This is a tautly written debut novel by Matthew Sullivan. Lydia Smith is the quintessential bookseller; a great listener, eccentric colleagues, regular customers... someone who loves her craft. Then one of the regulars kills himself in one of the bookstore's upper rooms. Lydia finds she has been left his worldly goods, which consists of a suit and a crate full of books which seem to contain a hidden code. What did he know of the violent past Lydia tries to keep buried? Memories of that past are dredged up of a bloody night long ago that is not as distant as Lydia would like. Top notch mystery.