Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore has to be one of my top mystery/thriller reads of the year so far, and for that reason I must insist that you add it to your summer reading list.
The book introduces us to Lydia Smith, who works at an eccentric bookstore in Denver. It's the kind of store that attracts not only customers, but also loyal followers. Lydia dubs a group of regulars her "Book Frogs," and is devastated one night when she stumbles upon the body of Joey - the youngest of the Book Frogs - among the stacks. Lydia cannot fathom why a patron would kill himself in the store, until she realizes that he's left behind a puzzle, and that she is the one who he hoped would solve it. As Lydia works to discover the motivation behind Joey's death, she is forced to remember a traumatic event from her childhood and to confront the ways in which that terrible night still keeps hold over her life.
This one is a five-star read for any season and one of those books where I can't tell you much about it -- for fear of spoiling the suspenseful reading experience that I loved, as I was surprised by the level of sophistication in its twists and turns. This is one of those reads that I didn't want to put down, and that still has me thinking about the depth of plotting that Matthew J. Sullivan had to do in order to achieve such a perfectly twisty novel.
If you're looking for a book club suggestion for this summer, this would be mine -- I think it would make for some great discussions about suspense novels in general. I've already given it to my mother to read (she agrees that this makes for a great summer read) and just lent it to my best friend (who loves thrillers) who also thought it was a great beach read! I have a feeling I'll be passing this one around for a while.
Bottom-Line Rating: 5/5
Title: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Author: Matthew J. Sullivan
Publisher: Scribner, 2017
Price: $20 on Amazon
Source: Scribner Publishers
Note: Top Shelf Text received a copy of this book from Scribner Publishers in exchange for an honest review.