Sunday, March 7, 2010

Flea Market Mysteries

Today is the First Sunday of the month, and I'm off to to the Alameda Flea Market (officially known as the Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire). I'm a great flea market goer. Having been to Flea Markets all over the world, the Alameda Flea market remains one of my favorites. Can't be beat for a spectacular view of San Francisco, either. It's located on the old Base and literally runs right into the Bay. Sadly it's only once a month, and there's nothing worse than waking up to rain on a fleamarket Sunday.

I used to frequent the Marin Flea Market which really dates me since housing replaced that space in Sausalito many years ago. I always go to Portobello Road when in London, and I adore the Paris Flea Market. Not sure I'd call Portobello Road a flea market, but I've been there early on a Saturday morning when the stalls are set up. I love flea markets, estate sales, boot sales, garage sales and collectible shows (although they sometimes tend more to the antique), not that that's a bad thing. .. I also won't turn my nose up at a dumpster. Lots of treasures.

So it should come as no surprise that I enjoy reading mysteries with a flea market, boot sale, pickers or garage sale theme. Here's a short list. I welcome any other additions. And, flea markets are great places to find mysteries!

The Flea Market Mystery by Virginia Besaw Evansen
Savannah Blues, Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews
Killer Stuff, Dead Guy's Stuff, The Wrong Stuff, Buried Stuff by Sharon Fiffer
The Emma Chizzit Mysteries (several titles starting with Emma Chizzit and...) by Mary Bowen Hall
The Flea Market by Randal Adam
Tight as a Tick by Toni L.P. Kelner
Something to Kill For by Susan Holtzer
Double Dealer by Barbara Taylor McCafferty & Beverly Taylor Herald
Resolution by Denise Mina
Leave a Message for Willie by Marcia Mulle
Death of a Garage Sale Newbie by Sharon Dunn
The Unraveling of Violeta Bell by C.R. Corwin

Jonathan Gash is an antiques dealer, but he employs a wonderful picker, so I might include his books on this list. You'll want to pick them up. He and his sidekick do a lot of foraging at sales and in stalls looking for valuable antiques.

Anthony Oliver has another favorite antique themed series. My favorite is The Pew Group.

There is definitely a difference between Flea Markets and Antique Shops, but often the same characters inhabit both worlds. I'll have to put together another list of Antique Mysteries. Certainly Jane Cleland, Lea Wait, Tamar Myers, and many others will be on that list.

Mystery Readers Journal has had several issues focusing on Art & Antiques Mysteries. Have a look at the Tables of Contents: HERE and HERE.


Jeanne C. said...

Oh, I love the flea market! We used to go to a huge one on Long Island at the racetrack. I don't know if it's there anymore.

Max Allan Collins said... about ANTIQUES FLEE MARKET by Barbara Allan? That's my wife Barb and me.

Janet Rudolph said...

Max, would you two.. or you.. want to write a Guest Blog on Writing Partnerships? It's an ongoing series here on Mystery Fanfare.