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A mystery solved through clues in books - perfect for readers of The Shadow of the Wind and The Little Paris Bookshop.

When a bookshop patron commits suicide, it’s his favorite store clerk who must unravel the puzzle he left behind in this fiendishly clever debut novel.

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, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.

But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has inherited his meagre worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely 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.

Reviews

With Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, Matthew Sullivan has written – with great panache and suspense – a smart, twisty crime novel filled with compelling characters set in a world that book-lovers will adore.

Jess Walter, bestselling author of 'Beautiful Ruins'

A cleverly constructed thriller ... not for the faint-hearted.

Scotsman

A page-turner featuring a heroine bookseller who solves a cold case with clues from books – what is not to love?

Nina George, author of 'The Little Paris Bookshop'

This book ticked all the boxes for me: an engaging heroine, an intriguing premise, interesting characters and a plot that involved books, readers and the very darkest human passions. A fantastic, assured debut.

Elly Griffiths, author of 'Crossing Places'

There is a clever, erudite puzzle plot in this bookish mystery, along with whip-smart writing. Matthew Sullivan’s debut is stylish and entertaining.

Ellen Crosby, author of 'The Champagne Conspiracy'

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a heart-pounding mystery that perfectly captures the intellect and eccentricity of the bookstore milieu.

The Gingerbread House Blog

A compelling read.

The Herald

I have been looking forward to this title for a while now and it was without doubt just as good or even better than hoped. I had such a great time reading Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore and the two mysteries/puzzles that are included are both fascinating and well executed. The bookish elements are a true delight and I had a great time discovering more about Joey and Lydia, their past and their development. The writing is wonderful as well and made me fly through the pages… All in all I can highly recommend this title.

It's All About the Books Blog

Deliciously twisty page turner.

Book Riot

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781786090485

    June 18, 2018

    Windmill Books

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9781785151422

    September 15, 2017

    William Heinemann

    336 pages

    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Trade Paperback

    9781785151439

    August 28, 2017

    William Heinemann

    336 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

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