Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
As I have mentioned on multiple occasions, I'm a sucker for any book that appears to be about a bookstore. This one held an interesting premise, a mysterious girl with a hidden past struggles with the death of someone in the bookstore where she works. As the story progresses we learn about her past and also dive into the past of the young man who died.
I listened to this book as an audiobook and where I usually feel like having it read to me adds to the story, in this case it did not. While this book had an interesting premise, it suffered from a lack of depth and entirely too many mysteries.
Mystery One: Who is Lydia and what is she hiding?
Mystery Two: Who is the Hammer Killer?
Mystery Three: Why did Joey kill himself?
Mystery Four: What doesn't Lydia speak to her father?
Mystery Five: Who is Joey really?
Mystery Six: Why do we abandon the bookstore concept half way through the book?
The first part of the book spends a lot of time building the bookstore and the characters who run it in your mind. It starts to dig in deep and then poof! Everyone is basically forgotten in favor of the new mysteries and storylines that are being added. The second part of the book struggles to wrap everything in a nice little bow but suffers since the author spent so much time in the second half worrying about one mystery that they let the depth of the others remain on the surface only.
I had the Hammer Killer figured relatively quickly, but I didn't guess the motivation. The catalyst for the murder even seemed a tad farfetched to me. I found the epilogue also completely useless.
Funny, I started this review more or less liking the book. Now that I've typed everything out, I realize that I actually didn't care for it.
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