When author Matthew Sullivan made a bookstore the scene of the crime in his thriller “Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore,” he knew what he was doing.
The novel is the 2019 Whidbey Reads book. Sullivan will speak at three events on April 18-19.
“It takes very little effort to see that the fictional bookstore in the novel is a thinly veiled version of the Tattered Cover, the celebrated Denver indie where I worked for a number of years,” Sullivan wrote in a 2017 article.
That intimate knowledge along with his skill and background as an English professor at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Wash., all contributed to Sullivan and his novel being selected for the 2019 Whidbey Reads event.
Whidbey Reads is an annual program that brings Whidbey Island residents together to read and talk about a book selected by Sno-Isle Libraries staff members. Whidbey Reads includes a number of public events focused on themes from that year’s book.
Whidbey Reads culminates with three presentations by Sullivan talking about his book and experiences. The event on South Whidbey is at 4 p.m., Friday, April 19 at Langley United Methodist Church.
Sullivan grew up in Denver and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco and a master’s degree from the University of Idaho. His short stories have been awarded the Florida Review Editor’s Prize and the Robert Olen Butler Fiction Prize. In addition to working in bookstores, he has taught writing at colleges in Boston, Idaho, Poland and, since 2003, at Big Bend Community College.
Whidbey Reads 2019 is a collaborative effort between Sno-Isle Libraries, friends of the library groups on Whidbey Island and volunteers from communities on Whidbey Island. Other partners include The Book Rack and Moonraker Books.
Whidbey Reads also is supported by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation.