This isn’t the post I set out to write. I had hoped to talk about my appreciation for all the support I received from Gary Schulze and Pat Frovarp during their ownership of the Once Upon a Crime bookstore in Minneapolis. I still plan to do that, but it will have to wait. Today, shockingly, I need to write about Gary’s passing at the age of sixty-six. He was a true friend to all fans and writers of crime fiction, especially those in Minnesota, but more importantly, he was an outstanding human being.
I met Gary right after I wrote my first book, in 2002. He and Pat had just bought the store, and they held the first of four book launch parties for me that fall. In the years that followed, my visits to Once Upon a Crime were among the best things about being a mystery author. Gary was always armed with a good anecdote about the authors, famous and obscure, who appeared at the store, and invariably recommended more books than I could possibly read. He was a man who radiated kindness and good humor, and he maintained that demeanor through the long years of his battle with leukemia. We’ll miss you, Gary.