Midnight at the Bright Ideas Store – Matthew J Sullivan   Leave a comment

This is a light read I bought because it was January’s choice for my book club. Although it is very popular since its publication and Sullivan has been recommended by goodreads as best debut author.

Matthew Sullivan is from Colorado:- which explains the book being based in and around Denver and the mountains of Colorado. Personally I fund this a nice change, everything seems always to be based in New York.

In addition, he worked for years at the ‘Tattered Cover Book Store’ in Denver, which would have given him the background for the Bright Ideas Store, which is the book store in this novel and a quirky one at that.

Sullivan has taught writing and literature at colleges in Boston, Idaho, and Poland, and currently teaches writing, literature, and film at Big Bend Community College in the high desert of Washington State.

The book is difficult to categorize, although it is strictly a murder mystery, but certainly not of the usual type. It is the author’s first novel, and was only published in june ’17, although he has another one due out in oct this year.

In the novel, Lydia is working one evening at the Bright Ideas book store. It is midnight and she is ready to lock up when she hears a noise upstairs. She goes up to the top floor to find one of her regular customers has hung himself from the rafters and is dead. In his back pocket is a photo of Lydia on her 10th birthday, with her 2 best friends.

She appears in the papers as a result, and everyone now knows where she is, a detail she had been attempting to hide for years. Now she is contacted by people she knew years ago. Why was she hiding? What is the dead man, Joey’s, connection to the secret she is hiding? And how did he get that photo?

We are taken on a convoluted journey to answer those and other puzzling questions. The entire plot being found to revolve around an experience Lydia had when aged only 10.

The plot is well written, the characters, particularly the periphery ones are fun and well drawn. I did guess who was the baddie early one, as frankly there weren’t many contenders for the title. The way the story was unravelled was good and kept my attentin. I did enjoy the book. I found it funny in parts and also very touching.

It is a good light read, perfect for a quiet sunday afternoon.

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Posted January 17, 2018 by dianne7 in book review

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