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review 2017-08-14 14:46
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel - Matthew J. Sullivan

Author: Matthew Sullivan

Rating: 3.5 stars

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

 

Book Blurb:  When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind in this fiendishly clever 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. Bedazzling, addictive, and wildly clever, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a heart-pounding mystery that perfectly captures the intellect and eccentricity of the bookstore milieu and will keep you guessing until the very last page.‚Äč

 

Whilst I was surprised at the turns this book took and am impressed with how well Sullivan took characters that you would expect to find in cozy mysteries - bookstore owners and workers, librarians, doughnut shop owners, quirky townspeople - and put them into a fully realized violent mystery/thriller, I normally do not like books this dark.  

 

The book left me with an overall unsettled and queasy feeling. Not something I look for in my reading. 

 

It's different, I will give you that. 

 

I guessed the murderer through pure process of elimination about half way through - but was clueless as to motive and kept reading for the clues that would satisfy my curiosity. The book is definitely a page turner. But again, dark.

 

Would I recommend it? If you like that sort of thing.

 

 

 

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text 2017-08-11 14:57
Friday Reads 8.11.2017
The Sunne in Splendour - Sharon Kay Penman
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel - Matthew J. Sullivan
This Side of Murder - Anna Lee Huber

Busy weekend. Just wedding planning and reading basically. 

 

The Sunne in Splendour is so good. I have to read all this woman's books.

 

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore surprised the heck out of me. It's the quite the page turner. I keep reading it every chance I get. Looking forward to reviewing this one.

 

If I get done with Midnight, I am definitely starting This Side of Murder. Anna Lee Huber of the Lady Darby series is starting a new series! I did not know this! When I saw it on Netgalley I screamed like a 4 year old, requested it and then was distracted til the approval came in.  This needs to be read ASAP.

 

I hope you all enjoy your weekend and Happy reading!!!!

 

 

 

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text 2017-08-11 14:48
Reading progress update: I've read 19%.
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel - Matthew J. Sullivan

Solid read so far.

 

It's weird, it's like reading a thriller where all your characters are librarians or book people. 

 

The mystery is engaging, the changing points of view - Enjoying it. 

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text 2017-08-10 22:04
Reading progress update: I've read 9%.
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel - Matthew J. Sullivan

So this book is making me want to cancel my plans and just read it. 

 

I thought it was a cozy mystery... it's not. It's a mystery though. Well more of a thriller- actually I don't know how to classify it. Probably why it's so interesting.

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review 2017-07-22 02:30
MIDNIGHT AT THE BRIGHT IDEAS BOOKSTORE Review
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel - Matthew J. Sullivan
It begins with a suicide: Joey, a young man in his twenties who is a regular bookstore patron, hangs himself from a shelf in the Bright Ideas Bookstore—which is where this novel's main character, Lydia, is an employee. Joey leaves behind messages meant only for Lydia; it is from there this suspenseful novel unfolds. 

There is so much I want to say about this novel, but I'm finding myself at a loss for words—that's how you know it was good. That, and the fact that I finished this in a single day: something that almost never happens. This novel is populated with some of the most fully drawn characters I've come across in some time: Lydia's friends and families and the bookstore itself are all unique and divine creations and will surely stick with the reader for a long time. 

How would I classify this novel? It is certainly a mystery, and maybe horror, too? Sullivan certainly isn't afraid to go to dark places, and there are several scenes herein that gave me the certifiable creeps. Yeah, a horrific mystery sums it up well! 

Simultaneously a thrill ride and love letter to book lovers, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is not to be missed. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy, which was given in exchange for an honest review.
 
 

 

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