Review: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan

Title: The Bright Ideas Bookstore
Author: Matthew J. Sullivan
Pages: 336
Genre: Mystery, Fiction
Source: Free ARC from Scribner

Rating: 4 Stars

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Scribner via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.

Summary: Lydia has a complicated backstory that she doesn’t want anyone to know about. Estranged from her father, and with no other family to speak of, she finds solace in her workplace, the amazing Bright Ideas Bookstore in Denver, Colorado. Not only does she have the job of her dreams, she happily lives with her boyfriend, and has found a family in her coworkers. But when an unexpected tragedy occurs at the bookstore, to one of her favorite customers, she finds an unexpected connection to her past. Unable to let the mystery go unsolved, she pursues the truth, but in so doing, starts to unravel her past, risking exposure to those she’s been hiding it from.

Review: My interest in this book is the result of cover lust plus the word “bookstore” in the title. I’m sure that at the time I selected it, I read the blurbs, but by the time I started reading it, I couldn’t have told you anything about the premise – just “I love the cover because books” and it says “bookstore” in the title. But you know what? This time my simple selection process worked out for me. This book rocked hard!

Character development was great. I loved Lydia. Loved her workmates. Plot development was superb. Little bits of backstory were eked out in increments just big enough to keep you intrigued without giving too much away. Characters were brought to the forefront at times that made you suspicious, widening the suspect pool. What are their intentions? Why are they here? And there were all these underlying side stories that fed into the primary narrative, enriching it but also blurring the lines a bit. Without a doubt, I can say that I in no way guessed the full story until the very end. I did have a strong suspicion about who the perpetrator was, but I didn’t correctly work out the motive. And the mood of the book was midway between cozy and suspense/thriller. A really solid mystery. Without a doubt, I’ll be reading more by Matthew J. Sullivan.

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