‘Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore’ by Matthew Sullivan is a captivating and smart novel.
Lydia, the protagonist, works as a bookseller at the Bright Ideas bookstore, which is not only her place of work but also her refuge. This is a place where many different kinds of people find comfort in the soothing presence of books. Among them, Joey. At a certain point, though, the books and Lydia’s friendship are not enough anymore. Joey kills himself, inside the bookstore. Lydia finds his body, along with something else. A photo of Lydia herself, blowing the candles of her birthday cake when she turned ten years old. How is it possible that Joey had it? Who gave it to him? And why he killed himself? How is Lydia connected to Joey? From that photo, and from the few possessions the young man has left to Lydia, our protagonist will unravel a mystery that involves her directly, and very personally. There’s something in Lydia’s past she doesn’t want to recall anymore, but she will have to.
I read this books in a few days, and I couldn’t really put it down. The characters are so very well written, all of them. As a reader, you become part of Lydia’s investigation in a way I have never experienced in any mystery book I have ever read before.
The plus side of this book, coming from my first PageHabit subscription, is that it contained notes from the author explaining certain choices and details of the story.