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.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

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.


  1. Bill - That sounds like a great bookshop! Thanks for sharing your experience. Oddly enough, my post for today (should be going up at about noon Pacific time) is closely related...

  2. Margot: I read your post. It seems more than coincidence that we each wrote about bookstores today without communicating our respective intentions. I hope you can get to Minneapolis sometime and visit Once Upon a Crime.