It comes in two (closely related) variants: Adult books and youth/children's books. Norway has been blessed with a rich tradition in historical fiction books. Those aimed at younger readers are frequently in the class "children's books for adults". Kids see the exciting story; adults see the deeper cultural conflicts, the power struggles, the character developments.
So I missed another category as well: Fiction for younger readers. That is because Norwegian authors of youth/children's books (it goes for many authors in the other Nordic countries as well) takes their young audience very seriously, creating stories of truly literary value - not just historical fiction, but all sorts of stories.
Of course you have this class of books in the English speaking world as well (one prominent example: Susan Patron's 'The Higher Power of Lucky', 2007 Newbury award winner - a children's book for adults good as any!), but the percentage of books with such qualities seems to me to be much higher in Scandinavian born books for the young than in many other cultures.
Lee Child - Jack Reacher
John Sandford - Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers
Nevada Barr - Anna Pigeon US Park Ranger
Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody and family
Laurie R King - Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes
Jeffery Deaver - Lincoln Rhymes
I've tried some English authors but, man, those guys are bleak. The protagonist solves the mystery and then wallows in miasma of whatever personal demons they have. Only American author that I can compare what I mean by that is
James Lee Burke - Dave Robicheaux
I’ve given up trying to be calm. However, I am open to feeling slightly less agitated.
And I see the results are pretty stereotypical I also love crime literature but I burned out on it something like 20 years ago: there is also very little contemporary crime literature worthy of the classics - and I'm including Nero Wolfe in the classics, so it's quite a loose term.
GCS d--(d-) s-/++ a C++++ U+++ P- L+@ E-- W++ N+ o+ K- w+++ O? M-- V? PS+ PE- Y+ PGP t+ 5? X R+++ tv-- b+(+++) DI+++ D++ G e++ h--- r+++ y+++* Weapons extension: ma- k++ F+2 X
Interesting that 'History' as a separate subject heading wasn't included...it seems to be a subject (these days at least) more manipulated than studied...
"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past"
Indeed! That was the first thing I looked for. It's telling that, at a time when history is being distorted to serve radical political causes, society seems to be least interested in learning truth before it is erased. It used to be my least favorite topic in school, but now ranks among the most important of my readings.