Monday, May 3, 2021


After a year of pandemic imposed closure, the Alameda Flea Market aka the Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire, reopened yesterday. I'm an avid Flea Market goer, and the first Sunday of every month is pretty sacred in our household. One time, I even took a 6 am flight back from the Dallas Bouchercon to be at the Alameda Flea by 8 a.m (even that was late for me). 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 is located on the old Alameda Navy Base and is surrounded by the Bay and estuary. It's a stunning place to spend a Sunday morning! The Flea Market is about 2 miles long and 1/2 mile wide. My health app tells me I usually walk 5+ miles when I'm there. Going to the Flea Market is like visiting a museum filled with treasures.

When I'm in London, I always go to Portobello Road. 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 Markets, too, and I have many finds from there, including a huge hand-knit rabbit, Pierre, whom I carried all over Europe one summer. I love flea markets, estate sales, yard sales, boot sales, garage sales, jumble sales, and collectible shows. I also won't turn my nose up at a dumpster. Lots of treasures to be found.

So it should come as no surprise that I enjoy reading mysteries with flea market, boot sale, picker, or garage sale themes. 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 and crime novels at great prices.


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

Murder at the Estate Sale by Lily Charles
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; Careful What You Wish For by Hallie Ephron
The Flea Market Mystery by Virginia Besaw Evansen

Flea Market Magic by Bella Falls
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

Flea Market Felony by Tricia L. Sanders
Murder of a Smart Cookie by Denise Swanson
Garage Sale Stalker; Garage Sale Diamonds; Garage Sale Riddle 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 should probably include his books on this list. He and his sidekick do a lot of foraging at sales and in stalls looking for valuable antiques.

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, Anthony Oliver, 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.

1 comment:

Priscilla said...

This was a great idea! Thanks, Janet!