Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind"-- Provided by publisher.
Lydia Smith, a clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, calls the lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store's overwhelmed shelves "BookFrogs." When Joey Molina, a young BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore's upper room, he bequeaths his meager worldly possessions to her. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But they seem to contain a hidden message. As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey's suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.,, 2017
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781501116841
Characteristics: 328 pages ; 24 cm


From the critics

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Jan 22, 2020

I liked this story about am underacheiving bookseller still suffering some PTSD from a childhood trauma. Closing her bookstore one night, she discovers a suicide in the history section...a young man she knew only as a regular at the bookstore, who, curiously, had a childhood picture of her protruding from his pocket. Slowly she discovers who he was, and some loose ends she's always lived with are finally tied up.

MissAnnie Nov 06, 2019

This one is a little more graphic and grizzly than I typically enjoy; however, the plot unfolds beautifully and Lydia and Raj are a sympathetic pair.

Oct 27, 2019

2.5 stars
The plot did not engage my interest; I felt minimal connection of interest toward the main characters because the author created too much enigma and "shadowed silence" too early in the story....and...Lydia's story... rather scary. etc. etc.

Sep 25, 2019

So I don't read a lot of mystery/thriller books but this one hooked me in. I was kept guessing until the end and even then there were twists I never could have predicted. Less of the bookstore then I would have liked but that's okay! Thank you Matthew Sullivan for creating this awesome novel that got me back into mystery novels!

Aug 03, 2019

An OK read, but the bookstore setting has little to do with the plot. I thought of giving up a few times, but stuck with it to see if the astounding co-incidence that sets up the whole plot was explained as more than just an astounding coincidence (which it wasn't.) And the whole cut-out-in-book code was ridiculous. If Lydia and Raj appear in another book they'll do so without me.

Jul 29, 2019

Its been awhile since I've read a mystery and wasn't disappointed. Was able to figure out the ending about 2/3rds through, but still enjoyed how the story played out.

May 24, 2019

This book made me consider reading more mysteries. Great read.

Kristen MERKE
Mar 05, 2019

While I loved the idea, this novel falls flat in terms of it's endless attempts at "plot twists." It's certainly not as dark as some reviewers describe, in fact at times elements such as the name "Hammerman" I feel undercut any sort of poignancy towards Lydia or Joey's situations. That being said, I read it quickly and did enjoy it. But I braced myself mid-way for what I knew would be a disappointing ending which perhaps allowed me to better enjoy the story.

Feb 23, 2019

The main character, Lydia, was believable and, from my vantage point, well fleshed out. The author gives her an inner life which I found realistic. Male authors sometimes find female characters a bit tricky in my experience. (I wonder if men find that true of female writers and male characters.). I may have missed how Lyle was able to obtain Joe's ashes which is not easily done, even when you are a family member. So that nags at me a bit. I enjoyed the book and would definitely read other mysteries by this author. Especially if set in bookstores, my favorite of all places. After libraries that is.

ArapahoeAnnaL Feb 08, 2019

So satisfying the way all the plot lines come together. Interesting characters and a great setting - Denver and the mountains!

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Kristen MERKE
Mar 05, 2019

Kristen MERKE thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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