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Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore Audiobook

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

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, her eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs - the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store's overwhelmed shelves.

But when Joey McGinty, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore's back 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.

Bedazzling, addictive, and wildly clever, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a heart-pounding mystery that perfectly captures the intellect and eccentricity of the bookstore milieu and will keep you guessing until the very end.

©2017 Matthew Sullivan. All rights reserved. (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (242 )
5 star
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Overall
4.0 (224 )
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1 star
 (5)
Story
3.9 (226 )
5 star
 (84)
4 star
 (68)
3 star
 (46)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (11)
Performance
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  •  
    Erin S 07-15-17
    Erin S 07-15-17 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    4
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    Story
    "Here's a bright idea...."

    While the story was a solid 4--lots of twists and turns, the narrator chose to have all of the male characters speak slowly and, as another reviewer said, robotically. I tried speeding up the narration but it made the bulk of the story (main character and exposition) too fast. I almost stopped listening when a third male character was introduced and he too spoke as if Valium were his main food source. If you haven't bought the audible version you may want to consider reading it on your favorite electronic device. I wish I had.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claudine ESCONDIDO, CA, United States 07-01-17
    Claudine ESCONDIDO, CA, United States 07-01-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Keeps you guessing"

    This book had many twists and mysterious subplots which kept me interested, entertained and thinking. I'm glad it wasn't simple and easy to figure out because so many stories are. I really enjoyed the book and my only complaint was the narration. The narrator trying to do men's voices was a bit painful. Most of the time she spoke so slowly as the male characters that they come off sounding mentally challenged. I just wish they would hire a man and woman together to do narration.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna 06-17-17
    Donna 06-17-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A FIVE"

    Denver, a book store and its people, a murder 2 decades in the haunting, a librarian, an exotic book puzzle, a book mobile to Breckenridge...snow. It sets a slow pace with lots of time for excellent story telling. Stick with it, relax as you listen and begin to wonder if anything is really going to happen. Happen it does! I really like this book. *Not cute, coy or cozy.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maine Colonial 🌲 Maine, United States 07-11-17
    Maine Colonial 🌲 Maine, United States 07-11-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Average story, poor narration"

    I'm a sucker for bookstore-based stories, which is why I picked this. I liked the main character, Lydia, and the setup for the current mystery and the mystery of her past were well done. The execution, though, was dead average and forgettable.

    The narrator, Madeleine Maby, will unfortunately go on my list of readers to avoid. She was fine for Lydia, but for every other character she inexplicably used a low, slow, almost drugged sounding voice. It was bizarre and distracted from the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura D. Cantu Pasadena, CA 07-21-17
    Laura D. Cantu Pasadena, CA 07-21-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    5
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    Story
    "Could Not Finish"
    What disappointed you about Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore?

    I'm sorry to say, but the reader was just not top notch. Every character spoke as if English was a second language or if they were learning how to read and speak. It was very annoying and my focus couldn't get beyond my irritation.


    What was most disappointing about Matthew Sullivan’s story?

    I didn't find the mystery very intriguing at all.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Madeleine Maby?

    Don't know.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I feel the reader took away my ability to like any of the characters.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barbara murphy 07-09-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Ok book- very weak narration"

    Alas, the narrator fails to distinguish characters' individual voices. They all have a similar halting way of speaking as if just learning to speak. Maddeningly distracting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 06-30-17
    Susan 06-30-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    Story
    "Great story"

    I liked everything about this book. The narrator did an ok job. The main character, Lydia, was good but the other characters sounded robotic and in slow motion like she was reading to a child.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Aurora, CO United States 06-23-17
    Melissa Aurora, CO United States 06-23-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    Story
    "Grew up in Denver - loved this story!"

    I grew up in the suburbs of east Denver and lived there when the "Hammerman" murders occurred. It was terrifying within the community and the murders have never been solved after 33 years. The author uses the story of those murders loosely in this book, creating a complicated, yet realistic, story around the crime. I really enjoyed the story, the characters, and the reference points of Denver and the bookstore. The narrator did a great job. I didn't see the twists and turns in the story coming at all.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susanna 09-09-17
    Susanna 09-09-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't waste your time"

    1) this story is just not worth your time. The author had some lofty goals but just entirely fell short. It only got interesting in the very last segment and the time before that was a slog to get through with too many slow parts, flat characters, predictable surprises, and unnecessary sub plots and details.

    2) this is the worst narrator I've ever heard. Every time she spoke dialog it sounded like the person had a speech impediment or learning disability. Absolutely awful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barb Pullman, WA, United States 08-28-17
    Barb Pullman, WA, United States 08-28-17 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Surprise!"

    A wonderfully written mystery about a young man who commits suicide in a Denver bookstore, and the woman who works out the mystery surrounding his life and death. I could not have predicted the ending at all. It had me listening eagerly up until the last minute. Wonderful book.

    The narrator did a great job of general narration, but when she voiced the male characters, she managed to make them all sound slow and rather stupid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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