Norwegian author Vidar Sundstøl’s Minnesota Trilogy is a trio of ice-cold thriller novels set on the north shore of Lake Superior. The first book, The Land of Dreams, centers on Lance Hansen, the grandson of Norwegian immigrants and the local Forest Service Officer, who comes across a grisly crime scene. Eirik Nyland, is a detective who is dispatched from Norway to investigate the crimes. Together with FBI agent, Bob Lecuyer, they discover the history of the Norwegian settlement of the area.
This coming-of-age fiction novel takes place in the woods of northern Minnesota, where 14-year-old Madeline lives with her parents in a counter-culture commune. But Madeline is reaching an age where she is doubting the life she has always lived and she’s desperate to learn more about what’s outside their community. So, when the Gardner family moves in across the lake, Madeline sees it as an opportunity to get the answers she wants.
Yang’s family immigrated to America and settled in St. Paul in a Hmong housing project. In addition to telling the story of her childhood and the women who held her family together, Yang also touches upon the history of the Hmong people, their traditions, culture and how their role in the Vietnam War led to thousands of Hmong refugees fleeing to Thailand for safety. Yang also narrates her own audiobook and is a great immersive experience.
Krueger’s long-time running mystery series stars Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Corcoran "Cork" O'Connor, the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota. He was removed from his position after standing between a white supremacist group and local reservation – a decision that not only cost him his job, but his family as well. The second novel, Boundary Waters, is set (you guessed it) on the north shore, but the entire series has its roots in Minnesota.
Stiefvater is most widely known for her YA series The Raven Boys, but her Wolves of Mercy Falls series is an underrated gem. Set in the fictional town of Mercy Falls (although Stiefvater has stated it would geographically be close to Ely), teenager Grace has always had one eye open after she was attacked by a wolf as a child. But throughout the years she’s noticed that one wolf in particular seems to always be watching her and protecting her from further attacks. When she finally meets said wolf, a boy named Sam, their connection is immediate and undeniable.