Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore (Hardcover)
Former Tattered Cover bookseller Matt Sullivan’s debut literary mystery is an entertaining page-turner and affectionate salute to independent bookstores. Lydia Smith is a bookseller at The Bright Ideas Bookstore, a thinly disguised Historic Lodo Tattered Cover sometime in the 1990’s. Late one night as she’s closing the store she discovers that Joey Molina, one of her favorite young regulars, has hung himself in the store, a photo of her as a child in his jeans pocket. Devastated and confronted with a link to a violent crime she survived as a child, Lydia struggles to uncover the reason for Joey’s suicide and what his connection is to her past. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a gripping read and a knowing nod to all who pass their time in bookstores.
— Cathy Langer
Goodreads Debut Author of the Month and an Indie Next Pick "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, author of The Little French Bistro, and the New York Times bestselling The Little Paris Bookshop 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.