Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel

By Matthew Sullivan
Read by Madeleine Maby

9.00 Hours 06/13/2017 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781508236047

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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 McGinty, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s back 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.​

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Summary

Summary

A June 2017 LibraryReads Pick

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 McGinty, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s back 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.​

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Sullivan’s debut is a page-turner featuring a heroine bookseller who solves a cold case with clues from books—what is not to love?” Nina George, New York Times bestselling author
“Quirky characters and a keen sense of place distinguish this multigenerational tale of abandonment, desperation, and betrayal…Inventive and intricately plotted.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An intriguingly dark, twisty story and eccentric characters make this book a standout.” Kirkus Reviews
“Though darker than other beloved novels set in bookstores, this story will appeal to fans of Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry and Katarina Bivald’s The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. Mystery readers will also appreciate the clever connections between the characters and the crimes.” Library Journal
“This quirky debut novel will have particular appeal for puzzle solvers and booklovers.” Booklist

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Matthew Sullivan

Matthew Sullivan received his MFA from the University of Idaho and has been a resident writer at Yaddo, Centrum, and the Vermont Studio Center. His short stories have been awarded the Robert Olen Butler Fiction Prize and the Florida Review Editor’s Prize for Fiction and have been published in many journals, including the Chattahoochee Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Fugue, Evansville Review, and 580-Split. In addition to working for years at Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver and at Brookline Booksmith in Boston, he teaches writing, literature, and film at Big Bend Community College in the high desert of Washington state.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Fiction/Mystery & Detective
Runtime: 9.00
Audience: Adult
Language: English