|Once Upon A Crime Mystery Books, Minneapolis, MN|
It was a dark and stormy night. I saw the stairway leading down from the sidewalk, into a lower level entrance. I hesitated. Slowly, I turned the handle and eased the creaking door open. The room was dark, with a low black ceiling. Was I in some kind of dungeon? Yes. And I was surrounded. My escape was hopeless because I was in a "dungeon" called Once Upon A Crime and I was surrounded by mysteries. If you're going to be trapped and surrounded, this is the place to be!
This little indie is absolutely packed with mystery books AND lots of character. If mysteries are your genre of choice, this place is a must see. If you're looking for general fiction, humor, cookbooks, or sports, don't bother. You won't find any of these subjects unless they wind their way into a mystery plot. The store carries all new books, all in this lower level store. There are no sidelines here and Devin A., one of the co-owners along with her parents Dennis and Meg, tells me that they're getting along selling just the books. But I have a secret to share about his mystery store. If you walk down a long, stark and secret hallway behind the store, you can visit The Annex. The Annex is part of the main store and offers all used books, a good find. Go ahead and ask to see it, tell them Guido sent you.
Even though the store has no sidelines, they do have frequent events and signings. Devin told me that this is a huge part of the store's business. Events are held right in the front area of the store and the space is created by moving the bookshelves out that are on wheels. Unbelievably, Devin told me they've had 100 people in the space for events. Next spring, this store will be celebrating its 30th anniversary. Devin and her parents are the 4th owners and when the store celebrates its 30th, it will be the one year anniversary of their ownership.
When you visit this indie, I defy you to stump Devin. She knows mysteries and their authors and will be able to tell you almost anything about the genre. You won't get an experience or bookseller like this on Amazon. And like all the others I meet on this journey, she's as nice as they come.
If you've never been here, you need to check it out. This indie has one cool, mysterious vibe and you'll love it. Besides, you need to find out if the butler really did do it. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: The Lighthouse Road, Peter Geye. Fiction that bounces back and forth between the 1890s and 1920s, set in northern Minnesota. A 17-year old girl immigrates here from Norway and tries to survive the harsh conditions. She's sexually assaulted and gives birth to a son who becomes involved with a woman that has close ties to his mother and the past. This author is big in the upper midwest and if you don't know him, you should check this book out. One more thing, this book makes you cold. Recommended.
CURRENTLY READING: Civilwarland In Bad Decline, George Saunders.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: Salem's Cipher, Jess Lourey. A Cold Day In Paradise, Steve Hamilton.
|You must descend to enter. If you dare.|
|Behind this front window a mystery lurks.|
|View looking into the store from the front entrance. Habitual readers my recognize the celebrity on the left. Yes, that's my mom.|
|Looking into the store and towards the right.|
|The store has an active events schedule.|
|One of the attractive hard cover displays.|
|Even though it's a smaller store, you can still find a long aisle of books.|
|Another neat table display. Around the top of the walls you'll see book cover posters throughout the store.|
|View from the back hallway looking toward the front entrance. This area is where events are hosted.|
|The staff car.|
|Enter this barren hallway and proceed to The Annex.|
|View looking into The Annex from the hallway entrance. I thought it was rather, well, ghostly.|
|View looking to the left in The Annex.|
|A couple of nice places to sit in The Annex, and of course, plot your global conquest.|
|There is a great inventory of local authors available.|
|Your view from the "seat" in the bathroom. No shortage of reading material.|
|With Devin A., one of the fine co-owners at Once Upon A Crime. Thanks for a great visit.|