Interviewed by Heather T. of The Library Ladder
Twenty-five years ago J.D. Singh and Marian Masters saw an ad in a Canadian national newspaper called the Globe & Mail that said ‘bookstore for sale’ and in Marian’s words, “that was basically it.” I’m sure we’ve all had a moment like this – falling in love with an inanimate object or the idea of that object, usually book-related. That bookstore became a large, cozy and very specialized bookstore called Sleuth of Baker Street stuffed to the rafters with mysteries of all sorts.
I’ve had the pleasure of asking Marian a few brief questions via email.
Library Ladder: Twenty-five years ago you purchased Sleuth of Baker Street; why? What first drew you to Sleuth?
MM: Twenty-five years ago we saw an ad in the Globe & Mail that said ‘bookstore for sale’ and that was basically it. It was a small store, 500 square feet compared to today at 1700 square feet, but it seemed to have so much charm and potential that we took a chance and here we are today!
LL: Do you have an all time favourite mystery author? If so, who?
MM: I do not have one favourite mystery writer. I’ve always read everything that Michael Connelly writes as well as Lee Child, Stuart Pawson, Robert Crais, James Twining, martin O’Brien and Janet Evanovich. I read and enjoy the more ‘lighter’ style of mysteries written by Victoria Laurie, Joanne Fluke and Jerrilyn Farmer. I also love spy novels written by Henry Porter and Stella Rimmington. And that’s just a few.
LL: Do you have a favourite Canadian mystery author/s?
MM: It would be tough to pick a favourite Canadian mystery writer as well, although at the moment it would have to be Louise Penny. I also love reading Susanna Kearsley and Lyn Hamilton but there are some other great ones as well.
LL: Name three authors you would recommend to someone new to the genre.
MM: Picking three authors to recommend would be hard because I would want to know what type of story someone would want to read. British setting, Canadian or US? Female sleuth or policeman? I suppose I would pick Louise Penny, Michael Connelly and Stuart Pawson. That would cover all three countries For private eye I would pick Sue Grafton and Robert Crais.
LL: Is there a particular sleuth you wish you could sit down and have a conversation with or play ‘Watson’ to?
MM: Sorry, I have no desire or talent to be a ‘Watson’. (Ditto Marian, ditto!)
LL: Do you have a favourite quote that sums up your philosophy of life or the world of bookselling?
MM: ‘My philosophy’, I don’t have one. I just wish we could all spend more time reading!
Thank you so much Marian!! To celebrate their twenty-five years as owners of Sleuth, J.D. and Marian are hosting mystery writer, Louise Penny who will launch her Inspector Gamache novel, The Cruellest Month on Saturday, October 20th at 7pm. If you are in the Toronto area, please join them!