Fabulous Fiction Firsts #647


Denver's Tattered Cover Bookstore alum and winner of the Robert Olen Butler Fiction Prize, Matthew Sullivan has been named Goodreads Debut Author of the Month, and Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, an Indie Next Pick. What's not to love -- a suicide in a bookstore, a 20-year-old triple-murder cold case, and a survivor who turns to clues hidden in books to solve the mystery.

A favorite among the BookFrogs, the lost and lonely regulars who spend their days (and evenings) among the shelves, Lydia Smith was devastated when she discovered young Joey Molina had hanged himself in the Bright Ideas Bookstore’s upper room. Bewildered, she found a photo of herself at her 10th birthday party in his pocket, and he had left her his meager worldly possessions. Among the detritus of a solitary life lived on the fringe, Lydia found an odd collection of books inexplicably defaced, hinting at messages for her to decipher.

As Lydia tracks down the clues Joey left for her in his books, she discovers his connection to her estranged father; to the nightmarish crime that left her traumatized. With the murderer whom the press called "The Hammerman" still at large, she must face the secrets she has long buried, and with the help of Raj Patel, a childhood friend, untangle the mystery that unwittingly, connects them all.

"Quirky characters and a keen sense of place distinguish this multigenerational tale of abandonment, desperation, and betrayal." (Publishers Weekly)

For fans of library/bookstore settings and puzzle mysteries, try also Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan; The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin; and The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler.

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