Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

A Novel

eBook - 2017
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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 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."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2017
ISBN: 9781501116865
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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i
iversl
May 24, 2019

This book made me consider reading more mysteries. Great read.

k
Kristen MERKE
Mar 05, 2019

While I loved the idea, this novel falls flat in terms of it's endless attempts at "plot twists." It's certainly not as dark as some reviewers describe, in fact at times elements such as the name "Hammerman" I feel undercut any sort of poignancy towards Lydia or Joey's situations. That being said, I read it quickly and did enjoy it. But I braced myself mid-way for what I knew would be a disappointing ending which perhaps allowed me to better enjoy the story.

k
kaysand
Feb 23, 2019

The main character, Lydia, was believable and, from my vantage point, well fleshed out. The author gives her an inner life which I found realistic. Male authors sometimes find female characters a bit tricky in my experience. (I wonder if men find that true of female writers and male characters.). I may have missed how Lyle was able to obtain Joe's ashes which is not easily done, even when you are a family member. So that nags at me a bit. I enjoyed the book and would definitely read other mysteries by this author. Especially if set in bookstores, my favorite of all places. After libraries that is.

ArapahoeAnnaL Feb 08, 2019

So satisfying the way all the plot lines come together. Interesting characters and a great setting - Denver and the mountains!

n
NVMercer
Jan 23, 2019

Lydia works at the Bright Ideas Bookstore in a gentrifying area of Denver. She is the queen of customer service, building relationships and experiences with the regular customers, whom she refers to as “BookFrogs”. Her life is fine and dandy, if a little dull, until one of her BookFrogs commits suicide in the store.

BookFrog Joey was a troubled kid who found solace in reading, and if his sudden suicide wasn’t shocking enough, he left no note, only a photograph from Lydia’s 10th birthday in his pocket. And evidently left all his meager worldly possessions to her as well.

So now Lydia’s on a quest to figure out why the hell Joey did all this. He wasn’t some crazy stalker, was he? Fortunately, no. Unfortunately, the answer is a lot more complicated than that. It involves secret coded messages and long-lost best friends and estranged fathers and 20-year-old cold cases.

The twists and turns in this book are astounding as Lydia’s backstory is slowly revealed, along with Joey’s connection to it. It’s definitely a mystery that kept me guessing.

Don’t let the title/name of the bookstore fool you. There is very little “bright” about this novel. Except perhaps the ending.

h
hombredjj
Nov 28, 2018

I enjoyed the book and believe its strength was in taking us into the world of bookstore personalities and quirky patrons. The author nicely integrated Denver settings into the story and kept up the who-done-it suspense until near the end. The ending didn't match the quality of the rest of the story, but overall, it earned a solid four stars.

c
c_tingstad
Oct 31, 2018

There are certain engaging elements to this book. The setting reads as lived-in and authentic, though I've never been to Denver so I don't know if it lines up well to reality. The plot is compelling and the characters are intriguing. However, more than a few plot points feel either predictable, soap opera-y, or both. I enjoyed it well enough as a nice, light read in the mystery genre, but I don't think it fully lives up to the hype or feels particularly innovative.

d
debs
Sep 19, 2018

If you do you want to wait to read this book, try a similar title and plot, The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson. Mostly a good read, a bit predictable toward the end.

d
dhuli
Jul 25, 2018

Have no idea why this book gets such good ratings. A dreary read about dreary people's dreary unhappy lives. Gave it 1 star for the interesting plot idea of the coded messages but not a book that extends your vocabulary or your knowledge in any way. The supposed underlying psychology on which the plot hangs is thin.

s
Sansha
Jun 12, 2018

I loved this book. It had all the elements I love. The setting was in and around a bookshop with bookish people. There was murder, suspense and intrigue. Together with a code made out of second-hand books, the book was fabulous.

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Kristen MERKE
Mar 05, 2019

Kristen MERKE thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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