Thursday, July 23, 2015

Once upon a time,

there was a bookstore in Minneapolis called Once Upon A Crime.  It is still there - a place where mystery readers flock like moths to a flame.  However, it's not clear how long it will be in existence, because owners Pat Frovarp and Gary Schulze have decided to sell it.

My kind of shop!

It was started in 1987 by Mary Trone, who sold it to Steve Stilwell in 1991.  Steve ran this little gem until Gary and Pat bought it from him in 2002.  Now, thirteen years later, Pat and Gary are finding it too much for them - Pat claims she's too old, and Gary hasn't been well.

So they are looking for a buyer.

It's very hard to imagine Minneapolis without Once Upon A Crime, so go to your Contact lists and rustle up a buyer or two.


Pat and Gary with Kristi Belcamino

Before buying Once upon A Crime, Pat had left Park River, North Dakota, at a tender age, and had worked at various law firms and at a Psychiatic Hospital on the West Coast.  Gary hails from Glastonbury, Connecticut, and is a musician at heart - a tuba player with two Masters degrees in music! - and. amongst other things, has worked as a piano technician.  On the personal front, Pat and Gary have been together for the last fifteen years.

Many of the contributors to Murder is Everywhere have had events at Once Upon A Crime.  Michael and I have launched all our books there.  It is just plain wonderful to see a crowd walking down the steps to the basement store and to have people jammed between shelves of mysteries welcoming a new one.  Launching at Once Upon A Crime is very special.

Cara with Kent Krueger

Rapt audience

Once Upon A Crime

Go Lisa!

Pat and Gary with Kristi Belcamino

Even old MIE members are represented!

Félicitations, Cara

The other Michael Sears

Our founder, Leighton Gage

New hard covers

Go Zoë; go Charlie 
In the back room

A very desirable First Edition

Books in the back room

The contribution Pat and Gary have made to the mystery scene was recognised in 2011, when they won the Mystery Writers of America's Raven Award.

Kent Kruger (with his Edgar); Pat and Gary (with their Raven)
We love you, Pat and Gary!  And Shamus.  Thanks for all you've done for mystery and thriller writers from all over the world.  And for readers, some of whom travel great distances just to shop with you.

Shamus - a Once Upon A Crime fixture

Whatever happens to the store, you will remain in our hearts.

Stan - Thursday


  1. Stan, oh, how I hope OUAC finds caring new owners. News around the industry says that Indy bookstores are opening at rate not seen in decades. Minneapolis is one of the top ten book-buying markets in the US. These facts give me hope that it will go on.

  2. It's hard to imagine launching our books anywhere else. It would be almost like a sham somehow...

  3. Next time I go to the Big City I'll have to stop in there. It's only about twelve blocks from where I used to live long ago.

  4. What a great place, the sort of shop I would disappear into
    and have to be dragged out.

  5. What a great place, the sort of shop I would disappear into
    and have to be dragged out.

  6. I loved my visits there...even in Pat and Gary always made me feel warm and cuddly all over. I'll miss them--and the dastardly mischievous locals who labeled my books in Greece.