Wednesday, August 26, 2009

ONCE UPON A TIME anthology

A very special mystery anthology has just been published, in honor of two very special booksellers. Once Upon a Crime (Nodin Press; trade paperback original; $16.95) 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. When Gary began treatment for leukemia, the community of authors they support banded together to highlight the incredible and irreplaceable contribution they’ve made to the lives of readers and authors in their community and around the nation.

The lineup features an impressive array of crime-fiction veterans and up-and-comers:

Vince Flynn (introduction)
C.J. Box
Ken Bruen
David Housewright
Michael Stanley
Libby Fischer Hellmann
Gary Phillips
Maureen Fischer
Anne Fraser
Troy Cook
Pat Dennis
Pete Hautman
Chris Everheart
William Kent Krueger
Lori Lake
Gary R. Bush
Reed Farrel Coleman
Anthony Neil Smith
Mary Logue
Lois Greiman
Terri Persons
Max Allan Collins & Barbara Collins
Sujata Massey
Marilyn Victor
S.J. Rozan

Here's what BFP writer Reed Farrel Coleman has to say about Once Upon a Crime, the store and the anthology:

"One of my favorite indie bookstores to visit on tour is Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis. In fact, I’m beginning my tour of Tower tour there in October. I love everything about the place, from its cool logo and sign, subterranean digs, massive back rooms full of the mystery genre treasures and the friendly, engaged customers. But the real treasures are the owners Pat and Gary. Friendly, supportive, and committed to their mission as indie owners, they are truly lovely people. So it was quite a shock to the mystery community when, several years ago, Gary was diagnosed with a severe form of leukemia. After a long course of treatment, I’m pleased to report that Gary’s made a startling and successful recovery—here’s where my superstitious mother would knock on wood, spit, and mumble some Yiddish. We’re all very thankful for that, but the treatment was incredibly costly. In order to defray some of those costs, some of Gary and Pat’s writer pals in the Twin Cities area banded together and came up with the idea for the anthology. Gary Bush and Chris Everheart have done a great job of gathering a group of the genre’s heavy hitters who have contributed stories and all proceeds derived from the anthology to help clear up Gary’s medical bills. It’s an all-star lineup that includes Max Allen Collins, CJ Box, Ken Bruen, SJ Rozan and many others. There are a hundred reasons to buy this collection of stories, but buy it because it jammed packed with great stories and one not-so-bad one from me."

I also asked Gary himself to offer a few words...

"As for the genesis & gestation of the anthology, I was largely left in the dark. The only reason it isn't a complete surprise to me is that the editors figured that they really should ask my permission. Needless to say, Pat & I are honored & flattered beyond words by the response of the authors who contributed stories. The book took so long in the making (over 4 years) that I was determined to survive the bleak odds of survival in order to see it in print! Just another thing, besides the unbelievable support of authors & friends (one of the editors would come over and help Pat restock, and shovel snow after every storm), that kept me going, and kept Pat sane."

Proceeds benefit the Memorial Blood Bank. To order copies signed by many of the contributors, please contact Once Upon a Crime at (612) 870-3785 or by e-mail.

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