Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Flea Market and Garage Sale Mysteries

Last Sunday was Flea Market Day, and I went to the Alameda Flea Market aka Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire. I'm an avid Flea Market goer, and the first Sunday of every month is pretty sacred in our household. Having been to Flea Markets all over the world, the Alameda Flea Market remains one of my favorites. It can't be beat for a spectacular view of San Francisco, either. The Flea Market aka The Alameda Point Collectibles Faire is located on the old Alameda Navy Base and literally runs into the Bay. The Flea Market is about 2 miles long and 1/3 mile wide. I love going on the first Sunday of every month to this great show. For me, it's like visiting a museum filled with treasures.

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. Not sure I'd call Portobello Road a flea market, but I've been there early on a Saturday morning when the stalls are setting up. I adore the Paris Flea Market, and I have many finds from there, including a huge hand-knit rabbit, Pierre. I love flea markets, estate sales, boot sales, garage sales, jumble 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, picker, or garage sale theme. I've posted a list before, but this is an update. Some of the books in the following list do not focus as much on the 'flea market' as an item found at a flea market, that becomes the springboard for the story. And an FYI: flea markets are great places to find mysteries!


The Flea Market by Randal Adam
Antiques Flee Market by Barbara Allan
Savannah Blues, Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews
Flea Market Fatal by Brianna Bates
The Flea Market Folly by B.J. Belekis
Mobbed by Carol Higgins Clark
Death is a Bargain by Nora Charles 
Mrs McGinty's Dead by Agatha Christie
The Unraveling of Violeta Bell by C.R. Corwin
Wig Betrayed by Charles Courtley
Death of a Garage Sale Newbie by Sharon Dunn
Never Tell a Lie by Hallie Ephron
The Flea Market Mystery by Virginia Besaw Evansen
Buried Stuff, Dead Guy's Stuff, The Wrong Stuff by Sharon Fiffer
The Toyotomi Blades by Dale Furutani
Tight as a Tick by Toni L.P. Kelner
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
First Monday Murder by Lisa Love Harris
Tagged for Death, A Good Day to Buy, All Murders Final!, The Longest Yard Sale by Sherry Harris
Something to Kill For by Susan Holtzer
Unidentifed Woman #15 by David Housewright
A Dress to Die For by Dolores Johnson
The Executor by Jesse Kellerman
Double Dealer by Barbara Taylor McCafferty & Beverly Taylor Herald
Resolution by Denise Mina
Leave a Message for Willie by Marcia Muller
Thursday Night Widows by Claudia Pineiro
Murder, by George by Jeanne Quigley
Next Week Will Be Better by Jean Ruryk
Murder of a Smart Cookie by Denise Swanson
Garage Sale Stalker by Suzi Weinert

YA:  The Flea Market Mystery by Virginia Besaw Evansen

Jonathan Gash's Lovejoy is an antiques dealer, but he employs a wonderful picker, so I might include his books on this list. 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. If I put together a list of Antique Mysteries, I'll certainly include books by Jane Cleland, Lea Wait, Tamar Myers, and many others.

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


George McRae said...

Fun!! We were just talking about the Ashby Flea market. We used to go regularly. Wonderful places, flea markets. Just the sort of places you would find mystery and intrigue. Reminded of the "flea market" in the movie Casablanca......

Unknown said...

I love the Sharon Fiffer books, especially since they take place here in the Chicago area.

Sarah Smith said...

Janet, this entire list has gone on my TBR pile. I didn't know about the Alameda flea market--now my goal is to be in Alameda on the first Sunday of the month. And if you're in Boston, let me introduce you to a couple of faves!

Sherry Harris said...

Thank you so much for including my books, Janet! The Alameda Flea Market sounds fantastic!