Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
22
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When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind in this "intriguingly dark, twisty" ( Kirkus Reviews ) debut novel from an award-winning short story writer.

Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs--the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store's overwhelmed shelves.

But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore's upper room, Lydia's life comes unglued. Always Joey's favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?

As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey's suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop, and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia's life long ago and, as she soon discovers, never completely left. "Both charming and challenging" (Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review ), Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a "multi-generational tale of abandonment, desperation, and betrayal...inventive and intricately plotted" ( Publishers Weekly , starred review).
Publisher: Scribner 2018
ISBN: 9781501116858
Branch Call Number: ON ORDER
Characteristics: 336 p

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a
auntbea3
Dec 31, 2017

This is a terrific book - wonderfully well written, with a great, twisty story and characters who seem real and alive. It's his first novel - I hope he writes many more.

r
Reads_A_Lot
Dec 26, 2017

A cleverly written book-themed mystery. Dark and sad, but also a bit quirky. Definitely geared towards book lovers with a librarian, a book seller, the book frogs, and bookish puzzle clues left by the victim. An interesting and engaging debut by this author.

l
laphampeak
Dec 25, 2017

A well formed story about a murdered family twenty years ago. The characters are interesting and the reader is introduced to them in the previous time, the time of the murders, and how they each live (or not) in the present. What really did happen? Couldn't wait to find out.

w
wolfman_0
Dec 13, 2017

Terrific book! Suspenseful, excellent character development and great mystery not unfolding until nearly last page. Don't miss it.

Richard Milbrodt

k
KatG1983
Dec 07, 2017

Well paced, and engaging.

b
behere
Dec 02, 2017

The main character grew up in a library and works in a bookstore. Gotta love her. She's pretty good at solving a mystery too.

jabberbooky Nov 13, 2017

A puzzle of a debut set in Denver bookstore and written by a former Tattered Cover bookseller.

samdog123 Nov 07, 2017

Matthew Sullivan's debut novel is one fantastic mystery. This author is no stranger to writing and has won awards for his short stories. This book is one you'll become totally engrossed in because of the great characters and 'twisty' plot. Lydia Smith, a bookseller at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, finds one of her customers dead in the upstairs of the store. But, how does Joey's death connect to her--past and present? Elly Griffiths, one of my favourite mystery authors has this to say about this title: "This book ticked all the boxes for me: an engaging heroine, an intriguing premise, interesting characters, and a plot that involved books, readers, and the very darkest human passions. A fantastic, assured debut." I couldn't agree more.

l
LauraSteinert
Nov 04, 2017

A bit over written and his editor should be ashamed of some of her choices, but for a first book, it was pretty good. It is nice that it is a stand alone story and not just part one of series.

s
susanchyn
Oct 06, 2017

An enjoyable read.

Strengths? The setting(s) are deliciously bookish, and never pretentious. Lots of evocative descriptions of downtown Denver. Generally speaking, the plot is well thought out and surprisingly fresh.

Weaknesses? The protagonist and a couple of the other characters were, for me, not fully developed, with the exception of the dad. The ending was a bit specious.

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