Hello Bookworms! How’s the Quarantine coming?
I hope you’r reading, and if you haven’t started a great book yet…then I have a great recommendation for you. “Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore” by Matthew Sullivan.
I’m a sucker for mysteries set in bookstores, mysteries involving writers, and mysteries that are solved using books. Remember “Paris by the Book”? If you loved my review of that amazing story then you will love this read just as much.
Main character Lydia has something to hide from the very beginning, but her story will have to wait. Because, by page five Lydia finds a beloved customer, Joey, in her bookstore hanging between the shelves. He has a picture of her in his pocket.
From that moment, readers follow Lydia on an adventure though her own mysterious past as she attempts to understand the sad and lonely life that Joey lived…and how their lives intersected in ways she never knew.
There’s a hint of romance, in a very realistic lens. I give Sullivan points for this one. Lydia isn’t the perfect girlfriend, and she is very self aware. It reminds me of previous relationships that I have had.
Favorite Character: Plath
Favorite Puzzle: Page 117. The Puzzle that Lydia and Lyle uncover together
Least favorite part: An idea is brought up in the final third of the book about Raj that never really gets addressed by the protagonist, just dropped.
Major Themes: Family, love, and loyalty
I finished this book in two days. It was very accessible, easy to fall in love with the falty characters, and written very well. Have I said this before? I’m jealous of mystery writers.
The fact that Sullivan actually created the puzzles in the same way Lydia would have found them in the books is fantastic! I’ll admit, I skimmed over them because I couldn’t begin to read them for the life of me. But, I’m still thrilled that he took the time. It’s unique and it’s style like that, that can get a book published.
Only criticism I have is that for the circumstances of this book to happen, it is a little too perfect. Suspend your disbelief readers and maybe you’ll do a better job than I did.
xx The Prof Bookworm