Once Upon A Crime vets potential buyers

Credit: Once Upon A Crime is for sale at 604 W. 26th St. Photo by Michelle Bruch

Fans of the Once Upon A Crime mystery bookstore can breathe a little easier — though the business is for sale, the owners have heard from over a dozen serious buyers.

Co-owner Gary Shulze said potential buyers would continue operating the store as is, albeit in their own style.

“I wouldn’t let them [buy it] if they were going to plan something else,” he said. “We want it to stay.”

Shulze and Pat Frovarp have owned the shop for 13 years, and they’re the third owners to take the helm since 1987. Shulze is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for cancer, which is common knowledge to customers who routinely ask how he’s doing. Frovarp said that given the health issues, they were hesitant to sign another multi-year lease.

“He still has to get rid of that ugly stuff,” she said. “I said, ‘You keep fighting.'”

Shulze’s current book recommendation: “WhoLet the Dog Out?” by David Rosenfelt, the 13th book in the Andy Carpenter series that features a smart-aleck lawyer.

“The most endearing part of it is the character and author run animal rescue [centers]. It’s very dog-centric, which we like,” Shulze said. “It just came in yesterday, so I put down everything else I was reading.”