The past week has not gone as expected. I plan to get back to reviews in the coming week but wanted to write this post and my next post about my visit today to the Sleuth of Baker Street bookstore in Toronto. With fewer mystery bookstores still in business I cherish every opportunity to visit a store dedicated to the genre I love to read and write about on this blog.
Today had an unexpected pleasure. I had not looked at the store calendar and did not know there was going to be a multiple author event at the store until I arrived this afternoon.
Three Canadian authors were involved. Melodie Campbell was there to talk about her newest book, The B-Team: The Case of the Angry First Wife. Alison Bruce was presenting her new book, Ghost Writer. Ginger Bolin’s book, Survival of the Fritters, the first in a new series was the third book. She was unable to attend because of the flu.
Hamilton based mystery reviewer and former university dean, Don Graves, read his reviews of The B Team and Ghost Writer. He greatly enjoyed each of the books. He spent several years writing reviews for the Hamilton Spectator and now writes reviews for the Bay Observer.
He had an anecdote about Sleuth. When he was a university dean in downtown Toronto he would often, sometimes even twice a week, slip away from the campus on a dean’s hour break to visit Sleuth and usually buy books. He has a personal collection of about 4,000 books with most of them being crime fiction and most of those purchased at Sleuth.
Don has an 8 year old grandson who has become entranced by Sherlock Holmes and is devouring Holmes’ stories. In the relentless way of children he asked his grandfather the source of his books. When his grandfather tired of saying they came from Sleuth and said one came from another source the grandson said “and why not Sleuth?” He said he would soon be bringing his grandson to see the store.
Melodie’s book is about an eccentric group of Canadian women who band together. From the publisher’s blurb:
Del's great-aunt, Kitty, has retired from a life of crime and
embarked on a new venture, the B-Team. Although Del works
at an animal shelter by day, by night she, her great-aunt and
their cohorts, Dino and Ritz, use their criminal skills to right
Alison’s story involves the paranormal. From the author’s website:
Jen Kirby has seen ghosts since she was a teen, but she can't talk to them or help them cross over. And, after a violent death in the family, she doesn't want to see them anymore.
In her role as ghostwriter, Jen joins a Canadian Arctic expedition to document and help solve a forty-year-old mystery involving an American submarine station lost during the Cold War. The trouble is, there are people, living and dead, who don't want the story told, and they'll do anything to stop her.
She had a striking story of personal experience with ghosts as she recounted seeing her grandmother, soon after her death, at the foot of her bed trying to talk to her.
Boltons’ book is the start of a new cozy series. Kirkus Reviews states:
Since the death of her husband, Alec, Emily Westhill has kept
busy running Deputy Donut with her father-in-law, Tom
Westhill. A former police chief himself, Tom is also a
doughnut expert, and he and Emily cook up a truly dizzying
array of confections from lemon-glazed blueberry to maple-
After the formal presentation on the books there was mingling and sweets to be consumed. On Melodie’s book is the figure of a black cat. Among the treats were cat shaped and decorated cookies. I brought back to our temporary apartment a pair of the cat cookies.
I enjoyed visiting with Melodie and Alison.
Melodie is the former executive director of the Crime Writers of Canada. She was in that position when I joined the organization.
It was nice to chat with fellow aficionados of mysteries. It appears Canadians use the phrase mystery fiction more often than crime fiction. I get few chances to visit with groups of mystery fans.
With the author event and visiting completed I looked through the store for some books. As with recent visits Sleuth I restrained myself by purchasing only five books. It is hard to show restraint at Sleuth. Don left the store with two bags of books.
My next post will discuss the store and my purchases.