Sleuth of Baker StreetI have to put in a plug for one of my all time favorite book stores. The Sleuth of Baker Street is a mystery book store located in the heart of old Toronto. Actually, that’s a bald-faced lie. Even though it should be in the heart of the old city (does Toronto have an old city?), it’s actually in the East York area of the city, close to the Mount Pleasant Cemetery on Bayview Ave.

What a great book store. If you like mysteries, you’ll find whatever you’re looking for there. If by some chance they don’t have it, they’ll know how to find it. And if you don’t know what you want, they’ll help you figure it out.

The staff are friendly and very knowledgeable. In fact they publish a regular newsletter, which it appears that they all participate in writing, that first gives their recommendations and then details pretty much every new mystery book that’s been published in the last few months.

Looking for the next book in a series? They’ll know when it’s due out and will be happy to pre-order it for you. And if they don’t know, they’ll find out.

The other nice thing is that it’s Canadian, so they have a smattering of Canadian and English (as in Great Britain) books that are harder to find in the States. I get all my Harry Potter books from them because they have the English (i.e. British) versions and there are subtle differences in the texts of the first few books – the American editions have been modified for American readers (so ‘sweaters’ instead of ‘jumpers’, and ‘jerks’ instead of ‘gits’). I don’t know why the publishers assumed that Americans were too stupid to understand what a jumper is, but …

(And, yes I realize that the Harry Potter books aren’t mysteries; except they kind of are, so I don’t think it’s all that strange that Sleuth carries them.)

Anyway, that whole section of Bayview Ave is a gem. I dropped in a few months ago and it’s even better than when I lived there many years ago. Lots of fun stores that are a little different than the run-of-the-mill,;what look like good restaurants of various styles; a complete absence of fast food chains and chain stores (yay!); a great cemetery near by (yes I really mean that – it’s more of an arboretum/garden than a cemetery and it’s one of my favorite places in the city – cemeteries can be great fun – but that’s another post …).

Anyway I could go on and on. So if you’re ever in Toronto, make sure you get off the beaten path and take a trip out to East York. It’s only a bus ride away from the St. Claire or Davisville subway stations (or you can walk through the cemetery!), and well worth the trip. And stop in to the Sleuth of Baker Street and tell them I sent you!

P.S. They even have a house cat or two; hence (I assume) the logo.

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