Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind"--
Publisher: New York :, Scribner,, 2017
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501116841
Branch Call Number: FIC Sull
Characteristics: 328 pages ; 24 cm


From the critics

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May 24, 2019

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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