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, March 9, 2012

Updates on Uncle Edgar’s and Once Upon a Crime Bookstores in Minneapolis

An overbooked flight home from our Florida vacation meant a day in Minneapolis. I took advantage of the opportunity to visit both of the fine mystery bookstores in Minneapolis, Uncle Edgar’s and Once Upon a Crime. With time somewhat limited I took a list of books I have been interested in because of fellow bloggers and asked staff about availability. Happily they were able to find most of my choices.

At Uncle Edgar’s they poured through their computer of new and used books finding for me:

1.) A Small Death in the Great Glen by A.D. Scott;

2.) White Nights by Ann Cleeves;

3.) Involuntary Witness by Gianrico Configliario; and,

4.) Sun Storm by Asa Larsson.

The large room remains filled with mysteries. They have an amazing selection of mysteries. If a reader also likes science fiction the front of the store has a huge selection of science fiction in Uncle Hugo’s.

At Once Upon a Crime I was ably assisted by Pat Frovarp. Her mind is her computer and she has full knowledge of the books in the store. Her recall of mysteries was very impressive.

I started by asking for the anthology Once Upon a Crime. I believe the store is unique in having a book written by authors under the name of the store. I am very interested in reading the 24 stories in the book.

In the main section of the bookstore I found:

1.) The Writing on the Wall by Gunnar Staalesen; and,

2.) Water-Blue Eyes by Domingo Villar.

Pat Frovarp directed me to their annex, a room down the hall, full of older and/or used books. In the annex I debated which Charles McCarry book I wanted to start in my reading of his Paul Christopher series. After considerable internal debate I decided upon one of the earlier books, Secret Lovers.

While a great day for finding excellent mysteries it was a bad day for the TBR pile. It is getting harder to rationalize what are actually TBR piles. The February trip has resulted in its own TBR pile. It is going to be a good spring of reading.

Any mystery lover arriving in Minneapolis should visit each store. It is easier than you might expect as the stores are but a few minutes apart by car.


  1. Bill, browsing through books, particularly in unique bookstores like the ones you visited, is as satisfying as actually buying books. I often go to new and secondhand bookshops for the mere pleasure of spending time there, even though I might not always pick up any. Thanks for writing about these bookstores as well as about the Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore earlier. I enjoyed reading about them. I have also made a note of the titles of some of the books you bought.

    Last year, in Bombay (now Mumbai), a hundred-year old secondhand bookstore closed down, leaving behind hundreds of book-orphans. The store now sells Bata shoes, instead. A case of booting out the books, I guess.

    I have been off blogging for a while owing to a personal issue. However, this morning I had occasion to go through your previous posts and I was saddened to read about "Removing Indigenous Children from their Families in Crime Fiction." If this isn't ethnic cleansing, too, then I don't know what is. Why can't people live other people alone?

  2. When you were at Uncle Hugo's didn't you even browse through the vintage section? You probably could have found a copy of almost every book I've reviewed at my blog. Well, some of the vintage paperbacks would have been gone already. ;^) Uncle Hugo's is one of the best mystery bookstores in the country if you are addicted to the out of print books and hard to find authors as I am. It has only Renaissance Books in Milwaukee and The Mysterious Book Shop as its rivals, IMO.

    Now I have to go read about the Florida used books tore. My Mom lives in northern Florida and know all the shops in that part of the state, but the one you visited is probably in southern or western Florida where everyone seems to go for vacation.

  3. Prashant: Thanks for the comment.

    Visiting bookstores is one of the pleasures of my life. Do you have a favourite bookstore for mysteries.

    I hope the personal issue was resolved well.

    On the movement of indigenous people there is another major issue on where and how the Indian people of Canada ended up on reserves. I'll wait for a mystery to enter into treaty issues for a discussion on the topic.

  4. John: Thanks for commenting. Please don't make me feel guilty for not exploring the vintage section. I was already feeling guilty by how many books I was getting in the contemporary section. I hope some day I can make it to Chicago and have you guide me to some of your favourite stores.

    While Murder on the Beach is a great store their vintage mysteries are very limited and they concentrate on new books. Delray Beach is in the southeastern shore of Florida. It would be no more than a couple hours north of Miami. Still if you are looking for a Florida mystery author it would be the bookstore.