- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Scribner Book Company (13 Jun. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501116843
- ISBN-13: 978-1501116841
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 48 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,667,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore Hardcover – 13 Jun 2017
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Thus the story continues, with Lydia investigating the young man's sad life story and trying to unravel how it relates to the unsolved murders she witnessed as a child. It's more suspenseful than downright thrilling, but it's always absorbing and is an original story which keeps you guessing for just about long enough. Lydia's not a strong lead character, likeable but without being vividly drawn. It's more of a plot driven story about the mystery than about the people in it, who are vehicles for the plot.
Overall it's an easy, entertaining read with plenty of intrigue and is a worthy crime novel to enjoy on holiday or a long journey.
We are also aware that Lydia herself is a mystery. Living with boyfriend, David, she is estranged from her father. As a child, Lydia was involved in a tragedy, involving the ‘Hammerman,’ and this event has, understandably, affected her life. The book veers between the present and the past, as Lydia tries to understand the part she played in Joey’s life, why he needed to contact her and to come to terms with the trauma of her childhood and the links between her past and her present.
Although I picked this book up knowing that I should love it – a mystery set around a bookstore – it was a relief to find that I really did enjoy it. It is much more than a typical crime novel, built around a bookshop. It is full of secrets, intrigue and has, not only a good setting, but a great cast of characters. I can hardly believe this is a debut – it is so assured and well written. I look forward to reading more from Matthew J. Sullivan and recommend this happily to all bibliophiles. I received a copy from this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.
In a way Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore gives me a run for my money in actually sitting down and describing to you what it's all about. It's a difficult one to get down as it's something I've never come across before, but I'll do my best so here goes ...
... Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore introduces us to many characters but most prominently a lovely lady called Lydia Smith. Now Lydia is a gem. She comes across as the woman everyone calls 'auntie' because she is just so nice and perfect in every way. Anyway, Lydia is a bookseller at Denver's Bright Ideas Bookstore and not only is she an excellent seller of books, she has the patience of a saint with a group called the BookFrogs - a bunch of homeless people who adopt the bookstore as their home. Now, one evening upon locking up shop, Lydia finds the youngest BookFrog, Joey (who she has struck up a food friendship) has committed suicide in the store. Not only that, but Joey has left Lydia what little possessions he has to his name, and most importantly of these possessions is a pile of books fully coded throughout - all Lydia needs to do is decipher them. However, the mystery doesn't stop there for what unfolds as she digs deeper cuts her to her core and rocks her on every level as it unravels a childhood tragedy of her own which has caused her to keep everyone at arms length. BUT like me, you're now probably asking yourself, how and where is the connection?? Aha, buy Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore and you shall find out.
I have to give Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore a massive 5* - many more if I could. It's a little unexpected gem. Matthew J. Sullivan has done exceptionally well writing a story full to the brim with compelling characters and a plot that is twisty, catchy and altogether cleverly captivating.
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