Have you ever had the experience starting a book you know nothing about and feeling ambivalent about it, then you find you quite enjoy it and are pleasantly surprised? That is what happened with this book. I never saw it coming, but I loved Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore.
I read this as a buddy read with one of my bookstagram buddies and both of us thought it was a clever story. Sullivan's debut novel is a mystery/thriller that begins in a bookstore. What's not to love about that? Lydia, the main character loves books and works at the Bright Ideas bookstore. She is kind and caring especially toward the Bookfrogs that come into the store. When her favourite Bookfrog, Joey dies, he leaves behind surprising clues that Lydia feels compelled to follow.
While we tag along with Lydia as she follows these clues, we also learn of Lydia's traumatic past. Her past is dark and intriguing. We also learn who Joey was and slowly Lydia's secrets are revealed.
Some of the characters could have been more developed, but I can see why Sullivan might have wanted to leave a little bit of mystery. This is one that I wish had left us questioning something at the end. Although, I was surprised by the end and there were several connections I wasn't expecting. None of my theories were correct and I do love that.
There are many intense scenes, the story is imaginative, and the writing is so good, especially for a debut novel. I will definitely be reading more from Matthew J. Sullivan and I highly recommend this one.
Bookworm Rating: 🐛🐛🐛🐛🐛