About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Voodoo River by Robert Crais

The Alphabet in Crime Fiction meme at Mysteries in Paradise hosted by Kerrie Smith moves to the letter "V" this week. I have chosen Voodoo River by Robert Crais. I usually am not fond of mysteries that take their character far from home to deal with a mystery but Elvis Cole's trip to Louisana is a very good story.

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20. - 275.) Voodoo River by Robert Crais – Elvis Cole is asked by adopted T.V. star, Jodi Taylor, to find her birth parents in rural Louisiana. Cole meets attorney, Lucy Chenier, who advises him on how to pursue a 36 year old adoption trail. There is an immediate personal attraction that Cole is eager to advance. A surprising father to Taylor is identified whose identity has been used to blackmail both mother and daughter. The action heats up when Taylor has Cole and Joe Pike take on the blackmailers who also run illegal immigrants. The ending is clever and violent. A century old turtle, Luther, is as spine chilling a threat in interrogation as I have read. Excellent. (Apr. 23/05)

Gordon W. Dale Autobiography

Tonight's post is an autobiography of Gordon W. Dale. The post concludes four posts this week involving Gordon and his book, Fool's Republic:

I was born in Winnipeg, more or less by accident. My parents lived in a small town nearby and, as a result of complications, my mother was transferred to a maternity ward in Winnipeg for my birth. My father was a school teacher, then principal, then superintendent. My mother had been a teacher also, but was forced to retire when she married my father. In rural Manitoba in those days, it wasn’t considered appropriate for a married woman to continue teaching, and thereby occupy a job that could be held by a man.

I had a magical childhood, spent running wild in small towns, mostly in rural Manitoba. We spent two years in Malawi, in Central East Africa, after which I attended high school in a small town at the edge of the Whiteshell Provincial Park in Manitoba. We had boats and snowmobiles and I spent most of my time either in the woods or on the water. I’ll always be grateful to my father, who had a kind of wanderlust, for exposing us to so many different locations and cultures, and to my mother who was mad about all things literary.

At seventeen, I moved to Winnipeg, where I took a Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba. I worked in Aerospace for several years after that, eventually becoming an independent consultant with clients in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and across Canada. I moved to California in 2005, where I completed an M.A. from San Francisco State University. As a day job, I currently design corporate online and instructor-led training programs. In 2007, I was a finalist for the British Crimewriters Association Debut Dagger Award, and my novel, Fool’s Republic, was awarded honorable mention (general fiction category) by the 2011 San Francisco Book Festival.


Thoughts on Questions and Answers with Gordon W. Dale

I have been thinking about Gordon’s Answers to my Questions and today's post contains my thoughts. Tomorrow I conclude my quartet of posts involving Gordon W. Dale and his book, Fool's Republic, with a short autobiography. My thoughts are:


1.) With regard to the world of white prison I have been in a monochromatic environment. It would be hard not to have the mind dulled. I do expect to hear in real life of a prisoner being tormented by being put in all white prison.
I have had sensory deprivation when I had a spinal anesthetic during surgery. The bottom half of my body was no longer there. I felt I was half a body floating in nothingness.


2.) Wyley dropped out as a youth rather than turning to the violence of the SDS. Today the excesses of the War on Terror have not roused the national student upheavals that took place in the late 1960’s against the Vietnam War. As with most people Wyley is moved to action on his principles by a personal event. Rarely do we take on the forces of authority because of abstract convictions.

3.) Gordon chose not to make his hero a male immigrant of Arab descent to emphasize the risks to everyone in society. The War on Terror is indiscriminate. The reliance on computers to pick out persons considered risks adds to the fear factor. Where once we were at the mercy only of humans in authority now we are also at the mercy of machines in authority.

His reference to Bradley Manning is to the young American soldier accused of leaking confidential American information to WikiLeaks. He was held in solitary confinement for over a year and has still not had a trial.

4.) Gordon indicated his prison was not a copy of any existing prison. He did create a prison so real I had wondered if it actually existed. I hope no authorities are inspired to turn the imagined prison of white into a real prison.

5.) Gordon obviously has a wide and varied vocabulary. Wyley is certainly a puzzle to his interrogators. I am sure it has been a rare day during the War on Terror when they questioned a detainee learned in philosophy. It is intriguing to have a character befuddle those questioning him by his command of the English language.

6.) Gordon “would like to say not” on whether his novel could have been set in Canada. He is right to be careful. I equally hope not but Canada has its own history of arbitrary detention in wartime. During World War I we interned Ukrainian and German Canadians. In World War II there was the shameful confinement of Japanese Canadians. I worry what would happen to our rights and freedoms if there was a 9/11 style attack in Canada. When a few FLQ terrorists took action in Quebec in the early 1970’s the Federal Government swiftly enacted the War Measures Act.

Questions and Answers with Gordon W. Dale

This week I have a series of posts involing  Fool's Republic. Today's post is a set of Questions and Answers with author, Gordon W. Dale, with regard to his thriller. Yesterday's post was a review of the book. Tomorrow I will be posting my thoughts on Gordon's Answers. I will conclude on Friday with an autobiography of Gordon.

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1.) Have you experienced a closed world of white comparable to the prison of white in which you placed Wyley?

The closest thing to the white world of Wyley's prison that I have personally experienced—and it's a common experience—is being a patient in a hospital operating room. It gives the same feeling of powerlessness and, of course, you’re bathed in bright light and subjected to forces beyond your control.

When I started writing Fool’s Republic, I knew it was likely that Wyley would be subjected to some sort of sensory deprivation. The choice was to place him in either an unlit room, like a dungeon, or a room of white light. Of the two, I find the idea of unrelenting white light far more sinister.

I started with the first line: “I float in an eight-by-eight cell of the purest clinical white: white walls, white sheets, white toilet, white sink, white light.”, and then wrote the character into existence, figuring out who he was and what was happening to him as I went along. I think this sense of discovery is transferred directly to the reader. Many readers have told me they sped through the book in a couple of days; some have read it in a single sitting, staying up all night to do so. And reviews of the book commonly talk about how gripping it is.

2.) In creating Wyley were you thinking of the privileged children at the core of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) who adopted violent protest against the American establishment a generation ago during the Vietnam War?

That’s an interesting question. While there are similarities between the way Wyley felt about society when young and what the students who comprised the SDC probably believed, Wyley didn't take direct action. Instead he dropped out. It wasn't until he was quite a bit older, and a tragedy he blamed on the government befell him personally, that he decided he had to do something concrete. Up to that point he just wanted to be left alone.

3.) Why was Wyley a middle aged white man when the War on Terror has concentrated on young Arabic men who are often immigrants?

While it's true that there has been a focus on male immigrants of Arab descent, particularly by the media, I believe the war on terror has been a war on all of us. We all live in a world where our freedom has been compromised in the name of security. What happens to Wyley could happen to any of us, regardless of race or background. Bradley Manning is a current example of that. That was one of the points I hoped to make.

4.) A couple of years ago I read The Torture Team by Phillipe Sands. Your book reminded me of his descriptions of the environment and interrogations at Guantanamo. Was America’s Cuban prison an inspiration for the book?

I'm pleased the prison seemed authentic to you, because I felt that whatever happened to Wyley had to be believable. However, while the novel is certainly informed by Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, Fool’s Republic is not a piece of reportage. The institution in which Wyley finds himself is not modeled on any particular prison—mostly because I didn't want to get caught up in trying to reproduce each institutional detail with complete accuracy. Wyley is held in a prison that might be. I was looking for a context in which I could explore the uses of, and resistance to, authority.

5.) As a lawyer and a reader I am interested in words. Your book with words such as “aleatory” and “teleological: and “deontology” has more unfamiliar words than any recent work of fiction I have read. Are these words part of your vocabulary or did you seek them out for Fool’s Republic?

Certainly I seldom use “aleatory” and “deontology” in everyday conversation, although they are words I'm familiar with. I've read a considerable amount of philosophy over the years and as Fools Republic is written from the point of view of a character with an interest in that field, I chose words I felt were appropriate to the way he would think about and describe situations. He uses words as a defense, as a way to distance himself from the people around him, particularly people in authority. In that regard, his use of language is an important facet of his character.

6.) Could the book have been set in Canada?

Being born in Canada, I would like to say not. I still find Canada to be a kinder and gentler place in most respects. Mind you, it would have been inconceivable to set Fool’s Republic in the United States of a generation ago, so I suppose it doesn't do to become complacent.

Fool’s Republic by Gordon W. Dale

Today I start a series of four posts involving Fool's Republic and its author, Gordon W. Dale. Today is a review of the book which was provided to me by Caitlin Hamilton of Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity, LLC. Tomorrow will be a post of Questions and Answers with Gordon. On Thursday I will post my thoughts on the Answers. Friday will be Gordon's autobiography.

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26. – 585.) Fool’s Republic by Gordon W. Dale – I associate prisons with grey or institutional green. Drab, even dreary, the prisons I have visited feature dull colours. In contrast, Simon Wyley is imprisoned in a world of white. From walls to ceiling to floor to clothes to light 24 hours a day he is enveloped by white. The prison of white is just as sterile and dehumanizing as the conventional prison of grey.
            Wyley has been cast into one of America’s new secret prisons where those persons, the authorities fear threaten her security, are held captive without rights.
            The book gradually unfolds Wyley’s difficult life as he faces varied forms of interrogation. Born with a restless rebellious nature he mocks the conventional and the blue collar working representatives of the establishment. Wyley does not appear to recognize his youthful elitism and hypocrisy relying on the generosity of his mother.
            His resistance to his examiners is clever as he draws upon a lifetime of intellectual exploration. I was challenged to think about how I would fare facing interrogators determined to gain answers by any means.
            Viktor Frankl, in Man’s Search for Meaning, spoke of hope sustaining those who survived the Nazi concentration camps. To lose faith in the future was to lose life. Most comfortable alone, Wyley copes better with his solitary confinement than more social people.
            Has America become a land so fixated on homeland security that the cherished rights and freedoms that have sustained her citizens for over two centuries are abandoned? Dale offers a chilling assessment of 21st Century America.
            Recently I was in Germany where I spoke with a German lawyer about the Nazi takeover of his country. The Rule of Law was thrown aside when the Nazis perverted the German judicial system. He expressed unease over the development of secret courts in the United States. I stated it was America’s public courts that restrained the legal excesses of the internal War on Terror. He remained concerned for America’s future when confidential charges and proceedings become part of the judicial system.
            What should the process be for dealing with those alleged to have threatened a nation’s security? In Canada we have watched how our security service not so tacitly provided information to the United States that sent an innocent Canadian citizen, Meir Arar, to Syria where he was tortured and abused. We have also had a mainly public trial in Ontario where several Muslim men were convicted of planning to commit violent terrorist acts.
            While I admire Wyley’s fortitude he is a challenge to like as he is so wrapped up in himself. There is only one unreserved relationship in his life. Dale has created a real hero afflicted with real flaws.
            The ending was brilliant and unexpected. It is the rarest of thrillers, a reflective work, neither dependent on gun nor bomb to create suspense. I will be thinking about Wyley and “the land of the free”. It is an excellent book. (May 19/11)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"U" is for Arthur Upfield

The end of the alphabet is approaching on the Alphabet in Crime meme hosted by Kerrie Smith at her blog, Mysteries in Paradise. I am going to Australia for “U” is for Arthur Upfield.

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I had never heard of Arthur Upfield until I was looking in Australian bookstores last year for Australian mysteries and came across Cake in the Hat Box in Tasmania. (I was not yet a blogger at that time. If only I had started blogging a year ago I would have been able to find Australian mysteries easily with the aid of Kerrie and Bernadette.)


(I note many photos of Upfield including those on his books, as with the photo to the right, feature him smoking a cigarette. In our era condemning smoking I have not seen an author photo in many years featuring a cigarette.)

Upfield (1 September 1890 – 13 February 1964) spent his adult life in Australia. The Unofficial Arthur W. Upfield homepage http://homepage.mac.com/klock/upfield/upfield.html) states his father sent him from England “so he could make something of himself.”
 
Kees de Hoog at http://www.collectinghttp://www.collectingbooksandmagazines.com/upfield.htmlbooksandmagazines.com/upfield.html said about the young Upfield:

“Upfield was born into a family of drapers on 1 September 1890 in Gosport on Portsmouth Bay, Hampshire, England. An avid reader of boys' adventure magazines that were popular at the time, he did not do well at school. Apprenticed aged 16 to a real estate agent and surveyor, he was more interested in writing novels and other, more daring, escapades. He once claimed his father sent him to Australia in despair, saying: “It is so far away that you will never save enough money to return", but it is more likely he wanted to go.”

The Unofficial Homepage further states:

“Upfield took immediately to Australia and adopted it as his homeland. He travelled throughout the country and tried his hand at many trades, including kitchen assistant in an urban hotel, boundary rider, station hand, and station cook.”

It describes his early writing locations as:

“His first novel was written while working as a station outpost cook along the Darling River. He wrote others from a drop-leaf desk attached to the side of the camel-drawn drey in which he later patrolled the world's longest fence.”

It is far removed from the computers on which we write in the 21st Century.

Over 33 years (1929-1962) Upfield wrote 29 mysteries featuring Napoleon “Boney” Bonaparte, a part aborigine police inspector. Kees de Hoog, referred to above, wrote a biography of Upfield. He further indicated Upfield “spent several months each year wandering around the outback until poor health prevented it”.

At the official website, http://arthurupfield.com/main/page_home.html, there is a biography of Upfield in a doctoral thesis by Travis B. Lindsey. In the thesis Lindsey discusses how Upfield wrote:

“Generally speaking, it took Arthur about seven months to complete a book. On a board he would paste paper listing the characters and outlining the plot, but initially he would have only a hazy idea of the ending. Typing away with two fingers and ignoring spelling – to look up words in a dictionary meant for him a break in this thought pattern – he would complete the first draft. This would be put in a drawer for a month. The manuscript would then be closely read for ‘impressions, timings and what-not’ before the rewrite commenced. This period was critical, as Arthur pointed out:

My greatest problem then is to keep friends and others at bay, because interruption will snap the thread, when I have to struggle and flounder about repairing it. All I ask is five hours – from one o’clock to six – every day for from five to six weeks. And that seems impossible to secure, despite my Jessica’s cooperation.

When a major work was completed Upfield would try to avoid the typewriter for two or three months, but always letters had to be answered.”

I have read Cake in a Hat Box and the Widows of Broome. (Click on the titles for links to my reviews.) I enjoyed both of them. Boney is an interesting character. I found a couple more I will be reading and expect to continue looking for Boney books.

De Hoog provides a provocative paragraph on Upfield’s position in the Australian literary world when Upfield was writing:

“Upfield is now recognised as the first Australian writer of mystery stories. But his books were never critically acclaimed here during his lifetime, despite their popularity in the UK and the US where the mystery novel had become an established form of literature. His response was to write An Author Bites the Dust, published in 1948, an attack on the Australian literary establishment.”

The official website advises the Boney television series is being re-mastered and the episodes will be issued as DVDs.

I do not know how accurate the books are in their portrayal of Australia from the 1930’s into the 1960’s. They are vivid.

2011 Arthur Ellis Award winners

The Crime Writers of Canada announced the 2011 Arthur Ellis Awards in Victoria, British Columbia last Thursday.

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny was the Best Novel of the Year. It was not a surprise winner. It is a remarkable mystery. (Click here Bury Your Dead for my review.) Its success is vaulting Penny into the international elite of mystery writers. It has also won the Agatha Award for Best Mystery in the U.S. and was chosen as American Library Association as the Best Mystery of 2010. It is on the shortlist of the Anthony and Barry Awards.

Also winning Arthur Ellis Awards were:

1.) Best First Novel – The Debba by Avner Mandleman
2.) Best Juvenile or Young Adult Book – The Worst Thing She Ever Did by Alice Kuipers
3.) Best Non-Fiction – On the Farm by Stevie Cameron on serial killer Robert Pickton
4.) Best Short Story - So Much in Common by Mary Jane Maffini
5.) Best Novel published in French – Dans le quartier des agitĂ©s
6.) Best Unpublished First Crime Novel - Better Off Dead by John Jeneroux

Nancy Grant and Lou Allin were awarded the Derrick Murdoch Award for their special contributions to the crime or mystery genre.

The Bloody White Baron by James Palmer

25. – 584.) The Bloody White Baron by James Palmer – While in Dusseldorf a few weeks ago I bought this book in the city’s largest bookstore. I had never heard of Freiherr Roman Nikolai Maximilian von Ungern-Sternberg, an Estonian Baron of German descent, who grew up at the end of the 19th Century during the Russian Empire’s decline.
            At best mentally unstable Ungern was bound for a short dissolute life when war, starting with the Russo-Japanese war, provided opportunities for him to indulge his violent nature. Brave, to the point of suicidal, he thrived during WW I.
            Vicious, swift to take offence at any perceived slight, racist, and committed to a feudal society he read extensively and was a talented linguist learning languages easily and quickly. Personally ascetic Ungern was indifferent to sex. I was reminded of another ascetic, brutal German dictator who was essentially asexual – Hitler.
            Fascinated by Mongolia he spent time stationed in a land barely touched by modern civilization at the start of the 20th Century. Russia, China and Japan all sought to at least be the dominant influence in Mongolia.
            When Russia’s revolutions ended with the Reds in charge he became an officer in the White armies of Siberia. Only barely tolerating the authority of the White army leaders he developed his own force.
            Ungern’s concept of discipline was extreme. He used flogging, really flaying, beatings, leaving men outside in freezing temperatures and requiring others to sit atop a tree during the night. These sadistic treatments were administered almost at whim.
            While never clear on his actual beliefs Ungern was influenced by the mystical traditions of the Orthodox Church and Mongolian Buddhism. I had not known there was a close connection between Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhism. Neither favoured the pacifist Buddhism of the 21st Century Western World. They were militaristic, often blood thirsty, Buddhists. Within their faith were living gods. The best known at this time being the Dalai Lama.
            Ungern, already a semi-mythic figure, as he begins his successful quest to conqueror Mongolia is called by many the “God of War”. (In his usual balanced approach Palmer makes clear the phrase may have been misinterpreted but Ungern was certainly an exalted figure.)
            A dedicated anti-Semite, Ungern, initiated and encouraged the massacre of the Jews of Urga when he took the city. In a chilling foretaste of the future he rode under banners that included swastikas and killed all Jews so that “neither men, nor women, nor their seed should remain”.
            Ungern’s reign was short lived. His cruelty, lack of organization and impulsiveness doomed him.
            Ungern was an amazing character. Palmer has written an excellent biography. He effectively evokes Ungern and explains the circumstances that allowed this adventurer to take Mongolia. (May 17/11)

“T” is for Scott Turow

The community meme, the Alphabet in Crime Fiction, hosted by Kerrie on her blog, Mysteries in Paradise, is getting toward the end of the alphabet with the letter "T". My post for "T" is about the author, Scott Turow.

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Turow was one of the first practising lawyer authors I read who wrote excellent legal mysteries. Since reading Presumed Innocent I have read several of his books.

He has a talent of creating complex fictional lawyers. They are both interesting as people and as lawyers. His most famous character, Rusty Sabich, is a flawed man especially with regard to his marriage. At the same time he is a principled judge seeking justice in his decisions.

Sandy Stern, the defence counsel for Sabich, is a clever subtle lawyer. He speaks eloquently, prepares extensively for court and remains objective about the fallibilities of clients.

As in real life Turow’s trials never actually proceed exactly as carefully planned. The twists confronting his lawyers are often striking but always credible. The need for a trial lawyer to react instantly to an unexpected answer or to change direction because of a ruling by the judge or to revise a position when a witness does not give expected evidence all happen in the courtroom.

His legal mysteries are set in Kindle County, a lot like Chicago where he was born and has spent his legal career.

I like Turow’s legal mysteries best. I did not find his book on the wartime, Ordinary Heroes, was not of the same calibre.

I expect I am somewhat biased as Turow is from my legal generation. He started law school in 1975 which was the year I graduated.

His non-fiction book, One L, about his first year in Harvard Law School, is the best known work on the experience of first year law. I regret to admit that I have not read the book so I cannot directly compare his first year at Harvard with my first year at the University of Saskatchewan.

Turow must be a remarkably disciplined man. He has practised law for 30 years mainly in white collar criminal defence while writing wonderful legal mysteries.

I read his latest legal mystery, Innocent, earlier this year. (Click on the title if you would like a link to the review.) It is a superb mature legal mystery.

Turow has a personal website which is http://www.scottturow.com/. Here is a link to a video of Turow talking with Michael Enright of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on Innocent, in Toronto last year - http://wn.com/Scott_Turow_with_Michael_Enright__Part_2__Toronto_Reference_Library

He is justly recognized as a master of the legal mystery.

Snow Angels by James Thompson

24. – 583.) Snow Angels by James Thompson – Where the Canadian winter in Louise Penny’s Bury Your Dead is bright and cheery Thompson’s Finnish winter above the Arctic Circle is dark and grim. It is the time of kaamos when the sun disappears totally for two weeks. Even the permanent residents of Lapland struggle with depression.
            As Christmas nears Inspector Kari Vaara is looking forward to the holiday season with his lovely pregnant wife, Kate. Happy holidays are banished when he is called to a reindeer farm where the body of a beautiful Somali immigrant, Sufia Elmi, has been found in the snow. In her death throes she has thrashed about creating a snow angel.
            It is gruesome and cruel death described in great detail at the scene and at the autopsy. I understand some mysteries effectively avoid the brutality of death by providing no detail.  While appreciating the Thompson’s skill at graphic depiction I found the detailed gore excessive. It was distracting rather than powerful.
            For Vaara, living in his hometown, it is the case of a lifetime. The glare of modern media will focus upon Vaara. Is the rural northern inspector up to the challenge of such a high profile case?
            Vaara is aided in the investigation by Valtteri, an experienced police officer who is also a Laestadian (an austere and demanding Lutheranism). The police department is so small that Vaara carries his own forensic kit to crime scenes.
            With the death occurring in the tiny village in which Vaara grew up we are introduced to Vaara’s family and neighbours. They are a most eclectic group. Thompson’s imagination was working overtime in their creation.
            When a murder is particularly vicious in real life or fiction the residents of the area expect the killer must have come to their town as who among friends, neighbours and families could be a monster.
            Vaara is an intelligent investigator who logically follows the strands of information to a horrible truth.
            I enjoyed the book and will read the next in the series. I am not sure if I will continue if the detail on death is as extensive. I find myself reluctant to read Giles Blunt for the same reason. I find it hard to enjoy books which I know will contain extended descriptions of violence. (May 11/11)

Once Upon a Crime Bookstore


Once Upon a Crime Bookstore in Minneapolis is a wonderful little store tucked into the above ground basement of an apartment building in downtown Minneapolis. Charming may not be the goal of the store but it is a very inviting place. Each time Sharon and I visit Minneapolis I make sure to go to the Once Upon a Crime and Uncle Edgar’s bookstores.
            On our last visit a few years ago I spent a happy time during the afternoon looking through the shelves of new mysteries and occasionally discussing the options with the owners, Pat Frovarp and Gary Shulze.
            The best retailers make new customers feel comfortable. We were at home in Once Upon a Crime within minutes of our arrival.
            Asking about a local author one of their recommendations was David Housewright. I bought Tin City. It was a good recommendation.
            While talking to the owners they mentioned there was an author event that night with Max Allan Collins who also writes under other names such as Patrick Culhane. It was like a family atmosphere that evening listening to Max, talking to him about writing and chatting with everyone present.
            Looking for a place to eat after supper it was suggested we try the hot dogs at a sports bar around the corner. I believe it is the Bulldog Restaurant. We followed the recommendation and had a good time. It was the first (and only time to date) that Sharon had a Stinky Dog – garlic and blue cheese made a powerful combination.
            Once Upon a Crime is the sole bookstore I know with an anthology of crime stories written in the name of the store when Gary was battling leukemia. Their website sets out that it “is a group of stories collected and presented as a tribute to Pat Frovarp and Gary Shulze of Once Upon a Crime Bookstore in Minneapolis and booksellers & librarians everywhere”. The profits go to the Memorial Blood Bank.
            This year the store was awarded the Raven Award by the Mystery Writers of America for “outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing”.
            They have an excellent website located at http://www.onceuponacrimebooks.com/
            I hope to be back in Minneapolis in the near future and will certainly be going again to Once Upon a Crime.