I recently finished reading Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore, by Matthew J. Sullivan. I can confidently say this is now one of my favorite mysteries!
A bookshop patron named Joey Molina has committed suicide, and his favorite store clerk, Lydia Smith, must unravel the puzzle he left behind. Lydia’s life comes unhinged when she finds a childhood photo of herself in Joey’s pocket after he has hung himself in the bookstore’s upper floor. Just as this fact starts to unsettle Lydia, she finds out the orphaned Joey has also bequeathed his meager worldly possessions to her.
As Lydia cleans out a nearly bare apartment, she notices Joey’s books have been defaced in an attempt to send her a hidden message. Joey’s story collides with Lydia’s memories of events from her own tortured childhood – when a murderer referred to as “the Hammerman” brutally bludgeoned the O’Toole family while Lydia was at their house for a sleepover with her friend, Carol.
Finding out the “who” and the “why” in this book was a treat. I stayed up very late to finish this book….and it was completely worth it!
Well done, Mr. Sullivan!