Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

A Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"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."--
Publisher: New York, New York :, Scribner,, 2017.
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781501116841
Characteristics: 328 pages ;,24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Aug 16, 2017

Really enjoyed this debut novel about a book store, a library, and a number of characters who are involved in various mysterious plots. Twist and turns and intrigue. However the author does a good job of bringing everyone together in the end when all the mysteries are solved.
Very interesting - and will look for another book by this author. Quick pleasant read.

Aug 16, 2017

Enjoyed this book like all the twist and turns. I really enjoyed it being set in and around Denver. I like that the author used of a books and a library since this is a part of this book.
I love books and the library is one of my favorite places to go. Hope to see more by this author in the future.

Aug 12, 2017

While not a perfect book, this was an enjoyable read and I look forward to more from this author. A twisty, turn-y tale of secrets from the past coming back to haunt. If you enjoy mysteries wrapped in enigmas, this should be right up your alley. I'll have a little more to say about this book and mysteries in general on my blog.

Aug 09, 2017

I enjoyed this story and all it's twists and turns. I hope the author writes more. The Bright Ideas Bookstore could be a fabulous back drop to a lot of mysteries.

Aug 05, 2017

A very impressive first novel; I hope to read more from this writer. A brilliantly constructed mystery featuring an appealing but derelict young man who hangs himself in a bookstore, leaving behind a bizarre trail of clues. The whole elaborate plot is set in motion by a seemingly trivial event: a haircut. Engaging characters, a fascinating setting, seemingly unrelated events and players whose connection to each other is gradually revealed. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Those looking for a thriller might be disappointed; neither is it a cozy literary mystery but a rather dark story that should appeal to murder mystery fans.

Jul 15, 2017

For those who after looking at the cover, choose this book because they believe it is cozy mystery, or thought provoking novel set in a bookstore, in actuality it is a very dark mystery thriller. It receives excellent ratings on Amazon, so if you like this sort of theme, you'll likely enjoy the book. However, it was too dark for me, so I simply stopped reading it. I chose not to give the book a rating, as the reason I didn't care for it had nothing to do with the writing style, so my rating wouldn't have been fair to the author.

Jul 14, 2017

This book was an unexpected pleasure. I requested it from the "on order" list because of its title. The first few pages, where Lydia finds an acquaintance who just hung himself in the book store, made me wonder if I would continue. It was not what I was unexpecting. But the mystery of why a picture of Lydia blowing out the candles on her birthday cake at age 10--a picture she has never seen before--is in the pocket of the suicide, pulled me in. With its oh-so-true insights into o world of book lovers, book sellers, librarians and, well, BOOKS (as well as a secret code!) I found myself reading when I should have been doing so many other things. As a librarian, I once had a patron ask for a book that would keep her from mowing her lawn. This is definitely a title I would have recommended to her.

Jul 13, 2017

Boring, boring, boring. There was no suspense and the characters were not compelling. I don't get where the reviews on the back jacket came from. It was painful to finish this.

AL_LESLEY Jul 08, 2017

An excellent family drama and well woven mystery set in Denver and written by a former Tattered Cover employee! How neat is that!

Jun 28, 2017

I read this book in one setting. I usually read the end of books before I start reading them, but this one I didn't and it would not have done any good anyway. The first of the book is a little slow, but about a fourth of the way through it - hang on- because it really starts to roll right along and keeps you turning the pages. The ending was a complete surprise that I never saw coming. Definitely worth your time to read.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at my library

To Top