebook as the sun rises over the shops across the street and the traffic starts to fill the Snelling Avenue. For him, this is still the best time of the day as he’s not only dreaming in these hours but also fulfilling the dreams.

Book Series In Order » Authors » William Kent Krueger

8 Responses to “William Kent Krueger”

  1. Anne: 2 months ago

    I love your storytelling. Just read The River We Remember after reading Jailhouse stories by former sheriff of Fillmore Co MN, Neil Haugerud. You got our S.MN right.
    Now I ask you to write about the May UMN student riot. Lessons could be learned for today. Some say it was an early spring and brought restlessness. Others say it was a out growth of a west Bank cedar housing gentrification that had promised low cost housing to those disposed, that spun into anti war protest.The mpls police just got SWAT gear. Students were tear gassed Friday leaving classes on the quad. A friend of mine watching, sitting with a camerawas hit with a Billy club on the head and bloody, was taken to be fingerprinted at the police station before getting medical care and.hospitalized.

  2. Greg A Abramson: 5 months ago

    Recently discovered your books through a friend and as Minnesota native and lived a few blocks from the Broiler on Grand Ave. Over the years have spent much time around Aurora as i have friends in the area. Currently living it western Montana, your writing keeps these memories vivid and alive. Thank you and keeo the stories coming

  3. Geri: 7 months ago

    Just started reading this author. The main character is Cork O’Connor and I started with his first book of in the series called Iron Lake. Thoroughly enjoyed it as he is a new author to me, and I will move on now to the second book in the series. A great find.

  4. SLZ: 1 year ago

    Recently purchased & read 3 novels & the Cork series, which takes place in our back yard. Hard to put down. In the couple months since buying them, 5 friends interested in the reviews we gave to them have been cleaning out our library & coming back for more.

  5. Lois Varland: 2 years ago

    My husband and I stumbled on Iron Lake a few years ago and followed the the series of Cork O’Conner’s adventures. We also have read the stand alone books and now each year wait (im)patiently for the next novel.
    They are all so good that it is difficult to chose my favorite.
    Thank you for writing these novels and as always looking forward to the next one.

  6. CJ: 3 years ago


  7. Raymond Le Gates: 3 years ago

    I am American living in Dublin Ireland. I just started your novels and enjoying them. Keep them coming.

    • Janie R. Hare: 1 month ago

      I love your books, especially the stand a long books. I enjoy the O’Conner series. I make myself read them in order. I am now reading Sulfur Springs. My question is have you ever lived in a border town? Texas to California? I believe that you are doing the Hispanic culture an unflattering disservice by insinuating that they are so taken advantage of by the oppressive whites. My experience is that the Hispanics are major contributors to every aspect of life in those towns. And to be clear a person who cannot speak Spanish has little chance being successful except in buying groceries or ordering food from a menu. But I have not finished the book.


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