Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

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Author: Matthew Sullivan
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Fiction

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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.

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About The Author

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 currently teaches writing, literature, and film at Big Bend Community College in the high desert of Washington State. The author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, he is married to a librarian and has two children.


  • Alyssa Green
    Very interesting
  • BrianEWilliams
    LibraryThing Review I lost interest in the story @20%. Too slow a start for me, and not much prospect for the rest of it.
  • erikschreppel
    LibraryThing Review On one hand I figured out the ending about half way through. But on the other hand that didn’t stop me from reading this in one day and thoroughly enjoying it.
  • jfe16
    LibraryThing Review Lydia Smith, a clerk at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, carefully guards the horrific secret of her childhood as she watches over her beloved books, her quirky colleagues, and a small group of the lost
  • auntmarge64
    LibraryThing Review Lydia is a 30ish employee at a large independent bookstore in Denver. In addition to regular customers, there is a group of aimless man who spend their days at the bookstore and are lovingly called
  • joyhclark
    LibraryThing Review A good thriller and quick read with a unique premise. I stayed up far too late last night finishing and am paying for it this morning. Ignore the typos as my head continually hits the keyboard every
  • Beamis12
    LibraryThing Review Another debut author who on this his first outing shows a considerable amount of talent. A suicide in a book store of a young man with a short but sorry past, a book clerk with a terrifying event in
  • TheGenreMinx
    LibraryThing Review As a book reviewer, I am almost always drawn to stories involving bookstores or libraries. When I came across Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore I was of course drawn to it. Adding the murder
  • debkrenzer
    LibraryThing Review I am such a sucker for any book with the word “book” in the title. Hear that publishing world? I think they know that already as there are so many. HA! I loved this book. It starts right off the bat

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