Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

 Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

I'm not an avid reader of mysteries but "Bookstore" in the title is hard to resist, so when Kobo offered it for 2.99, I was in. 

When Lydia, who works at the Bright Ideas bookstore, finds Joey, a young customer she was fond of, hanging from the rafters by his own hand, she is devastated. When she learns that he has inexplicably left everything in his apartment to her, she starts looking for answers. What was his life like? What led to his tragic end? And why her? 

In his apartment she finds a book with small rectangles cut out of the pages. The words themselves she can guess from context, but they make no sense when put together. When she realizes the sticker on the back of the book is actually for a different book, she locates that title and discovers that the holes in one book, held over a page in the other, reveal a message. And it isn't just that one book, she finds several more with further messages.

As she unravels the puzzle Joey created for her she is shocked to find a connection between Joey and a traumatic childhood incident in her own past. Her life will be changed forever by what comes to light. 

It's been a while since I've read anything I'd call a page-turner but this one had me hurrying through whatever I was doing so I could get back to the story. It was nice to feel that again. 

The writing is good, the dialogue realistic, the characters plausible and relatable, and there are enough reasonable twists to keep it interesting, even surprising. It's a solid, entertaining mystery and a good read.  


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