Last Saturday was the Once Upon a Crime Write of Spring event in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A fantastic turnout. The kind of thing where you open the door to a wall of heat and bodies and have to slide sideways (scuse me, scuse me) to get from point A to point B. This was the fifth Write of Spring, and I think it was the best yet.

Once Upon a Crime probably ranks top ten in the nation as far as independent bookstores go. It’s been around for twenty years. Five years ago Pat and Gary bought it from well-known book curmudgeon Steve Stillwell. Pat has this whiskey voice that could belong to the coolest noir dame. Gary has the unique talent for zeroing in on your reading tastes, then putting a book in your hand by an author you’ve never heard of who quickly becomes your favorite.

About a year and a half ago Gary was diagnosed with leukemia. Things were going well and he looked good at the last Write of Spring, but this fall the cancer returned. I was thrilled to see Gary at the event last Saturday, and even more thrilled to hear that a recent biopsy was clean and that they found a bone marrow donor – Gary’s brother. The transplant will be taking place in about five weeks. I know a lot of people in the writing and reading community have been worried about Gary and have wondered how he’s doing, so I’m glad to pass along some positive news about this much-loved guy.

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jon, yes, be sure to stop. it's not hard to find, although the one-way street can be a bit annoying. if you're hungry, you can eat at french meadow bakery or just around the corner from Once Upon a Crime is a bar called the Bulldog. It has good food. Right ON the corner is Tree House -- they carry a great selection of vinyl albums. i guess i'm saying there's a lot to do in one spot!
it does feel like home. and it was great seeing you last weekend!
ooh, carl. great photos! i love the one of pat, and also the one of i think it must be sean chercover crouched in the stacks. nice seeing you last week! and i love your avatar.
This is very good news and it's a great bookstore. As an introverted loner, I'm forced to miss events like you described. I read about them, long to attend but know I'd be miserable if I did. Still, I'm glad the turnout was good. Minnesota is blessed with generous, friendly writers (and some introverted loner writers).
aw, mary, i wish you'd come. but i totally understand. it WAS overwhelming. it helped that the weather was so beautiful and we could step outside and hang out.
Start by attending some signings. You don't have to say a word, just listen to your fav author talk. You would be amazed at how warm and welcoming the place is.
Thanks for the update on Gary! I've been thinking about them a lot, but didn't make to the Write this year. They are such wonderful people, and what a thing to go through. I'm so glad about the biopsy and the fact that he has a match.

If any of you have the slightest excuse to travel to Minnesota, give in to the impulse. Then make sure you stop at Once Upon a Crime and Uncle Edgar's, too. What a high class city to have two independent crime fiction bookstores.
barbara, nice to see you here. and yes, uncle edgar's too!
Pat and Gary are a perfect example of what I love about this community. Forget all the spamming. If you get Pat and Gary on your side loving your book they will sell a lot more copies of your book than emails will.

Independant stores are the best place to break out mystery authors, especially people starting out. They all hand sell and spread the word. That's why touring is important. Not to meet readers, it's to meet people like Pat and Gary at Once Upon a Crime.

Independant store are the best, and Pat and Gary do it perfectly.
Pat and Gary are wonderful folk, it is their love and passion that make Once Upon A Crime one of the best mystery book stores in the country.

I was so happy to hear that they had found a donor.


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