Magnifying glass not included

Once Upon a Crime hosts spring crime lit. event

PHOTO COURTESY DELACORTE PRESS

Ashley Goetz

PHOTO COURTESY DELACORTE PRESS

âÄúWho stole the great Hope Diamond? What killed the dinosaurs? Who makes the finest pizza? WhatâÄôs in your brotherâÄôs dresser drawers?âÄù These lyrics may be the opening to Mary-Kate and AshleyâÄôs childhood crime-solving series, but a sleuth is a sleuth, and Gary Shulze and his wife, Pat Frovarp , specialize in detective work. The pair own Once Upon a Crime , a new and used book shop in South Minneapolis that is hosting its seventh-annual book-signing extravaganza, âÄúWrite of Spring,âÄù on March 28. The convention is a gathering of local authors mingling and signing books. Most of the 61 authors that will be giving face-time are of the crime-fiction persuasion, a genre that has found Frovarp and ShulzeâÄôs love. The convention also hosts several honorary local members like Victoria Houston from Rhinelander, Wis ., the author of âÄúDead Head ShotâÄù and OmahaâÄôs Sean Doolittle, author of âÄúDirt,âÄù âÄúBurnâÄù and the new novel âÄúSafer.âÄù This yearâÄôs convention features the work of special guest Jennifer Jordan, special feature editor of CrimeSpree Magazine and editor of the Bleak House anthology âÄúExpletive Deleted.âÄù Once Upon a Crime has become something like a haven for many of the local authors. âÄúEverybody comes here when they have new books. ItâÄôs like we inaugurate their new books,âÄù Shulze said. Though âÄúWrite of SpringâÄù is an event almost exclusively for crime fiction and mystery novel writers, a few of the authors write true crime, nonfiction or Minnesota-inspired coffee table books. The success of each author ranges greatly as well. Six of the authors have only been published in Minnesota anthologies, while several authors are national award-winners. The convention is three hours long, featuring a group of 12 to 15 authors per hour. âÄúThe store is 900 square feet,âÄù Shulze said, âÄúso it gets a little cozy.âÄù Shulze wasnâÄôt always a crime novel fanatic. âÄúIn college, I had to read a lot of non-fiction,âÄù he said. âÄúIâÄôve only recently rediscovered mystery novels, and IâÄôve pretty much stuck with it.âÄù Shulze and Frovarp were eventually brought together by their love of books. When they met, Frovarp was working at Once Upon a Crime and Shulze was collecting first editions. Shulze eventually wooed Frovarp, and when the opportunity to buy the store came along, they couldnâÄôt pass it up. They were married on the fifth anniversary of the purchase, linking their business success with luck in love. When they pooled their book collections, the total was about 100,000 titles strong. At the time of purchase, Once Upon a Crime had been hosting an annual local series of open houses around Christmas each year, but Shulze felt, âÄúThe late winter was really limiting, so we moved it to spring, and I just came up with the name.âÄù The convention continues to grow over the years, drawing more local authors each year and offering a place for Minneapolis authors to gather and meet their frequent readers.